The Bar at Momofuku Ko in East Village

The older I get, the more I’ve come to appreciate bar dining. Bar dining has come a long way from uncomfortable stool seats and limited “bar only” menus. Many restaurants now offer their full menus at the bar, with coat and purse hooks included. And now that I no longer have the luxury or patience for long, drawn-out dinners, the efficiency and relative swiftness of bar dining hold even more appeal. One of the best places for bar dining in the city is at Momofuku Ko, David Chang’s two-Michelin-starred fine dining restaurant in the East Village. It’s better known for its seated tasting menu experience, but it also operates a small bar near the entrance that offers an interesting, a la carte menu that changes each day. You get to benefit from the talents of a highly skilled, fine dining kitchen without having to pay the sky high prices or having to sit through the whole experience.

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Ho Foods in East Village

Taiwanese food is trending in New York City. I’m aware of famous dishes like lurou fan, three cup chicken or bubble tea, but otherwise my knowledge of the cuisine is pretty minimal. A recent meal at Ho Foods introduced me to the world of Taiwanese beef noodle soup, which is very much its own thing. The broth is extremely flavorful and pungent, dark and brown with powerful notes of star anise resonating throughout. You can choose from either round, udon-like noodles or thick-cut, wide ones, and I preferred the latter, as there was more texture and body to them. A bowl of this will leave you feeling warm and well-insulated for the night ahead.Read More

Modern Korean at Soogil

sweet potato beignets

Here’s another elevated Korean restaurant to add to your list–Soogil in East Village, opened by Soogil Kim, who used to be sous chef at some very fancy kitchens, including Daniel and Hanjan. If you’re a fan of the refined and modern Korean cooking at places like Oiji or Cote, then you’ll probably like Soogil’s food.Read More

Momofuku Ssäm Bar, New and Improved

Remember when Gucci was just a ho-hum luxury brand with logo bags that no one cared that much about it? And then Alessandro Michele shook things up with his bold and whimsical designs and suddenly made the brand very relevant again? Momofuku Ssäm Bar is similarly having its Gucci moment. It’s one of the solid restaurants in David Chang’s empire that’s been humming along on its pork buns and bo ssam, but now it’s undergone a dazzling redesign that’s all for the better.Read More

Martina, the Shake Shack of Pizzas, in East Village

There are a lot of restaurants that want to be the Shake Shack or Chipotle of something. And why not? It’s clearly a concept that works–make a few things really well, do it very quickly and price it relatively low, a winning formula that brings in the crowds and generates the type of turnover that rakes in the dough. So it’s not surprising that Danny Meyer is going to try to replicate his Shake Shack success elsewhere, this time in the world of pizzas, with the opening of Martina, a fast-casual pizzeria in the East Village.Read More