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

The Tang in East Village

In New York, we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to Asian noodles. Ramen noodles have always been a longtime favorite, udon and soba are making some inroads, and now Chinese noodles of all forms are making a big splash. I’ve always had a soft spot for Chinese noodles in a thick, savory sauce, like dan dan or jjajangmyun, so I was especially excited to hear about The Tang, a Chinese noodle bar in the East Village that specializes in these brothless noodle varieties.Read More

Madame Vo in East Village

It finally feels like fall, which means pho season is underway. And now there are even more options in New York to give in to your Vietnamese noodle soup cravings. Lately the trend in pho seems to be fancier bowls with higher quality ingredients and cleaner flavors than what you would find at a more traditional place, a function of the second generation updating the recipes of their relatives for the modern palate.Read More

Ikinari Steak in East Village

getting our steaks made to order at ikinari

Have you ever been to a Fry’s Electronics store? Back when I was in high school, Fry’s was a place for geeks to stock up on computer parts. The typical customer was probably a single dude who liked to play Counterstrike in his spare time and did not have a girlfriend and probably did not care about that. To me, Ikinari Steak in the East Village is like the Fry’s of steakhouses. You’re essentially surrounded by a lot of single dudes who are happily eating their reasonably priced thick-cut steaks while standing (there are no seats at Ikinari, although they recently added a few booths). Some of them might get aggressive and even order two steaks each, like the two men next to us who essentially had a Louis CK-style dinner bang bang and ate four steaks total and did not give a crap about anyone witnessing the gluttony.Read More