The catchy name Fat Choy immediately drew me in. I knew exactly what kind of restaurant Fat Choy, a small scrappy restaurant in the Lower East Side, would be, and I wasn’t wrong. It was playful and homey, a little bit familiar and a little bit not, a perfect description of the “kinda Chinese” but mostly tasty ethos that drives the cooking at the Fat Choy kitchen. Kinda Asian restaurants are in abundance these days. You can imagine some second or third generation chef making some tweaks to a family recipe, smiling if it works and shrugging her shoulders if it doesn’t. The angle at Fat Choy is that its kinda Chinese food is vegan. It sounds impossible at first, since we tend to associate Chinese food with pork or chicken, but when you think about how tasty Chinese vegetables are on their own, then it makes a lot of sense.Read More
Davelle, an all-day Japanese cafe in the LES, is a small and cozy little nook hidden away on an obscure corner of Suffolk St that takes a little effort to get to, but it’s certainly worth the trip. I’d walk many avenues east for multiple bites of the restaurant’s signature mochi mochi spaghetti, which sounds a bit dubious at first, especially when the waitress describes the ketchup sauce, but second and third helpings of the pasta will erase those doubts. And once you’re finished, which will be too quickly, you’ll start eyeing other parts of the menu, which changes as the day progress from breakfast, lunch to dinner. Those breakfast toast sets sound mighty delicious.Read More
Wildair is always a great place for natural wine discovery. The last time I was here I became absolutely obsessed with a mineraly rose called Christian Venier Gris Gourlaouen, and I would buy a bottle of it any chance I could get at Discovery Wines in the East Village. That was several years ago, and on a recent visit, I similarly went nuts for an amazing, jammy red Txaranga from a Spanish vineyard called Vinya Ferrer. Unfortunately this bottle is hard to find and only seems to be available at Dandelion Wine in Greenpoint.Read More
The newly opened Public Hotel in the LES is an interesting addition to an area that hasn’t completely shaken off its gritty past. It’s essentially a lifestyle hotel for the sexy, jetsetting traveler with exquisite tastes who wants more than just a comfortable bedroom. She can shop for interesting brands at a well-curated retail store in the lobby, grab organic food at the casual eatery, network with like-minded Millennials in the lobby bar or party it up on the rooftop.Read More
Australians always seem to be having fun. Maybe it’s the accent and the sunny beaches back home, but they seem like a positive, upbeat people, and I like being around that energy. Which explains why I was drawn to Dudley’s, an Australian American cafe in the LES that was packed for brunch. I had initially planned on having a virtuous acai bowl at the new Dimes, but along the way, I saw all these fantastic breakie plates and bloody marys at Dudley’s, and I immediately changed my mind. After a 45 minute wait, the three of us were seated inside.
Dudley’s is perfect for brunch because it’s fun and young, and the food is actually very solid. Like any proper Australian cafe, Dudley’s serves a mean avocado toast, and it definitely appeared to be the dish of choice. The toast is thick and wholesome, filled with seeds and grains in every fiber, and it’s topped with generous slices of creamy avocado, as well as an optional fried egg, which isn’t really optional, you kind of have to get it.
If you want something other than breakfast food, then try the famous Bronte burger. I’m not quite sure what makes it famous, but I’m pretty sure it’s the sweet chili sauce and mayo inside. And be sure to order a side of fries, which are amazing–thin, crispy shoestrings that are the bee’s knees. You might also try the chicken schnitzel salad for something completely different. The schnitzel meat inside is tender and the panko crust is crispy without being greasy. If you’ve ever had the coconut chicken fingers at Dishes, which if you have, then you probably love, then you’ll be on cloud nine eating essentially a big plate of this.
I’ve had a pretty good run with the Australians–Two Hands, Toby’s Estate, Flinders Lane, and now Dudley’s. You don’t really hear much about Australian cuisine, but its influence can be quietly felt in this city. All those pretty cafes that serve flat whites and avocado toasts and great salads? Nope, not California, as I assumed, but probably Australian. I wouldn’t mind if Aussie cuisine became a bigger thing, especially if it means more good-looking, rugged Australian men serving me coffee and eggs with a smile…
85 Orchard St (between Broome and Grand St)
New York, NY 10002