One thing is for sure: there is no shortage of restaurants in New York City. But where to go? Not everyone has the time to research, google and check Trip Advisor. And if you do, are you convinced? I feel in this day and age, the food blogger idea is so helpful. Most of us are out there on a daily basis, tasting food, researching chefs and often we get first dibs on new spots. So, in essence, we do the leg work for you. I always keep a lookout for new restaurants, and the following three are absolute standouts in my opinion! Give it a shot…
Meet Jeff Kent, former chef at NoMad and Eleven Madison Park. If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. About one year ago, he did just that, he opened his own restaurant (together with Jeff Katz), and it’s a stunner. In a gorgeous downtown Art Deco Building he opened the doors to a spacious, gorgeous restaurant with a huge open kitchen, ready to excite. I heard much good gossip (as expected), so I made my way downtown. Lucky me was seated by the kitchen, right by the windows, on a sunny day. It was love at first sight.
I met with a fellow foodie, and we ordered the three course lunch meals, which were a steal in my opinion. We started with a Grilled Pear Salad with Meredith Feta and Pistachio, as well as a Fluke Crudo with Grapes and Celery. The salad was something so different, which is always important to me, and the feta cheese was amazing. The Crudo was super fresh, and the addition of grapes and celery was spot on. Our main courses were Grilled Quail with Glazed Farro and Maitake Mushrooms, and a Roasted Short Rib Sandwich with Tomato Confit and Gruyere. I never had quail until that day (believe it or not!), and it was superb. And that’s why I wait to try things, I want to try it at certain restaurants to keep from getting disappointed, and my theory proved true here. The Roasted Short Rib Sandwich was an excellent lunch dish, seasoned perfectly, the tomato confit and gruyere making for a beautiful combination. Desserts were an Apple Sorbet with Sticky Toffee Pudding and Pecans, and Roasted Banana Ice Cream with Caramel and Peanut Butter. Do I have to tell you how good these were? I didn’t think so. I adore this restaurant, and I highly recommend it!
For more info on Crown Shy click here
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree! Cedric Vongerichten, the son of the famous chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, is quite the chef himself. When he and his wife Ochi recently opened this Indonesian restaurant, all ears sharpened, and foodies everywhere paid attention. But then he also has to deliver. Here in New York, a name is not enough. And then he did. This downtown restaurant is gorgeous, with wooden digs, dimly lit, romantic. Indonesian cuisine is multi faceted, and sometimes it just really depends on where in Indonesia you are, so there’s lots of freedom in creating menus. Keeping it a bit contemporary, a bit traditional, a bit amazing, dining here was quite a treat for me.
Another foodie friend of mine and I ventured here for a lunch, and it was love at first bite! The Salmon Sashimi with ginger turmeric dressing and samba matah was flavorful and fresh, the Green Papaya Cucumber Salad with cashews and chili dressing was spicy and refreshing at the same time, very, very nice. We had the Mushroom Noodle dish with buttered kepac manis and cilantro, and OMG, this was outstanding. I wanted more and more and more. My favorite that day was the Duck Stir Fried Rice with chili sauce and an egg on top. The flavors were addictive, delicious, foreign. It’s a reason to come back here. We closed out the meal with a Pandan Custard with fresh passion fruit seeds. What a revelation! This dessert was a brand new experience for me, lovely and full of flavors that change in your mouth as you eat, I can’t say enough about this place. I loved it.
For more info on Wayan click here
Portale is just what it says: Alfred Portale’s restaurant. Who is Alfred Portale? Oh just a pioneer in the American Culinary World. James Beard Award Winner. For 34 years he was the culinary voice of Michelin starred restaurant Gotham Bar and Grill, he is an icon. Recently he stepped out of Gotham’s kitchen to open up his own restaurant downtown in Chelsea. Naturally I ventured down there for lunch, thinking it’s probably easier to get a table than at night, and I stand corrected. No matter what time you plan on going, do make a reservation. The place was packed. I guess I should have expected it, his reputation is stellar and far reaching.
I ate some, I tried some, I took some home. I had a Crudo di Capesante with sea scallops, livornese, apricot purée and golden trout roe. Absolutely amazing. I inhaled it. There were also meatballs involved that day: Polpette with pomodoro, parmigiano and fettuna. I picked two pastas: Spaghetti with ruby red shrimp, calamari, pomodoro a frutti di mare; and Mafaldine, with is a beef bolognese with parmigiano. All dishes were flavorful, balanced, and I want to say they were actually elegant, classy even. I can see awards on the horizon,,,,
For more info on Portale click here