Tag Archives: Greenwich Village

Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

Chef Dan Kluger has a way with vegetables. He garnered lots of praise for his vegetable mastery at ABC Kitchen, which has become one of the trendiest NYC veggie-centric restaurants. And now he has his own place in Greenwich Village called Loring Place.

And just to be clear, these are not vegetarian restaurants. In fact Loring Place gets as much attention for their burger and roasted short rib as they do for their brussels sprouts pizza and leek & pear salad.

But there’s on question when dining at Loring Place, you want to make sure you eat your vegetables.

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I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2017…

This year was another crazy ride. And while politics and breaking news stories often drifted into my anxious psyche, food still played an important role. And this year was full of surprising dishes that were nourishing, pleasurable, and a much-needed distraction. Here now are the top 10 dishes – the list includes an exciting mix of hearty classics like burgers and lasagna, along with some brilliant vegetable concoctions.

NUMBER 10: SPICY FISH STEW at HAO NOODLE AND TEA BY MADAM ZHU

When a dish comes out of the kitchen glowing red and spiked with peppercorns, I’m expecting some heat. The only thing that hinted at the spice level for this clear green fish soup was the name “spicy” and the two pepper symbols on the menu. This fish stew had a unique floral, numbing spice and was one of the most exciting dishes I’ve tasted at a Chinese restaurant – ever. Price: $25

HAO NOODLE AND TEA BY MADAM ZHU
401 Sixth Avenue (between Waverly Place and Greenwich Avenue)
Greenwich Village
(212) 633-8900
madamzhu.com

NUMBER 9: SURPRISE TRIP at THE UP & UP

I float toward cocktails that are unusual and surprising and the Surprise Trip is certainly that. It’s a gin based tipple with a syrup made from black trumpet mushrooms and a slew of “corns”. Szechuan peppercorn, pink peppercorn, black peppercorn, and unicorn (an herbal plum liqueur). It had a rich earthy flavor from the mushroom with a bracing spice throughout The gin was incredibly smooth as it played with all the other flavors (earthy, sweet, bracing, complex). It doesn’t get more (pleasantly) surprising. Price: $15

THE UP & UP
116 Macdougal Street (between Bleecker Street and Minetta Lane),
Greenwich Village
(212) 260-3000
upandupnyc.com

NUMBER 8: THE EDITH at ORCHARD GROCER

It’s pretty ballsy to hawk a bagel with vegan cream cheese and carrot lox in the Lower East Side. Despite the changing demographics of the neighborhood, the breakfast sandwich is still associated with the historic Jewish immigrants that once lived here. Yet the familiar combination works beautifully even when no seafood or dairy is involved. A soft chewy bagel is the vessel for cream cheese made out of cashew and smoked salmon made out of thinly sliced, cured, and smoked carrots. The masterminds behind this vegan deli would have made bubbe and zayde proud.  Price: $8

ORCHARD GROCER
78 Orchard Street (between Broome and Grand Street)
Lower East Side
(646) 757-9910
orchardgrocer.com

NUMBER 7: MAITAKE MUSHROOMS at FIFTY

Mushrooms don’t need much and Chef Luis Jaramillo from the somewhat under-the-radar modern American restaurant Fifty seems to know that. The meaty earth candy was nestled under some watercress and above a rich aromatic celery root-truffle puree. The only other addition was sweet sliced grapes that acted as a foil to all the earthy richness on the plate. But it was the chef’s deft hand with the mushrooms themselves that left a lasting impression. Each bite was crisp and tender leaving a lasting woodsy buttery flavor on my lips. Price: $16

FIFTY
50 Commerce Street (between Barrow and Bedford Street),
West Village
(212) 524-4104
fiftyrestaurantnyc.com

NUMBER 6: BANANA & WALNUT BREAD at TWO HANDS

This Banana & Walnut Bread was a bit of a sensation when Two Hands first opened and I totally see why. The bread itself was both impossibly moist and nicely crisped around the edges. On its own, it would have been perfect. But they go even further by schmearing a frosted espresso-laced mascarpone, garnishing it with toasted bits of buckwheat, and drizzling honey on top. This went from being perfect to off the charts. Price $8

TWO HANDS RESTAURANT & BAR
251 Church Street (between Leonard and Franklin Street),
Tribeca
twohandsnyc.com

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2017…

Japanese-inspired cocktails are all the rage these days in NYC. Bar Moga specializes in them in a refined, traditional setting. I was really surprised by their Sleepwalk, which combined some refreshing complex flavors together – lemongrass shochu, a Yuzu saké, coconut, ginger, lime, and some rose water. It was a refreshing take on that was strong and a little too easy to drink. Price: $14

BAR MOGA
128 West Houston Street (at Sullivan Street),
Greenwich Village
(929) 399-5853
barmoga.com

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2017…

Kubeh are Middle Eastern dumplings served in broth. Think matzo ball soup but more Sephardic than Ashkenazi. And the dumplings run deeper than just matzo meal. At the new restaurant with the same name, you can find lamb, beef, veggie, or fish dumplings. The fish was made up of ground cod, cilantro, and a hint of cumin. They were delicate and light (quite different than gefilte fish). You get to choose the broth you’d like and I thought the rich beet selek paired nicely with the fish balls. It was slightly spicy and very earthy with lots of veggie flavors. It was a nutritious and heartfelt meal. Price: $15

KUBEH
464 Sixth Avenue (at West 11th Street),
Greenwich Village
(646) 448-6688
eatkubeh.com

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2017…

Li-Lac makes some incredible chocolate from peanut butter cups to mint bars, but the most addicting thing I tried at this chocolatier from 1923 were the butter crunch bits. Not as overly chocolatey as other offerings, these are by far the most addicting. The milk chocolate hugs buttery almond toffee and then is covered with a dusting of almond. I seriously dare you to eat just one… or two.

LI-LAC CHOCOLATES
40 Eighth Avenue (at Jane Street),
West Village
(212) 924-2280
162 Bleecker Street (between Sullivan and Thompson Street),
Greenwich Village
(212) 924-2280
Inside Chelsea Market
75 Ninth Avenue (at 15th Street),
Chelsea
(212) 924-2280
Inside Grand Central Market
43rd Street and Lexington Avenue,
Midtown East
(212) 924-2280
68 35th Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenue),
Sunset Park, Brooklyn
(212) 924-2280
li-lacchocolates.com

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2017…

I thought the concept at Pig Bleecker was pretty ingenious. As far as I know, it’s the first restaurant to take components and techniques from American BBQ and incorporating them into other more refined dishes. Some dishes worked better than others, but by far the most successful were these delicate plump ravioli stuffed with tender smoky brisket. What you would not find at most pit houses is the addition of truffle butter and a sweet and acidic barolo reduction. Price: $24
PIG BLEECKER
155 Bleecker Street (at Thompson Street),
Greenwich Village
pigbleeckernyc.com

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