Tag Archives: Szechuan

Now that I’ve eaten my way through somebody else’s list (Time Out New York), I’m ready to compile my own 100 spectacular things I’ve tasted in 2012. Look for another five dishes every few days.

NUMBER 40: GNOCCHI at I TRE MERLI

SADLY, I TRE MERLI IS NOW CLOSED.

Years ago, I used to avoid going out and spending money on Italian food since I thought I could easily cook pasta at home. If you could taste the limp soggy spaghetti I used to make, you’d understand just how wrong I was. I thought the term al dente related to a dentist’s office.

The potato pasta known as gnocchi are some of the hardest to get right. I’ve tasted enlightening versions at places like Union Square Café, but the modest and rustic fare at I Tre Merli truly surprised me. These had a tender bite which gave way to a soft, plump interior. They soaked up a nice pesto sauce and made a surprising first course at this Italian restaurant. Sadly, the location I tasted them at in the West Village has now closed (and reopened as Chez Sardine), but they are still on the menu at the Soho location. And still so much better than anything I could do at home. Price: $16

I TRE MERLI
463 West Broadway (between West Houston and Prince Street),
Soho
(212) 254-8699
itremerli.com

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Now that I’ve eaten my way through somebody else’s list (Time Out New York), I’m ready to compile my own 100 spectacular things I’ve tasted in 2012. Look for another five dishes every few days.

NUMBER 65: KUNG PAO PASTRAMI at MISSION CHINESE

Some might call them gimmicky foods, but I find them exhilarating and exciting. We all know what fried chicken and burgers taste like, but when somebody comes in and re-invents the food you think you know so well, it’s game changing. Of course, success is always varied and it takes some mighty smart and talented chefs to get these wacky combinations just right.

Danny Bowien burst onto the NYC food scene when he opened his Lower East Side outpost of his San Francisco hit Mission Chinese. The food is mostly Szechuan-influenced but with lots of original and inventive touches. The explosive Kung Pao Pastrami combines the spicy flavors of Chinatown with the smoky, garlicky beef of the Jewish Lower East Side. Loaded with roasted peanuts, peppers, celery, lots of spicy chili, and that amazingly tender pastrami, this is a mind-bogglingly good dish. It’s just amazing nobody thought of it before. Price: $12

MISSION CHINESE
154 Orchard Street (between Stanton and Rivington Street),
Lower East Side
(212) 529-8800
missionchinesefood.com

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For my second collaboration with Midtown Lunch, I went in search of a traditional Easter meal. And I thought Lan Sheng, a popular Chinese restaurant in Midtown might be a good place to start. Not everybody agrees with me. Check it out in my newest video.

Special Thanks:

lanshengrestaurant.com
fieldingonline.com
claywillia.ms


Category: Video

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