NYC was my home for 7 years. Every time I visit the U.S., I hop on the Boston-NYC Chinatown bus to visit friends, breathe in the city and eat. I was recently in NYC for a two day trip. Here are some food highlights and lowlights of my trip:
The first of David Chang’s growing empire, I always find time to stop by for a meal. I’ve eaten just about everything on the menu. This time I decided to eat light and had the shitake buns to start. Layers of grilled mushrooms, crisp cucumbers, hoisin and scallions stuffed into fluffy pockets of starchy goodness are outrageous. I moved on to the smoked brisket with Korean rice cakes, Tuscan kale and fried egg. Yellow liquid oozed over the heap of tender meat, chewy rice pillows and hearty kale. The rich and sweet combination is exquisite.
First time vistors, don’t miss the pork buns and momofuku ramen (pork belly, pork shoulder, poached egg).
171 1st Ave
Nicky’s Vietnamese Sandwiches
There’s no shortage of Vietamese Sandwich shops in Manhattan. I nipped in for a quick bite at Nicky’s in the East Village and ordered the pork chop sandwich and Vietnamese iced coffee. Five minutes later, a crusty toasted baguette with grilled sliced meat, pickled carrots, cucumber, cilantro and mayo arrived at my table. Spicy sauce, tender pork, and bright coriander compliment the tangy crunchy vegetables; fresh, fast and satisfying.
If you’re not a fan of sandwiches, try the summer rolls and grilled pork chop over rice.
150 East 2nd St; 212-388-1088
Family Recipe opened its doors in September. Chef /Owner Akiko Thurnauer offers fresh, seasonal dishes in a sleek modern atmosphere.
The heritage pork belly buns were a divine appetizer, moist and succulent. We ordered the lemon grass arctic char wrapped with cedar wood and slow-cooked grass fed short ribs as our main plates. The fish was perfectly cooked but was bland. The ribs were tough and chewy. They were served in a hot cast iron bowl full of nutty, satiating sticky, multi grain rice.
I had high hopes for this Lower East Side, Japanese fusion restaurant. Unfortunately, it fell short of my expectations.
Cost: Moderate231 Eldrige Street; 212 529 3133