A month ago, I had the pleasure of dining at Jung Sik Dang (정식당), the Korean fine dining restaurant opened by ex-Bouley alum Jung Sik Yim. Located in the old Chanterelle spot, previously one of my favorite French restaurants, the restaurant must have inherited some good food karma (but hopefully not business karma), because it was one of the best meals I’ve had this year. I was surprised it was so good, because prior to going, I’d read several negative reviews online. The crux of the negativity was that it wasn’t Korean enough, which after eating at Jung Sik, I’m baffled. Sure, the food doesn’t resemble anything from 32nd Street, Flushing, or my mom’s kitchen, but this isn’t your typical Korean restaurant. It’s elevated, modern Korean with a European finesse, but Korean nonetheless. MORE »
There’s a lot of reasons people like Locanda Verde. The restaurant is bright and airy. The staff is extremely good looking (if you’ve been to the restaurant, you’ve probably seen the younger, taller version of Javier Bardem behind the bar), and the clientele who swarm the restaurant at all hours of the day are just as attractive. On my last visit, the “angelic” Adriana Lima was sitting one table down from me and caused quite a stir. (One man stood entranced by her table for an outrageous amount of time.) However, the reason I love Locanda Verde is the food. The man behind the culinary magic is Andrew Carmellini, and I’ve been a fan since his A Voce days. Even at the posher A Voce, Carmellini never shied away from the bold or funky. The food was always elegant yet full of flavor. Locanda Verde is probably the opposite of what A Voce once was. It’s more casual, at times rustic, but still enormously delicious. MORE »
The Yankees are playing the Angels this Friday in the AL Championships. If you’re looking for a sports bar with good food (onions rings are to die for!) and killer cocktails (Dark & Stormy is gingeriffic!) in Manhattan, check out Warren 77. My post, Raising the Bar: Home Runs and Goals at Warren 77, is up at Serious Eats: NY. Go Yankees!
After reading Locanda Verde had “the best breakfast in New York” on Serious Eats, and being a fan of the current chef, Andrew Carmellini, last month I dragged a starving David crosstown for brunch. Naturally when we got there, the restaurant was closed, and after speaking to the doorman at the Greenwich Hotel, I learned Locanda Verde is not open for breakfast on the weekends. Major brunch FAIL! (For those interested, starting this Saturday, Locanda Verde is opening for brunch service, 11am-3pm. I’ll probably go in a few weeks, after the dust settles and the memory of the brunch fail dissipates.) I then considered venturing back east for brunch, but David looked near death from hunger, so we crossed the street and wandered into a curious restaurant with no signage, but with a large inviting door. Later from the menu we discovered we were in Smith & Mills. MORE »
I’ll be making this post short, because I don’t want to waste more time with Megu than I already have. Basically, I went to Megu New York last week because it was Restaurant Week (i.e. participating restaurants offer a 3 course prix fixe meal for $35) and had a very mediocre meal. And for those who’ll say, it’s because I had the food from the Restaurant Week menu and not the regular menu, that wasn’t the case. David, of course, stubborn as he is, refused to order off the Restaurant menu and ordered from the regular menu. In fact, had he not done so, I would have thought Megu wasn’t all that bad. Surprisingly, the non-Restaurant Week dishes were actually worse than the Restaurant Week dishes. It was quite bizarre.
In addition, interpret it as you will, but when we were given menus, the Restaurant Week menu was not given to us. It was after the waiter came to take our order that I had to ask if there was a Restaurant Week menu. When I did, he stuttered a bit, and then returned with two heavily creased menus. No apologies. Was it an honest mistake? I doubt it. MORE »