I know it has only been a month since my last restaurant update, but I had so much to add (and so little to say otherwise) that I couldn't resist posting another update. Check it out - in the month of September I visited Locanda Verde, Torrisi Italian Specialties, Pok Pok Phat Thai and Boulud Sud. And today we hit Red Farm after I saw on Eater that it was open for lunch starting today. I made an emergency phone call to Alex and cancelled our original lunch plans so we could check it out. I had a minor break from work (not enough to have time to plan and cook meals at home, but enough to make a few dinner reservations) and we went a wee bit crazy. We also crossed an item off my NYC bucket list last weekend - walking over the Brooklyn Bridge, which is something that I was particularly excited about (hence the picture above). We have been to Brooklyn, including DUMBO, a few times but somehow we have never visited or walked across the bridge. We were in DUMBO for the DUMBO Arts Festival on a beautiful Sunday afternoon and after eating lunch at No. 7 Sub in Brooklyn Bridge Park we couldn't resist walking the bridge.
Restaurants to Try in 2013
- Brooklyn Fare (still dying to go but it's totally impossible to get reservations and really pricey)
Locanda Verde Torrisi Italian Specialities and Parm (should also add Carbone and ZZ's Clam Bar)
- Empellon Cocina
- Pok Pok NY and
Pok Pok Phat Thai Biang Red Farm(the new UWS location opened today for lunch!) The Marrow
- Roberta's and Blanca
- ABC Cocina
Runners Up: M. Wells Dinette,
Pig and Khao, Sripraphai, Boulud Sud, Yunnan Kitchen, Red Rooster
Runner Up from 2012:
John Dory Oyster Bar
More after the jump!
Anyway, back to food. Of the meals we tried in September, I am hard-pressed to declare a favorite. But if I had to declare one, it would have to be Torrisi. I didn't take any pictures of our meal there because Alex frowns upon looking like a total tourist every time we go out to dinner, but a crappy picture of the menu from that night is included below. It's slightly wrong - we had some sort of fish rather than scallops, but you get the idea. My favorite things on the menu - the fresh mozzarella (mind-blowingly creamy and delicious - this is what all mozzarella should taste like) and the beefsteak tomato pie. They also served a really delicious rigatoni with eggplant and tomato and a lovely linguini with clam sauce. Yum, yum, yum. I can't wait to try their other restaurants. Between Pok Pok Phat Thai and Boulud Sud I have to declare a tie. I loved the kuaytiaw khua kai (crispy wide rice noodles stir-fried with chicken, cuttlefish, egg and scallions - pictured above). The phat thai and the hoi thawt (crepe with mussels, eggs, garlic, chive and bean sprouts) were both really good, but man I loved the kuaytiaw khua kai. Boulud Sud couldn't have been more different from Pok Pok Phat Thai (and I mean different in every way - food, atmosphere, location, price level), but I enjoyed my meal there for a number of reasons. First, I love the way the menu works out so that you can try a number of entrees, appetizers and plates that are designed to be shared. I also love that the menu combines Moroccan, Lebanese, Italian and Spanish flavors and yet it all works somehow. In one meal I had linguine with saffron, sepia and bottarga, jamon Iberico, octopus a la plancha and spiced lamb. The food was expensive, but well worth it. The only restaurant of the four that I didn't love was Locanda Verde. The food was fine and I liked the atmosphere, but the service was pretty lacking. I might try to go back for brunch and give it another shot, but I wasn't hugely impressed.
I know I haven't included Red Farm in this post (except to say that we finally made it) because I am planning on doing a whole post dedicated to just Red Farm. Red Farm serves a fun take on dim sum (the waitress today described it to us as Chinese tapas and meant to be shared, which made me want to shake my head at her) so there are a ton of dumplings and other small dishes on the menu in addition to the entrees. We steered clear of the entrees and ordered a bunch of dumplings and other small dishes. And since it was lunch time on the opening day and everyone else was taking pictures, Alex let me take a bunch of pictures. As a teaser - it was delicious. Easily my favorite new restaurant on the UWS.