Wednesday, 4 May 2011

New York eating

Chelsea Market
Some fond memories:

Seersucker in Smith Street Brooklyn for bourbon-black sugar pork with collard greens and duck breast (possibly the only two meals in NYC that were a normal size – it seems like the more you pay, the less you get). We had excellent coffee and ‘biscuits’ – more like square scones – for breakfast there one morning, too.

Hung.Ry in Noho for their Wednesday $15 hand-pulled organic noodle soup sets – massive bowls of oxtail and pork belly for us. Duvel was on tap – we were continually amazed at the Belgian beers on offer. Where would you find Duvel on tap even at a Euro-style bar in Melbourne, let alone at a Chinese restaurant?

Speaking of which, this was one high-alcohol reason we so loved the noisy, dark Vol de Nuit around the corner from where we were staying at the Larchmont in West Village, with its draught Chimay, Delerium Tremens and Leffe alongside moules frites. 

A $26 prixe-fixe at Perry Street, one of many Jean-Georges restaurants. There was a foamy amuse bouche, the name of which I couldn’t hear, an appetiser of burrata (seemed a bit like buffalo mozzarella). I had slowly-cooked Scottish salmon with white asparagus, while the GT had fried chicken with Meyer lemon marmalade and crispy black trumpet stuffing. Dessert was warm Valhrona chocolate cake and berry-mousse-topped carrot cake with pear-ginger sorbet. The sorbet was the best bit – I must have a crack at it.

 Our last night in New York, we went to Congee Village in Chinatown. The squid congee was a glutinous velvet gloop of barely perceptible rice-grains, and I wish I knew their trick. Six bucks brought us a massive cast-iron pot of it. We never really got our heads around the fact that food servings in America are so big most people consider it normal to split the main, or the entrĂ©e as they inexplicably call it, so we’d also ordered General So’s Chicken – the best I’ve ever had, in a golden mountain on a platter – and sundry ‘small’ dumplingy items that would have filled us on their own. A doggie bag was called for, and my squid congee before the six-hour flight early the next morning was a godsend, the only food possible until arrival in San Francisco. Except for the caramel-pecan cheesecake from Magnolia Bakery.

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