Sunday, January 6, 2013

Last Weeks of 2012

456 restaurant
Solid Chinatown spot

weathers up
With two locations, Weather Up is a cocktail bar that serves up great cocktails and small bites. Like many cocktail bars, there isn't much staff so be prepared to wait. But the wait is worth it as the bar team prepares both classics and modern favorites. Sit at the bar to chat up the bar keep or cozy into a booth for a more private experience. 

ward 3
Just a few blocks away from Weather Up, Ward 3 is a cocktail bar in Tribeca that seems a bit more lively. People aren't quietly talking here, but the integrity of the cocktails are that of a good speakeasy. Order a classic or tell the bartender what you like and watch them at work. 

Love the old New York vibe. Definitely a bar worth checking out if in the Gramercy Park area. 

momofuku noodle bar 
Ippudo closed early on a day that i had a ramen craving so I headed over to Momofuku Noodle Bar for a delicious bowl of ramen. Start with pork buns made with super tender pork belly, shitake, scallion, cucumber and a sweet hoisin sauce. Move on to a bowl of ramen whether its momofuku signature ramen-- pork belly, pork shoulder, and poached egg or one of their other selections like their smoked miso chicken. 

I like the atmosphere at Momofuku because its not a dark basement like other ramen spots. Although that secret, underground setting is awesome--sometimes its nice to have some natural night shine in. Grab a seat at the main bar where the chefs prepare your food or sit by the window and people watch on First Avenue (It often feels therapeutic on a rainy day) Also the music selection is always pretty awesome whether its the Red Hot Chili Peppers or Nas. Momofuku keeps the authenticity of a great ramen shop through its flavorful food; but adapts it to New York City's urban community. I think its a spot everyone should check out atleast once. 

In the winter, I think its safe to say I go here every 2 weeks. 

salvation taco
It was kind of surprise to everyone when April Bloomfield opened Salvation Taco in the Pod 39 hotel on the east side of 39th Street. Not only is it a weird part of town, in a weird hotel; but its a Mexican concept! What does April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman-- partners of the Spotted Pig, Breslin, and John Dory know about Mexican fare? Go to Salvation Taco and she will show you! Bloomfield collaborated with Roberto Santibanez of Brooklyn's Fonda to keep somewhat authentic while using her own style. Her food done though a traditional Mexican lens. 

The food is quite good. A bunch of us went for lunch so we thought it was only right to order everything on the menu. We started with their "Snacks" section which had spicy beer nuts, crispy pig ears, ceviche verde con chicharones, tomatillo/jicama salad, pork belly/pineapple salad, and chips/guacamole. We progressed into the tacos. Roasted cauliflower with curried crema, skirt steak with pecan/chopotle, and lamb breast on 'naan were all really good. I think the Moroccan lamb was a table favorite. Next we got Tortas--Mexican sandwiches. Grilled lamb tongue, braised short rib, confit chicken thigh, and seared saichicha all were packed with flavor. The best part of Salvation Taco is the prices. The most expensive menu item is a $9 torta while all the tacos are $3. 

Although the space is a bit strange, Salvation Taco is 
definitely worth trying. Expect the same "want a beer" service and you'll be in for a nice treat. 

Photos by Serious Eats*

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