Where are the Noodles?
- Jim Leff
In our recent discussion of extinct and endangered foods (see the General Topics board), I just realized I missed one that's so dead it completely escaped my mind. At least it's dead here in NYC.
I challenge anyone to cite a single Manhattan restaurant that serves noodles as a side dish. I don't think there is one.
And that, ladies and gentleman, sums up The Problem.
The solution is to blow this town and head over to Pennsyvlania Dutch country. And I'm raring to go, having accumulated some primo tips for lesser-known eateries there. I posted an article about it yesterday (if you don't watch the "What's New" section of our home page, you'll miss good stuff like this!). Use link below.
Hey, big dog!
Last time I visited (a year or so ago) the Ukranian Home/East Village on Second Ave. bet. St. Mark's Place and 9th Street served home-made buttered noodles as a side dish.
But yeah, this delightful, hallowed practice is vanishing quickly.
BTW, in researching a book on World War II humor, I discovered today that the term "chow hounds" was used by 1944 to refer to "men always at the head of mess lines."
It's surprising how many words in common parlance originated in WWII.
re: Tom Steele
You nailed it. I had a nagging feeling there was one place out there, and that is indeed it. Many thanks!
Problem is I don't particularly love this restaurant. But noodles are noodles are noodles.
Thanks, too, for the citation, too. I certainly didn't invent the word as a noun (jazz musicians have used it for ages), but I think this site has added it to the language as a verb. If we can make it "stick", it'd be real chowhoundish of us...
Lespinasse serves astonishingly good homemade noodles, thick and broad and chewy, with its wonderful jarret de veau at dinner. (One of the things I love about the restaurant is the care it takes with grandmother dishes--roasted suckling pig, roast chicken, civet de lapin--as well as with bells-and-whistles four-star cuisine. A true chowhound's treasure--well, wealthy chowhound's pleasure anyway.)
Homemade noodles used also to be a specialty at Lutece, although I haven't been much lately, and flavored, toasted spaetzle is practically a fad.
I'd been meaning to go to Lespinasse, but everyone keeps telling me that I missed their great period (like five years ago).
Re: Lutece...the thought of noodles made by a cold (though talented) intellect like Eberhardt Mueller gives me chills. Though he's almost out of there, come to think of it. Maybe his replacement will be someone more befitting of Soltner's lineage...
re: Jim Leff
Lespinasse was undoubtedly great under Grey Kunz, who pretty seamlessly weaved Asian influences into his high-end French cooking. I may even like it better under the current chef Christian Delouvrier, whose cooking is more orthodox, granted, but also, to use chowhound diction, more ``soulful.''
Delouvrier is so obviously cooking exactly the food that he likes to eat instead of the food that he thinks will score him points with the food press that you can't help rooting for the guy.
I've said it here before, but I think Lespinasse's
$35 prix-fixe lunch is among the biggest bargains in New York.