Manhattan Whirlwind Reviewed
After two quick runs thru the city that never sleeps, I have this to report...
1. Bar Pitti for lunch (I saw Mario Batali dining there so it must be good!) Get the Rigatoni Pitti. I read where someone compared it to crack! Turkey sausage in a pink sauce...it doesn't even sound that good to me, but I tried it based on a friend's recommendation. I don't know much about crack, but I look forward to going back...for more Rigatoni that is. Awesome! I also read where service can be snooty, well to that I say, when a place is busy there's no time for diners to be dilly-dallying. Eat and go...tables must be turned...that's the name of the game...turn and churn.
2. KATZ since 1888! By far the best Pastrami I have ever tasted anywhere. Love that billboard out front too! Poor Emily...
3. Kelly and Ping - this asian place in the village or soho on Greene St is the bomb! and cheap too!
4. Cafe Noir - nothing super special here. It was ok, I guess. To tell the truth, I can't remember what I even ate, that's how memorable it wasn't!
5. The Sushi Joint at the Martime was excellent. Nice place! Very good quality too.
6. The next place's name escapes me. It's in the Lower East Side on the eastside of Rivington I beleive. Sch* and ***??? It's another place by a fairly famous french restauranteur team/family/guy. And although it's relatively new, they made it look old with aged white tile throughout. This place was good too! Sorry, maybe someone can help me out with the name? Hey, I was on vacation and name associations aren't my strength, especially when I cannot pronounce it!!!
Just for balance, I just have to reply and say that my experience (a couple months ago) at Kelly & Ping's was much different than yours. I've heard it's better at lunch, but we went for dinner and it was just awful. The rice was a terrible goopy mess, the meat super dry and tasteless and the noodles WAY overdone. Yes, it's cheaper than most of what you can find in SOHO, but the reason for that is the low-quality food and the poor service. The portions, however, are huge, and it has a somewhat nicer/hipper atmosphere than some places in Chinatown, so if you're looking for a cheap date place and a fascimile of "Asian" food, it's not going to kill you. But IMHO, you'd be better off trying for an actual Thai, Korean, Chinese whatever place either in Chinatown or K-town (or Queens).
Just my impression.
I'm surprised, but not totally surprised, to hear that. I did go for lunch. All was well. I guess, they could leave the rice and noodles on for too long come dinner? Though, I find that to be a major operational faux paux, I have seen where the earlier you go to certain places the better the quality is...so it's certainly not out of the realm of possiblities. I have never had supper there, so I really can't opine. As for the service slight, this is(at least at lunch) a counter service joint. So, you order at the counter, get your food, then sit down. How service could be poor in a place that offers NO table service is beyond me? Maybe that's what you are referring to? The fact that there is NO service? To the tables anyway...I am not sure how a place can have "poor service" when it doesn't offer service to begin with?
Interesting report, netmover. I have to say, I never go to Kelly & Ping's (I suppose the last time was more than 3 years ago). I live in the East Village, and it takes me just as much time to walk there as to get to Chinatown. It's really cheap? I thought it was a couple of dollars more per dish than the average Chinatown prices.
Hey, what can I say...I'm a tourist! It was a hell of a lot cheaper than most places I went to in the city and much cheaper than the prices down here in South Beach! I thought it was more Thai style than Chinese? Back to Chinatown...since you live nearby...I am always overwhelmed when I go down there! I am never sure where to eat. And after a couple dreadful experiences in Little Italy, I am a little gun shy to try any ole place. Where do you dine down there? Do you go to certain places for certain dishes? I remember getting decent dim sum down there 15-20 years ago, but I have no idea where now. Chinese was always one of my favorite cuisines when I moved down to MIA from upstate NY. After 20 years of Miami mediocrity, I have practically illiminated it from my diet. Your to die for dishes coupled with the names of the best establishments that serve them would be most appreciated.
You can start by looking at this thread:
In this thread, there is a meal report on New Green Bo and a list of suggestions of what to order at New Yeah Shanghai Deluxe from me:
New Yeah is my favorite Shanghainese restaurant in Chinatown. My favorite Cantonese restaurant is actually arguably slightly north of Chinatown, Congee Village:
The above thread includes specific recommendations of dishes, including a whole list from me.
Here's a meal report, with links to photos of dishes, on my favorite Malaysian restaurant in New York, Skyway:
And an earlier thread on Malaysian food, including a meal report from me on Skyway:
If you want recommendations of what to eat at Great NY Noodletown, that's a real Chowhound favorite. Just start a thread and you'll get loads of recommendations.
I guess if I had to pick favorite dishes off the top of my head (not including those at Grand Sichuan, which is not in Chinatown), in no particular order:
(1) Sandwiches at Banh Mi Saigon Bakery. The Banh Mi is great, but I think the Banh Mi Ga (with chicken) is about equally good and easier on my stomach.
(2) Seafood dishes at Skyway (Malaysian). Just get anything that has "spicy" or "aromatic" in its name.
(3) Ginger-scallion lo mein at Great NY Noodletown. Yes, believe it. It's simple and delicious.
(4) The lamb chops at Congee Village. Both of their renditions are delicious - oily, but tasty.
(5) The chicken with chestnuts at New Yeah Shanghai Deluxe, which is made with rice wine.
(6) The eel with black pepper, scallions, and sesame oil that's a special on the first page of New Yeah's menu. So flavorful.
(7) The House Special Chicken at Congee Village. Again, some will object that it is a little oily. Yes, I think it can be. And sometimes, it's a bit salty. But fragrant chicken with a large quantity of sliced roasted garlic - how could you go wrong?
(8) The squid and ginger congee at Congee Village - this is the soothing thing I want when I'm not feeling well, and it's still good when I am.
OK, I think I'll quit for now. See, it's your fault, you got me started! [laugh]