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Best Foodie spots in the Village (E&W) and Soho area

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I am going to be in New York on business in a week or so and I am looking for some more adventurous eats while in town; tripe stew, pig's head, beef heart...anything of that ilk that is fabulously tastey and not stupid expensive.

I was thinking about Yakitori Toto, for example, or maybe Tia Pol; I really enjoy small plates because I can tast more without gorging myself.

I'd love to hear what you all would suggest!

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  1. Hmmm, most adventurous, eh? Are you willing to go out to Queens or Brooklyn? If so, definitely post on the Outer Boroughs board. If you're OK with more experimental stuff like molecular gastronomy, try Tailor or WD-50. p*ong also does desserts with savory elements. Off the top of my head, I think you'd like Casa Mono, Babbo, Blue Ribbon Brasserie, Momofuku Noodle Bar or Momofuku Ssam Bar...

    Brains:
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/488444

    Bone marrow:
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/488595

    Offal in NYC:
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/493964
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/456470

    Rare ethnic restaurants:
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/382942

    Best charcuterie:
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/478378

    2 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Thanks Kathryn. Casa Mono and the other places look great...just the sort of thing I was looking for!

      1. re: alitaido

        A place that was not mentioned in these threads were Hakata Tonton, specialized in tonsoku (pig's feet).

        Momofuku, Yakitori Totto, Casa Mono and may be The Monday Room got to be my favorite places for offals as small plates. Babbo is great but not really small plates per se.

    2. Try the pigs ear at the Spotted Pig. Delicious. Lot's of other yummy food there as well, although I reccomend going at lunch to avoid the crowds.

      1 Reply
      1. re: prdct

        which of these places are cheap/inexpensive... sounds like they are all fancy places. i dont mind eating these kinda of meats at hole in the walls/ethnic joints. anybody?

      2. they make a good pig's head sandwich at resto but thats a bit more north in murray hill...

        degustation is a good spot for a solo diner or with another guest. you eat at a bar with the chef serving you. i wasnt ridiculously impressed with my meal there but the recent reviews make me think i may need to revisit the place. if they have the shortribs stuffed squid...do yrself a favor and try it.

        artichoke pizza is the new favorite spot on 14th. lines are long and buzz is high but their squares are insane.

        soto on 6th ave is a very interesting and delicious cooked japanese spot. steamed lobster with sea urchin...that sort of thing...very delicious.

        gottino on greenwich between 6th and 7th ave is a newish italian wine bar. excellent bull pate and assorted meats and cheeses...i like.

        1 Reply
        1. re: sam1

          I just wrote a glowing review of Degustation and can't say enough about it - AMAZING. It is "small plates" - my brother and I tasted 13 different dishes - I think it would fit the bill for you perfectly! I heard about the short rib stuffed squid but unfortunately it wasn't on the menu this time. The foie gras is the current must-have - OMG, it was SO good!

        2. To chime in with a few lower cost options --- try Grand Sichuan in the East Village for tripe and tongue in chili, Elvie's for duck fetus eggs (balut), Pistahan for blood stew, Restaurant Florent for boudin noir, Pardo's for beef heart, Despaña for a taste of morcilla and then Mercat for more morcilla. For tripe stew, you could certainly get a bowl of flaczki at Little Poland, but there's better soup in Greenpoint or any of the Latin luncheonettes scattered in neighborhoods across the city.

          1 Reply
          1. re: JungMann

            Great choices. That reminds me, I actually like Szechuan Gourmet's tripe and tongue appetizer (cold) a lot! There are some pretty adventurous things on the menu there: frogs, duck tongues, fish head, pig intestine, jellyfish, thousand year old egg.

          2. Degustation in the E.Village. You can get your sweetbreads, bone marrow (foam) and more. And it is small plates and perhaps the best dining experience in NYC.

            http://always-eating.blogspot.com/

            1. Thank you all for the great suggestions! Exactly the sorts of things I was looking for...

              1. My partner and I ate at both Yakirori Totto and Kuma Inn last week and we liked Kuma Inn much better. Kuma Inn isn't fantastically adventurous in terms of what is in the dishes (not as adventurous as Totto that's for sure) BUT the food is small plates and fabulously tasty and not stupid expensive.
                I discovered sweet potato shochu at Yakitori (if you go, order some--I ordered it straight instead of in a cocktail with fresh juice--it is DELICIOUS) and liked it so much that I bought a bottle at a liquor store to bring to Kuma Inn (it is BYOB). Shochu tasted great with the filipino food at Kuma.
                At Yakituri--the fried cheddar cheese sticks were so great and the goya chips and the desserts apricot flan and a special red brean soup were the standouts.
                At Kuma, everything was fantastic. Make sure to try the garlic rice.

                8 Replies
                1. re: abud

                  I always enjoy the rice balls filled with chicken meatballs, pretty much all of the skewers except the Kobe Beef tongue (overly chewy and not very meaty), the tuna tartare and the fried chicken wings.

                  1. re: ginsbera

                    Yes, I don't eat meat so all of these were lost on me. I picked the place particularly for my boyfriend who loves meat and asian food. He had the chicken meatballs and the knee bone and thigh. As a meateater he also liked Kuma Inn better. But that could be because he is more of a pork man than a chicken man.

                    1. re: abud

                      Gotcha. I haven't been to the Kuma Inn so I can't compare it, all I know is that about 95% of what I've had at Yakitori Totto was delicious, haven't been in a few months though since I'm never in that area of Manhattan anymore.

                      1. re: ginsbera

                        I regretted not trying the tofu that they cook at the table. I think the menu said their tofu is homemade. Have you tried it? I also should say I loved the atmosphere at Totto. More so than Kuma (Kuma was packed and LOUD). At Totto they sat as right at the window and all the servers were so nice and helpful.

                        1. re: abud

                          I agree, the service and atmosphere at Totto is very nice. Peaceful yet bustling. In the handful of times I was there I did not try the tofu, not a huge fan of it. However, I'm sure it would be pretty good since I do believe it is homemade as you said. If you like tofu check out Kyotofu on 9th. I've only had dessert here, but oh my. Amazing what they could do with tofu and extremely delicious.

                          http://always-eating.blogspot.com/

                          1. re: ginsbera

                            Yes was just there recently!
                            Funny, the first time I went I loved the sakes and felt so so about the desserts. This time I loved the desserts and felt so so about the sakes. I guess that's the trouble with doing the tastings. You won't get the same results everytime. The desserts this last time were really great.

                            1. re: abud

                              Do they still offer the dessert pairing for like $12 or $15? What a great deal since I would just share that with my gf. I had heard they were not allowing sharing without an extra charge awhile back unfortunately.

                              1. re: ginsbera

                                Yes they do--for $12 or $14 something like that. We were a group of five and ordered one dessert tasting with one sake pairing. We also ordered ice cream assortments and another sake pairing. And shared all the sake. No sharing fees but perhaps because we ordered bucketloads of food and drink.