Red Farm - Add to your list of "sure bets".
Had dinner Friday night at Red Farm (located on Hudson in W Village). Knew nothing about the place except for viewing the menu prior to going. Small place with a 2 x 4 person booths, 4 x 2 person booths, 4 seat bar, 1 x 8(?) person community table in the window, and 1 x 16 (?) person community table running center of room. Light colored wood, light and airy atmosphere, kind of country rustic farmhouse.
I would say the food was Asian inspired. Between me (a carnivore) and GF (a vegetarian) we had a good sampling of what they can do and it was all EXCELLENT. Started with a couple cocktails, one tequilla based with a bit of nice residual heat and a rum based punch that was nice and flavorful without being sweet. Had some apps (or starters as they called them) of curried tofu, and another of smoked cucumbers. GF loved the tofu, I did not try it because I had a lot of food coming. The smoked cucumbers were not what I was expecting but turned out delisious regardless. Served in a liquid with some microscopic chilis and jalepenos and a great smoky flavor that didn't over power anything, really nice heat to them.
I then had the "dim sum" of crispy duck and crab (4) that came with a spicy curry/eggplant dipping sauce. They were made to resemble sting rays by using the claw of the crab as the "spoon" with tail. These were quite tasty and very original, only drawback is the crab claw shell makes it a careful bite.
For mains I had a grilled marinated rib steak, I have stayed away from beef for about 4 years and haven't had a real, straight forward steak in a long time but this sounded too good to miss when the waitress told me about it, I was right to go for it. It was delisious, perfectly cooked, marinade highlighted the flavor instead of masking it. It was massive, and it was great. Baby bok choy came with and I'm a sucker for bok choy.
GF had an unusual main, it was steamed sweet pea shoots with waterchestnuts, she liked it alot, I agreed. Big chucks of naturally sweet chestnuts.
Only coffee and tea to finish, very full.
Service was extremely friendly and helpful, would (and will) return and recommend.
*Only thing to keep in mind, we went very early (5:00) because we had something in the neighborhood to get to but by 6:30 it was full up.
Glad to hear you enjoyed your grilled marinated rib steak main course. We went a few days ago, had several of the same dishes you did and mostly enjoyed them. (I especially agree that the pea shoots with water chestnuts, curried tofu and smoked cucumber dishes were good.) I wasn't a huge fan of the soup dumpling filling, though the "skins" on them were gorgeously thin and translucent.
Based on your review, Pookipichu's review (which scoopG helpfully linked to) and my own experience, I'm guessing that the menu is hit or miss (as at so many restaurants) and how well one likes the restaurant probably depends on one's luck of the draw in selecting dishes.
Anyway, I'll do a real writeup eventually. Thanks for posting about your experience! I enjoyed reading.
I'm glad if others have had good experiences. My meal might have been the result of first week jitters in the kitchen.
The skin of the soup dumplings I had were unusually thick considering how nice they are at Chinatown Brasserie. Perhaps the situation has been remedied, understandable considering Red Farm's lineage.
I posted my review, because I know that restaurants read them. I believe in the team of Joe Ng and Ed Schoenfeld, they have ability in spades. They just need to fix some consistency issues and minor menu tweaking. The oversauced oversalted short ribs and peanutty 3 chili chicken were big fat misses.
380 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012