In the last few summers, New York's greenmarkets have exploded in popularity. And in addition to the farms selling fresh produce, a number of excellent bakeries have become regular attendees. One fast-growing spot to check out is Las Delicias.
Birria—Mexican goat stew—is a rare treat in New York City, a blip on our culinary radar worth hunting down. So when we spotted the dish ($10, weekends only) on the menu at Real Azteca, whose heaping enchiladas michoacanas we featured on Bronx Eats two weeks ago, we knew we would have to investigate. It is, after all, what we believe to be the only regularly available bowl available in the borough.
Milk Bar fans get excited: as part of the New York Culinary Experience, pastry chef Christina Tosi gave a step-by-step class on making her famous crack pie ("it named itself") and cereal milk. We documented the whole process, complete with all of Chef Tosi's tips and tricks.
Our buddy Liza de Guia of Food Curated profiled co-owner and ice cream-er Sutheera Denprapa in the video below, which covers her introduction to ice cream in America and her attachment to the flavors in Thailand she remembers most.
The scallion pancakes at Legend are some of the best I've had of late, though they come with an opinion about what scallion pancakes should be.
News bites on New York restaurants from around the web.
Wylie Dufresne's new venture Alder—his first since wd~50—is a subtler place, casual in its setting and more reined in. Dufresne is a master of the baroque—you don't make noodles out of seafood without dreaming big—but he also knows restraint. He has stayed with wd~50 for a decade, an eternity in today's New York restaurant years, avoiding television fame or branded pasta sauces so he can keep to his work. This new restaurant (with executive chef Jon Bignelli) and bar (director Kevin Denton) takes the best of that studied creativity and deploys it with great care.
Ambitious but unfulfilling small plates restaurants are a dime a dozen these days, so leave it to Dufresne to school them on how it's done. Because Alder may be the very definition of a great small plates restaurant. It's fun here. You can drink well. The food is exciting even when it's not perfect. And you can eat to feel nourished, not just entertained. People have been calling Alder a "pub," which is wrong both for pubs and for Alder, but the restaurant makes a strong case for better living, and drinking, through chemistry.
Sao Mai is my far and away my favorite Vietnamese restaurant within walking distance of my home, and it might be even be my favorite in Manhattan, period. Just like the best Vietnamese restaurants in Chinatown, Sao Mai has a no-frills, stripped-down dining room with brisk service that offers flavors that are bright and vibrant. With its arrival in the East Village, I have stopped heading down to Baxter Street to Nha Trang or New Pasteur (now Phó Pasteur) for my phó fix.
I can count on one hand—if that—the number of times I've had a still-crisp eggplant parm on a hero. But that's fine by me so long as we adjust our expectations for a successful sandwich. If you like the idea of breaded eggplant spread with sweet tomato and milky mozzarella, the version at Rosario's deli in Astoria ($6.50 on a roll, $5.50 on a roll) is probably up your alley.
Sue Torres has held Suenos at a level of success for ten years, and she hasn't opened a second restaurant anywhere else at any time. Instead, she has the kind of faith in her staff that only comes with a long restaurant run, so that she can sometimes leave the kitchen to take an unrelated cooking class or go on a hike, where she says much of her creativity stems. We talked with her about her introduction to Mexican cooking and where she thinks the cuisine is going in New York.
It was only two years ago that Nafi's Condiments and Sauces was launched in New York City, but the journey that led to Nafissatou Camara's jumpstarting her business began many years before.
When I asked BLT Steak's chef de cusine Bradon Reardon to pick out his two favorite steaks, he chose the bone-in New York strip and the American Wagyu top cap.
As the so-named Sugar Rush Food Nerdling, it's my job to investigate New York desserts that people may be curious about. This, for good or bad, includes cronut knockoffs, all the more so when they come from an already credible bakery we love.
"We're trying to tell a story of distillation in our drinks and on our menu," says Benjamin Wood, bartender at the newly opened TriBeCa spot, Distilled NY. The story, Wood says, is about "that process of starting out with one thing and transforming it into something new."
While I wouldn't call the Balkan pies at Bensonhurst's Burektore Illyria bad by any means, I'm not in any rush to go back for them. But I would return for the cevapi.
Summer is in session at Smorgasburg, and with the increased crowds come a new set of obstacles to overcome. Chiefly, adjusting the menu to accommodate the heat, something that Noah immediately realized he'd need to do. Beginning vendors need to consider how their menu items will be received over the course of a season, not just the first few weeks of spring.
This week on Ask the Critic: You've heard about cronuts, Dominique Ansel's croissant-doughnut hybrid. Are they worth the line?
NYC's top source for organic, non-GMO whole grains and beans recently suffered a fire that has crippled its production, and unless it rebuilds quickly, it runs the risk of going under. Here's how you can help.
Debunking the DOH, red sauce summer traditions, onion rings at Shopsins, and more. Check out the top posts of our week.