Thursday, February 23, 2006


A friend emailed me yesterday, and posed this question:
"can you recommend some really cool places in Soho/Tribeca etc for
dinner on Friday night? Not too flashy but really good food and a bit
of an insider place?"

Here was my reply:

- I have always wanted to go to 5 Ninth, address is, yes, 5 Ninth Ave, in the Meatpacking. Same guy who runs that amazing Malaysian restaurant (Fatty Crab), where I had the most extraordinary brined and fried duck, but 5 Ninth is more upscale and sceney, SE-Asian-influenced cuisine, really creative, cool chef.

- In Tribeca, the Harrison is a good standby, though not too super hip really.

- I love Barbuto, on Washington and 12th St in the West Village. Italian/mediterranean food in a great industrial space, very buzzing and fun. Every time I go there I seem to drink more wine than I possibly should.

- Blaue Gans is a brand new Austrian place in tribeca, owned by the famous Austrian chef from Wallse and Danube [wait, must fact-check this], but this spot is more casual, in the old le zinc space on Duane. supposed to be good. you can find some new reviews online.

- Bellavitae, on Minetta Lane, tiny little street off 6th ave in the Village. Great food, feels like a secret space, the menu is kind of an Italian small plates concept, it's owned by a guy who is an Italian specialty food importer, so the ingredients are ultra fine. (When i got a dish of nothing but fresh radishes and salt it came with a small bowl of olive oil that they described as "the Rolls Royce of olive oils" and it was fucking divine.)

Upon receipt of this list, my friend emailed me back and said:
"i sent my brother your list of places and he was really psyched.
thanks a lot! he just started to date some girl and, in a
flurry, is taking her to NYC for the weekend. crazy! so your
recommendation just may be helping him score this lady."

Least I can do.

Tips & Tricks

I want to compile my own list of tips and tricks, a guide to eating well and having fun in New York City. I made a funny, doodly, hand-drawn list for my friends Marisa and Ian when they were visiting last December; they were so happy with my recommendations that I think I should make a full-fledged NYC guide for prospective visitors! I will compile this bit by bit, we shall see how it goes...