Half the fun of discovering a new restaurant is sharing it with people you know will enjoy it. As Rachael Ray’s resident restaurant guru, here’s an inside look at what I report back to Rach about some of my favorite restaurant finds and food experiences!
Sent: Friday, March 29, 2013 1:05pm
Subject: Some NYC Gems
Hey Rach -
While I love a place that gets hyped up, I also love a place that meets the hype. I had already been to the sister restaurant of Parm, called Torrisi, where I had eaten two extremely memorable sandwiches for lunch. So I was happy to check out their newest venture, Parm, which is more on the casual side (sidebar-they actually have a newer one that just opened called Carbone). I started with a side of Brussels sprouts that the server talked me into getting. I’m glad I did, because they were like a crazy addiction… and I got the last order! The homemade mozzarella sticks I added were fat, milky and crisp. For my sandwich, I tried the eggplant sandwich on a round roll. Parm lives up to the buzz on the street, so be sure to check this place out. P.S. On Sunday nights they shake things up a bit and do Chinese dinner.
From there, I walked over to the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop. I have loved what these guys are up to with their truck, so I was excited to finally get to the shop. I had the American Glob, a vanilla soft serve ice cream with pretzels and sea salt dipped in chocolate. Sounds disgusting, I know – and by disgusting, I of course mean totally insane! Anyway, I had them make me a half cone, because I was so full from lunch that I didn’t want to waste a full cone. Well, I should have gotten a full cone – there will always be room for more of this ice cream! Check out their new shop in the West Village, too.
I know that you’re a huge fan of what French Chef Mathieu Palombino does at Motorino Pizza in the East Village, so you’ll probably want to check out his Bowery Diner. It’s, well, a diner, but I mean that in a good way. I had a pretty solid French Onion Soup and a special of the night: Peconic Bay Scallops served with kimchi and preserved lemon. These are only available for a very short time of the year around November/December and are small, briny and tender. With an explanation like this, how could I not get them?! I also had some of the Bowery Burger, which has homemade pastrami and gruyere – it was pretty great. Bowery Diner reminds me of what Florent in the Meatpacking District used to be; and perhaps not coincidentally, Florent, himself was sitting at the table next to me.
And the sleeper of the bunch? Danji in the Hell’s Kitchen area. Holy smokes, this place was amazing! It’s a small restaurant that focuses on authentic Korean flavors, but flirts with classic techniques. On their menu, this translates into a “Traditional” side and a “Modern” side. I started with a just ever-so-sweet Pea and Edamame Soup and also picked at a trio of kimchi with cabbage, radish and cucumbers, while also nibbling at the Scallion Pancake with Korean Pepper. I then ordered the K.F.C. Wings – Korean Fire Chicken wings, that is – which featured honey, garlic, and four chilies in the sauce. They were spicy, crispy and really good. I had to try the Bulgogi Beef Sliders served with spicy pickled cucumbers and scallion salsa. Luckily these were all small plates (and I share with my neighbors, too!).
And that’s what’s on my plate!
248 Mulberry Street
Manhattan, NY 10012
Big Gay Ice Cream Shop
125 East 7th Street
New York, NY 10009
The Bowery Diner
Manhattan, NY 10002
346 West 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019
Andrew “Kappy” Kaplan loves food. A professionally trained chef, by day he runs Yum-o!, Rachael Ray’s charity focused on kids and cooking, and keeps special projects running smoothly for her. By night he hops course to course, place to place, all across the country. He’s Rach’s own personal dining guide! You can also follow Kappy on Twitter to see what’s On Kappy’s Plate in real-time!