Khao soi is having a moment
All of a sudden, an obscure Burmese-influenced soup from northern Thailand is everywhere. In traditional khao soi—a Chiang Mai lunch specialty—pliant egg noodles nestle with stewed chicken legs in a bowl of turmeric-tinted curry, thick from lush coconut milk and a heavy chicken stock. It’s topped with a tangle of fried noodles and brightened by contrasting accompaniments, like fermented mustard greens and a lime wedge. Ready to slurp? Road test these bowls:
Uncle Boons Co-chefs and owners Matt Danzer and Ann Redding’s buzzy rendition features hand-rolled egg noodles and a side of chili jam. 7 Spring St between Bowery and Elizabeth St (646-370-6650, uncleboons.com). $20.
Pig and KhaoTop Chef-er Leah Cohen finishes her version with poached chicken thighs, and house-ferments the mustard greens. 68 Clinton St between Rivington and Stanton Sts (212-920-4485, pigandkhao.com). $16.
Pok Pok Ny Andy Ricker’s delicate broth is made from gingery curry paste and freshly squeezed coconut milk. 127 Columbia St between DeGraw and Kane Sts, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn (718-923-9322, pokpokny.com). $16.
The dough also rises
Bread went big this year, with thoughtful new loaves taking the place of dull baskets. The humble starch has landed a spot at tasting-menu restaurants like Luksus, which serves a warm, gorgeous sourdough midway through the meal. And humdrum free bread plates have given way to indulgent rolls worthy of a price tag at downtown hot spots such as Pearl & Ash (which offers a smoky, moist loaf with maple-sweetened schmaltz butter) and Piora (where the triple-proofed monkey bread is accompanied by seaweed butter and peperoncini-rosemary lardo).
The cronut isn’t the only mouthwatering bite mixing up influences. Other joints around town are also mashing different dishes together.
You might think you’ve been transported to this restaurant’s namesake city once you step inside and smell the aroma of meat sizzling on the grill. The menu full of traditional Argentine dishes—and plenty of beef—is a carnivore’s dream come true. Dig into empanadas stuffed with fillings like ham and cheese or mozzarella and onions ($7.95 for two) to start the meal. Chorizo sauteed with onions and peppers ($9.95) or sweetbreads in a white wine and shallot sauce ($19.95) might tempt you, too. If you stick to the grill for your main course, you’ll choose from every cut of beef you can imagine or a mixed grill of short ribs, skirt steak, sausage, blood sausage and grilled sweetbreads ($50.95). You’ll probably want some papas a la provenzal, or fries with garlic and parsley (included with entrees or $5.95 for a side). Finish the night with flan ($7.50) or a crepe topped with dulce de leche and a scoop of vanilla ice cream ($11).
Venue says: “Lunch Special 20% off Monday-Friday 12-4. Enjoy the most affordable wines and best service in all of Manhattan!”