Bacon peanut brittle at the Redhead
The best new East Village bar snack: a mini mason jar of sweet, sticky peanuts tossed with crisp smoky bacon—because everything, as the menu puts it, is “better with bacon..
349 E 13th St between First and Second Aves (212-533-6212). $5.
Ma po tofu at Rai Rai Ken
The Szechuan specialty gets the liquid treatment here, with chewy noodles, crumbled beef and bean-curd bits in an addictive soy-sauce-based broth.
214 E 10th St between First and Second Aves (212-477-7030). $8.
McSorley’s Ale at McSorley’s Old Ale House
Molecular mixology, microbrews, biodynamic wines...sometimes you just want to keep your drinking simple. At ancient McSorley’s Ale House, you’ve got two options: dark ale or light. Both are easy drinking, and they don’t tax the brain.
15 E 7th St between Second and Third Aves (212-473-9148). Two for $4.50.
Snap peas at Degustation
A singular idea of a salad: offbeat (smoked lamb-belly bacon) yet approachable (crisp and sugary snap peas), delicately flavored (cool cilantro offset by hot wasabi) yet wonderfully savory (a broth made from idiazabal, a Basque sheep’s-milk cheese).
239 E 5th St between Second and Third Aves (212-979-1012). $9.
Aguacate + Mezcal at Macondo
Honey, Midori, agave nectar, mescal, lime juice, Cointreau and fresh avocado are blender-whirred into a sweetly lush, grass-green concoction.
157 E Houston St between Allen and Eldridge Sts (212-473-9900). $7.50.
Wylie dog at PDT
Jointly conceived with molecular gastronomist Wylie Dufresne, the weird and wonderful Wylie at PDT pairs a deep-fried dog with breaded, deep-fried mayo, tomato molasses, shredded lettuce and freeze-dried onions.
113 St. Marks Pl between First Ave and Ave A (212-614-0386). $5.
Lamb sausages at Terroir
Skip the cheese here. Instead, pair wines with sage-wrapped lamb sausages dunked in the deep fryer. They’re gloriously greasy, herbaceous and snappy—and an excellent drinking buddy.
413 E 12th St between First Ave and Ave A (646-602-1300). $7.
Crispy pigs’ tails at Momofuku Noodle Bar
These tasty morsels come sauced in a sriracha, pickled-pear and hoisin reduction. Don’t let the fact that you’re chomping on Wilbur’s curlicue deter you.
171 First Ave between 10th and 11th Sts (212-777-7773). $14.
Kizuna Nikkei Cuisine
Perhaps the first indicator that this Park Slope joint—a venture by owner Jacob Krumgalz and chef David DiSalvo (Blaue Gans, Wallse)—might not be your traditional steakhouse is the pop-forward playlist of Kygo and Calvin Harris that soundtracks the dimly lit space. With exposed brick and purple painted walls, along with mustard-yellow chairs, decor decidedly evokes the charm of a European bistro rather than a rustic chophouse. Yet despite its appearances, the restaurant’s effortless hospitality is anything but casual: well-groomed servers attend to tables under the watch of a blazer-clad manager, who rattles off recommendations for both meats and accompanying bottles of wine while greeting each and every guest who enters the door. Starters and smaller plates skew mostly toward solid takes on standard offerings such as tuna tartare ($14) and charred octopus ($16). The most creative of the bunch, a photo-worthy pork belly cotton candy ($13), is an indulgent treat of spun sugar wrapped around crispy Berkshire pork that smacks of a similarly caramelized Chinese roast pork. Yet, some miss the mark: an unfortunately unremarkable trio of rubbery pan-seared scallops ($14) is further hindered by a bland puree of potato leeks. Those craving seafood should opt instead for the larger plate of creamy lobster risotto ($23), with an ample half-pound of Maine crustacean crowning a bed of Arborio rice and rich Parmigiano-Reggiano sauce. It’s clear that the highlight of this operation, as it
Venue says: “Kizuna is NYC's first restaurant serving dishes from the latest Gastronomic sensation that hit Europe’s culinary Capitals “Nikkei Cuisine””