This is a quick round up of some of the mind bogglingly brilliant places my two sisters and I ate and drank at in New York earlier this month…

PDT

PDT is the hot-dog joint for grown-ups.  Accessed through a vintage phone booth within Crif Dogs, a fast food joint known for its deep-fried frankfurters, PDT (aka Please Don’t Tell) is a lot of fun.  Don’t be thwarted by the obstacles to getting inside: the tiny space, rules of beahviour, the fact the earliest you can make a reservation is 3pm on the same day, not to mention then actually finding the booth hidden inside a hot dog joint, just think of it as a grown up’s equivalent of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and you magically appear the other side and into the perfect little speakeasy.  It just works.  The staff were lovely and the cocktails were smashing.  Mixologist Jim Meehan (formerly of Gramercy Tavern and Pegu Club) clearly knows his stuff and likes to whip up unusual seasonal concoctions such as an Old Fashioned made from bacon infused bourbon and maple syrup. It’s a fun spot just make sure you leave time to eat at Momofuku Ssam Bar nearby afterwards…

PDT113 St.

Mark’s Pl. , New York, NY 10009
nr. First Ave.

Inside PDT

The Breslin Bar and Dining Room

We enjoyed a stonkingly good dinner at April Bloomfield’s latest gastro-grub outlet, The Breslin, an English style pub from the forces behind popular West Village gastropub The Spotted Pig and housed within The Ace Hotel which opened late last year on West 29th  St.  The staff wear t shirts and tattoos, the booths are dark and leathery, the tables covered in butcher paper.  There’s plenty to drink (a seven page wine list) but it’s the meat which meat is the main event here.   The protein heavy menu includes heart stoppingly unctuous terrines, crispy sweetbreads, ham, pig’s foot and steak.  We snacked on curly salty fried pork scratching served in little paper bags, then a Scotch Egg, followed by a small but perfectly formed intensely flavoured beef and stilton pie and the hit char-grilled lamb burger served with tangy feta and sweet potato triple fried chips and a pot of cumin spiked mayonnaise ($17). We failed to make room for puddings and judging by a quick snoop at some of our neighbouring tables this was an error.  Next time…

The Breslin Bar and Dining Room
Ace Hotel
20 W. 29th St.
New York, NY 10001

Momofuku’s Ssam Bar

For our last night in New York we opted for David Chang’s insanely popular Momofuku ssäm bar (“lucky peach” in Japanese), I was practically drooling with excitement having heard nothing but great things from the likes of Rene Redzepi and Heston Blumenthal (it’s #37 on the S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best list if you’re counting). The bar is casual and the food inventive: here Chang fuses Korean, Southern and Soul cooking with extraordinary results, his flavours really pack a punch.  You can’t book but we were lucky enough to nab a table by the kitchen, the room was throbbing with hungry chattering New Yorkers. The constantly changing menus display a familiar fondness for pork (“We do not serve vegetarian-friendly items,” says the menu at Momofuku Ssäm Bar) the menus revolve around country hams, raw bar items and “off cuts”. From Monday – Friday the ssäm bar serves an all-rotisserie duck menu for lunch.  Small dishes average about $10 and bigger dishes $12-26. The bar next door, Booker and Dax is open late but let’s face it, it’s all about the food. We had:

We had:

naked cowgirl oysters – ham powder, lime, satsuma
spanish mackerel – black garlic, strawberry, lime
steamed buns – pork belly, hoisin, cucumbers, scallions
bbq bun – crispy pork belly, coleslaw, smoked mayo
chili soft shell crab – avocado, tomatillo, mole
poached chicken – sticky rice, maitake mushrooms, spring onion
spicy pork sausage & rice cakes – chinese broccoli, sichuan peppercorn
tri-star stawberry sorbet – celery root, ritz crunch

Reservations are only accepted for the bo ssäm pork shoulder (serves 6-10 people) and the whole-rotisserie duck (serves 3-6 people)

Momofuku Ssam Bar
207 second ave @ 13th street
New york city
http://www.momofuku.com/restaurants/ssam-bar/

By Laura Tovell