One of the greatest facets of Manhattan is the ability of one tiny island to encompass a global spread a people. Traveling through the various neighborhoods in the city, you can literally take a peek into the culture of hundreds of different countries, particularly their culinary traditions. When I visited New York City this November I went to my frequently visited eateries and also explored some different countries through a couple great new restaurants.
China-When you are in New York it would simply be a crime not go for dim sum. The Cantonese-style brunch may be the best form of breakfast out there (or a close tie with hot doughnuts and coffee). After sampling a couple different dim sum restaurants in Chinatown I found my favorite to be Nom Wah Tea Parlor on Doyers Street. While Nom Wah does not have cart service which is part of the dim sum experience the freshness of flavor of their shumai, dumplings, pork buns, etc. is beyond. Nom Wah also serves up Shanghai soup dumplings which are a hard commodity to come by.
Italy-New York City might host the largest enclave of Italians and their food is represented very well throughout the city. While the best style of pizza and pizza place within that style can be debated for days, when I am craving fantastic pizza in Manhattan Rubirosa Ristorante is these place to satisfy my pizza lust. Beyond pizza, Rubirosa has amazing pasta that is classic and delicious. For the pizza, the typical Hartman order is a large classic with burrata. This pizza is simple and highlights the best parts of Rubirosa’s pies-the sauce, crust, and exceptional cheese, what could be better?
Japan and Korea-As you can see from this post alone, Asian countries are also represented very well in New York. After obtainment of a coveted reservation, my family and I tried out Takashi. Takashi is a Japanese and Korean fusion restaurant featuring beef, and a whole lot of it. The restaurant is set up so each table has their own grill so you can cook all your own food or have a very experienced waiter step in for a few more complex preparations. Think Beni Hanna with fantastic food, no gimmicks, and every cut of beef possible. We had the tongue taster, sweetbreads, and ribs all unusual cuts of meat that contained their own unique flavor. Takashi is not for the faint of heart but if you love Korean BBQ and are looking for a delicate, sushi den-infused twist make sure to give this sizzling restaurant a try.
Portugal-While Louro is the Portuguese word for bay leaf, the cuisine at Louro touches a fleet of different countries. Dinner at Louro brought us traditional Portuguese Piri Piri Shrimp and more unexpected dishes. Standout plates included Uni with grapefruit, truffle, and tempura mezuna, and Octopus Bolognese. In the first dish, the silky uni (sea urchin) was perfectly cut by the tangy grapefruit. The combination of textures in this seafood dish was like nothing I had ever experienced, the buttery uni mixed so well with the citrus texture and tempura crunch, creating bites that challenged and excited the palette. The Octopus Bolognese was quite an interesting take on the classic Italian dish and added the fishy element you would find in traditional Spanish and Portuguese dishes like Squid Ink Pasta. The saltiness of the octopus balanced the rich noodles and bold, rustic tomato sauce.