'NoLita' on Serious Eats

Small Space, Small Plates, Big Flavors at Peix, Bar de Mariscos

The Spanish menu created by Mexican chef-consultant Ignacio Carballido (Cafe El Portal and Casa Mezcal) at Peix Bar de Mariscos is simple to the extreme—most dishes are nothing more than pristine seafood, a bit of olive oil, and some good technique—but compelling. It's easy to respect a chef who has the sense to let the ingredients do most of the work for him, letting their own creativity ride in the passenger seat. More

Uncle Boons: Traditional Thai Gets a Soho Spin

I've got to admit it: I did not like Uncle Boons the first time I went. At least, I thought I didn't. The staff was friendly as could be, the space was fun, I even made friends with some folks at the bar, but the food just seemed... off to me.

Things started fine with a Lon Jai ($10), a Thai version of a michelada that looks like a glass of sriracha with a peppered rim. The cold Singha beer bubbles up through the hot sauce and then—what's that?—coriander wafts up to your nose along with something more mysterious and musky. "It's salted pickled lime juice," the bartender tells me, as he puts a plate of their chopped lamb salad in front of me. Laab Neuh Gae ($14) comes on strong out of the gate, with an unmistakable lamb-y aroma and richness that makes you wonder, is lamb really the best choice for laab? It tasted heavy, fatty, not refreshing, until... wait a minute... Okay, suddenly I got it. Those slices of cucumber and pickled onion aren't just garnishes—their bracing sourness allows you to focus on the flavor of the lamb, not the fat. The dish, surprisingly, worked.

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New York: A Pleasant, Thin-Crust Surprise at Emporio

Shock, dismay, shame...let's just say it was quite the humbling moment when I realized we had yet to review—let alone try— the pies at Emporio. Not only is the modest, inviting restaurant located mere blocks from Serious Eats HQ, but we really, really like the place. The two Roman-style pizzas I encountered on a recent visit proved revelatory—if not on a city-wide scale, certainly on a how-did-I-not-know-this-was-in-my-neighborhood one. More

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