The Flatiron District, named after its iconic wedge-shaped building, is always bustling, especially around lunch. But finding an especially good one in this busy office neighborhood can be more of a challenge than you'd think. With that in mind, we've compiled 14 of our favorite lunches in the area: budget-friendly sandwiches, filling noodle bowls, and some nicer sitdowns.
'aldea' on Serious Eats
Aldea's gianduja mousse is the rare dessert that has a multitude of interesting components and is still immensely satisfying.
"All of us wanted to do something, to give back, to help and feed people hit the hardest," George Mendes of ALDEA explains. "We thoughts about cooking and donating the proceeds to charity, but then we realized we wanted to take it one step further—to take those funds, rent a truck, and feed those in need." In the days and weeks following a fundraiser dinner, NYC chefs plan to rent a food truck and take turns driving to the hardest hit parts of the outer boroughs to cook hot food for the people who need it most.
"My friends were having pizza and I had to go home to eat cod. Little did I know I would revisit those ingredients in my later years as a chef." Aldea's Portuguese chef George Mendes chats with us about his journey from the child of poor immigrants to a celebrated Manhattan chef, and what flavors he picked up along the way.
I keep a running list of great rice puddings around town, and this version currently served at Aldea is high on it.
Last night ALDEA hosted the latest dinner in their guest chef series featuring the recipes and techniques of Aki Kamozawa & H. Alexander Talbot, the pair behind the modernist cooking blog (and book) Ideas in Food. The innovative menu was a fantastic display of restrained modern techniques and unexpected flavor pairings that came together in uniquely delicious ways.
Bar manager Brian Block has been in residence at Aldea for roughly two years, and the drinks menu highlights his finesse, featuring innovative flavor combinations and thoughtful updates on the classics. Block recently introduced a new fall cocktail menu that features a slew of perfectly autumnal drinks. Here's a look at a few of the fall-friendly offerings that you can sip at Aldea or make at home.
In this autumnal cocktail from Brian Block of Aldea in NYC, calvados pairs wonderfully with chai-infused sweet vermouth and apple cider foam.
Aldea's Brian Block makes this delectable variation on the classic Negroni, using Punt e Mes Italian vermouth, Aperol, and cocoa-nib infused gin.
Instead of using sweet vermouth in this variation of the Martinez, a combination of Manzanilla and Pedro Ximenez sherry maintains a comparable level of sweetness when mixed with maraschino liqueur. A subtle orange flavor brightens this savory fall cocktail from Aldea in NYC.
Damson gin liqueur adds a fresh new flavor to this pisco sour from Aldea in NYC.
Featuring ginger and sage, this herbal cocktail from Brian Block at Aldea in NYC is perfect for fall.
'Ninho' means nest in Portuguese, and the name's a nod to one of Brian Block's favorite beers, Hitachino White Nest beer. This cocktail also includes a distilled version of the beer. Blood oranges add a lovely color if you can find them.
Aldea 31 W. 17th St., New York, NY 10011; map); 212-675-7223; aldearestaurant.com Service: Precise and familiar Setting: Sleek modern room perfectly reflects the innovative and contemporary cooking. Compare to: Momofuku Ssam, Tocqueville, Casa Mono Cost:3 courses, $24.10 George Mendes...
"Fancy pants" doughnuts reside in higher-end restaurants, where the plates of fried dough might average $10. A higher price, to be sure—but one that factors in the cost of service and personal real estate at a classy establishment.
"If it's a good deal and ordinary dishes you're searching for, mosey on over for some very solid cooking." [Photographs: Kathy Chan] You will not find a true sense of Aldea's scope and potential in their newly launched lunch prix...
Pulque is made from fermented maguey nectar (maguey is a species of agave). You may recognize it from an episode of No Reservations when Anthony Bourdain tried it in Mexico—or you've spotted it next to Coors Light at a Williamsburg market. Younger people are rediscovering the drink that had fallen into grandpa domain over the last half-century.