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Seth Gordon

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  • Location: New York, NY
  • Last bite on earth: Scallops in Spice Bread Consomme (WD-50)
    Preserved Duck & Taro Soup (Fuleen's)
    Duckling w/ Seasonal Fruit (Henry's End)
    Celery Sorbet (Del Posto)
    Raspberry Souffle with Black Truffle Gelato (Falai)

Win Two Tickets to Choice Eats, March 25th

What's Your Favorite Ramen in New York?

You couldn't hold this article off for a month until after Ivan opens, let him compete?

Anyway, I kinda like Ganso these days, but I ain't no connoisseur.

What's Your Favorite Ramen in New York?

Win Two Tickets to Pig Island, September 7th

My favorite pig dish of all time had to be WD-50's pork belly in Swiss cheese consommé, their little take on a ham & cheese sandwich. It was back in the early days of the pork belly craze, before that ingredient became a ubiquitous (and often terribly prepared) menu staple. The belly was meaty, dense and tender, and the accompanying flavored (rye speatzle, and some kind of riff on mustard) brought the "sandwich" together. Waiting for it to show up on their "vault" menu...

A Tour of Bay Ridge with Allison Robicelli

Leske's is great, but overlooking Nordic Delicacies as well is a shame! Other than Leske's, the last holdout from the old Nordic days of the neighborhood. And fantastic homemade Sylteflesk (Norwegian head cheese) as well...

Win Two VIP Tickets to STREETS International, May 1st

Very little makes me happier, stumbling home slightly buzzed, than the sight of the 24-hr Tacos Morelos cart on 2nd & A. Nothin' fancy, just solid, cheap goodness. Even if I've already had dinner... there's often still room for a taco. Or two.

Win Two Tickets to Taste of the Lower East Side, April 25th

I'll go with WD-50. I'm not thrilled with the current tasting-menu-only direction, but still the best cocktails in the neighborhood, and without them we wouldn't have any number of other post-Wylie places.

Win Two VIP Tickets to Cochon 555 on February 10th

Some years - maybe even a decade - ago at Henry's End in Brooklyn Heights there was a special that showed up on the menu one night, which we never saw again. Two big ol' meaty chops stuffed with andouille sausage, then wrapped in bacon. Pork stuffed with pork wrapped in pork. A simple corn salsa came with it, perfectly sweet and acidic to cut the richness of the main dish. This particular dish presaged the swine craze that seemed to envelop the world of hipster cuisine shortly after.

Win Two Tickets to the Village Voice's Choice Eats on March 19th

It's tempting to go with fancy-pants Del Posto... but I'm much more excited to see what Chef Amanda from Dirt Candy is going to throw down for the event...

Super Bowl Party Giveaway: Baby Back Ribs and Pulled Pork

Hmm... combination suckling pig roast / lobster boil in my friend's back yard in CT, back in '98 or so. Lobster rolls dressed with smokey lard & pulled pork = magic.

Where to Eat Lunch in the Essex Street Market

Shopsin's seats, like, 20+ people, not 5. There's five seats at the bar, maybe, but there are a half dozen tables or so as well.

Win Two Spots at Dinner by April Bloomfield and Paul Virant, Sunday October 21st

I'd have Rick Bayless put together a tasting menu of classic Mexican dishes, each one paired with a re-interpretation of the dish by Wylie Dufresne.

Yunnan Kitchen: Lighter, Brighter Regional Chinese Comes To Manhattan

Not to be picky, but I would just quickly point out that neither Yunnan Kitchen nor Mission Chinese are in the East Village, whose Southern border is Houston St.

Bottom Shelf Beer Olympics: Holland (Heineken vs. Grolsch)

For Canada it's gotta be a three-way-dance: Labatt's v. Moosehead v. Molson Golden.

Where To Eat Great Sea Urchin In NYC

Surprised nothing at Soto made the list, given Chef Soto's (justifiably) legendary status with the critter...

Kristalbelli, Showy Korean BBQ Without Smoke or Soul

Forget what "Premium" means in relation to beef. "Wagyu" is the far more questionable term.

"Wagyu" means "Japanese Cattle" - that's it. It doesn't mean a particularly good breed, like Kobe, it just means the cow spent its life in Japan.

And of course, since the US doesn't allow importation of Japanese beef, anything called "Wagyu" on a menu here... isn't. Sadly, since the US doesn't follow many labelling laws from other countries, anyone can label any beef "Wagyu" (or even "Kobe") if they feel like it. There is no legal definition of the term.

I wouldn't hold the restaurant responsible for the misleading labelling, though - chances are they don't know themselves, and purchased it from a butcher / farm where it was labelled as such.

All that aside, even for top-quality beef (of whatever origin) - those prices are ridiculous, especially for a cut that hasn't been dry-aged or even seasoned.

AHT Giveaway: Case of Pat LaFrieda Burgers

That's a lot of beef. Some would hit the grill, served up with my homemade sauces - my uni aioli would kill with them. Some I'd turn into sausages (I'm feeling Nordic - maybe with juniper & caraway) - and some would go into... cheeseburger mac & cheese! Because we can't be all fancy-pantsy every night, eh?

Memorial Day Grilling Giveaway: Win This Delicious Cap of Ribeye

extra-large long-stem strawberries, halved

We Chat With: Chef Susur Lee

Oh lord, how many different excuses is he going to come up with for his failed venture here? Last time he claimed it was because his cuisine was too "avant-garde" for us or some other nonsense.

Now it's "vibe" - seriously, Susur, WTF does that even MEAN? We like restaurants of all ambiences and styles here. If you've got good food at a price people think is fair for what is in a decent location (or sometimes even not in a decent location) - we tend to support it.

It's simple, Susur:

1. You had a terrible location with nearly no street signage
2. Your prices were too high for what you were serving
3. Your food simply wasn't adventurous or exciting enough, especially given the hype surrounding your arrival

Maybe if he actually HAD served snake soup, or whatever, it might have drummed up a little interest. But he served boring food dressed up like it was something fancy, with the occasional odd ingredient (I dunno, pennywort) that didn't really add anything to the given dish. The fact is, every dish I had there I've had the equivalent or better than elsewhere, and usually for a lower price. Dude needs to accept that it wasn't that NYC that didn't "get" him, he just didn't "get" NYC.

Serious Eats Neighborhood Guides: Tom Colicchio's West Village

Wylie Dufresne's Lower East Side
Marc Forgione's Tribeca
Brad Farmerie's Nolita
Anita Lo's West Village
Marcus Jernmark's Midtown
Shaun Hergatt's FiDi
Daniel Humm's Murray Hill / Flatiron / Gramercy

Super Bowl Giveaway: 10-Pound Box of Pat LaFrieda Sliders

Our Superbowl plans are to sit on our asses and maybe watch a movie, or go for a walk if the weather's nice, maybe around Chinatown - because neither of us could care less about football OR commercials.

And then, cook up some sliders for dinner for all my other couldn't-care-less friends.

8 Squash Dishes in NYC We Love

The Squash Toast at ABC is the one to beat, but the Squash Toast at the new ACME can give it a run for its money - it shouldn't be good, considering it has brie (and brie = 1980s wedding food) but somehow it works, regardless. I like the the ABC version more, because of its vinegar bite, but the GF has sided with ACME.

Win Tickets to Dinner and a Coldplay Concert from BlackboardEats

A dinner by Wylie Dufresne, followed by John Zorn's musical interpretations of each course.

Skip NYC Restaurant Week: 20 Other 3-Course Meals for $35 and Under

I'll add Jehangir Mehta's Graffiti to the list, and I'm surprised it wasn't on there to begin with: everything on the menu is seven, twelve, or fifteen dollars. Start with a $12 app (say, pickled ginger scallops, or a foie gras crostini) and move on to a $15 entree (chickpea crusted skate, duck portobello gratinee, or any other choice...) and a $7 dessert - $34, grand total. If you don't have a sweet tooth, there are $7 pre-appetizers you could do instead to start your meal.

His menu at Mehtaphor is almost-doable - unfortunately, entrees are $17 there so it JUST squeaks over the $35 limit.

From Behind the Bar: What Makes a Good Bar?

I'm awful fond of the bar at WD-50, if restaurant bars count. Jafrul & Tona, the bartenders, are creating drinks on the same level as any of the fancy cocktail dens a la D&C, WIII, etc. Love to see one or both of them in this column.

Soft-boiled Matzo Ball "Eggs"

A little something I concocted for a fancified Seder that I thought I'd share with the world...

1 dozen eggs
1/2 cup fat, barely melted, room temp - schmaltz (chicken fat) is best
2 cups matzo meal
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tbl kosher salt
1 cup white wine
2 cups homemade chicken broth
1 sprig thyme
2 tbl unsalted butter
lemon peel

Separate 8 eggs. Put yolks in a lightly oiled bowls, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.

Beat together remaining 4 eggs, leftover whites, and fat. Add matzo meal, nutmeg, salt, mix well. Refrigerate uncovered one hour.

Reduce wine over gentle simmer by 75%. Add stock and thyme, and reduce to 1 cup. Remove thyme, set sauce aside.

Get a big pot of water heated to 180 degrees.

Lay out plastic wrap and grease one side. Place blob of matzo ball dough in the center and work into a circle, slightly larger than twice the diameter of an egg yolk. Place chilled yolk in the center, then bring the dough around the yolk. Gently(!) seal. If it doesn't quite come to the top, drape with a little extra dough and connect to the rest of the ball. Make sure there are no holes, it must be completely encased. As you finish each, return to the refrigerator.

Place balls into 180 degree water, one at a time, allowing each to set for a few seconds so they don't stick. Poach for about six minutes.

Quickly reduce temperature of the water bath to 140-145 degrees by adding ice cubes. Reduce burner until you've got it steady. Don't go over 145, or your yolks might set. Continue poaching up to twenty minutes.

Bring sauce to simmer. Mount with cold butter, whisking hard.

Place one or two matzo balls in center of bowl, top and surround with a few tablespoons of sauce. Grate long, thin curls of lemon peel over top.

Unkosher Variations:
Carbonara: use bacon fat in lieu of schmaltz, crush bacon strip around plate
Matzo Ball aux Lardons: place in the center of a mound of frisée, and scatter with lardons.

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