food 05.29.07

Hot List

East Village Yacht Club, 42 E. 1st St. [1st/2nd Aves.] 212.777.5617. The former Chez Es Saada has untethered its Moorings and set sail for a Club Med spread: spinach dip with herbed Triscuits (is that eating ironically? We don't know!), pigs-in-a-blanket, and swordfish topped with Havarti cheese. That last one is a crime against nature.

11 Madison Park, 11 Mad [24th/25th] 212.889.0905. When Danny Meyer's one-two Madison Park punch (along with Tabla) first opened, there was a sense that 11 Madison could have been a top restaurant…somewhere else. But with the arrival of chef Daniel Humm, the restaurant is now one of the best places to eat in New York.

FR.OG, 71 Spring [Crosby/Laf] 212.966.5050. Can. we get over the.NEW punctuation already? (Of course, we're guilty of Newww.York). Still, Didier Virot's new place in Soho, which stands for French Origin, traverses the globe with a long layover in Morocco. There are over a dozen whites from Alsace — that makes us happy and works well with this FO.OD.

Marco Canora and Paul Grieco, the pair behind much-loved Hearth, have taken a surprising, but nevertheless welcome voyage to midtown, having just opened Insieme, 777 7th [51st] 212.582.1310, where they are serving genuine Italian food in a sleek setting.

Mercat, 45 Bond [Laf/Bowery] 212.529.8600, steps up the tapas game in these parts. Salt cod fritters, guinea hen, sardines with salsa verde and preserved lemon, fried baby squid — it's hard to go wrong here at this bit of Barcelona on Bond.

Perilla, 9 Jones [W. 4th/Bleecker] 212.929.6868. Harold Dieterle, top chef of "Top Chef," takes an ecumenical approach to American cooking, invoking the Asian herb in its name, and Asian accents on the plate. The 9 Jones space has had quite a few occupants over the years and the long, narrow space has never been a looker for any of them — the same goes for Perilla. But after watching the thoughtful Dieterle on the show, who can resist rooting for his success?

Most people wouldn't immediately think of moules frites as a last meal pick, but paired with a Belgian beer, you could do a lot worse. Resto, 111 E. 29th [Park/Lex] 212.685.5585, has the moules frites, dozens of Belgian beers available, and a refined menu of Belgian food you won't find elsewhere in the city.

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