food 04.14.04

9 Good Deals

1. Mooncake Foods, 28 Watts [6th] 212.219.8888. This pan-Asian diner is one of the more unlikely places around, given its scenic perch at the entrance to the Holland Tunnel. But the food's delicious. Cash only.

2. Bao Noodles, 391 2nd [22nd/23rd] 212.725.7770. Popular (crowded, inexpensive) Vietnamese eatery with Pho and dozens of other choices.

3. Grand Sichuan, 745 9th [50th/51st] 212.582.2288. There are other GS's in the small Chinese chain but this is the one you want. The sautéed pea shoots in garlic are a must.

4. Mama's Food Shop, 200 E. 3rd [A/B] 212.777.4425 and 222 Sullivan [Bleecker/W. 3rd] 212.505.8123. Heaping portions of meatloaf and other comfort foods that can triple as the next day's lunch and dinner.

5. 360, 360 Van Brunt [Wolcott] Red Hook 718.246.0360. Serious new-French cooking at mon-Dieu prices. Open Wednesday to Sunday, cash only, reserve.

6. Cube 63, 63 Clinton [Rivington/Stanton] 212.228.6751. Stylish, but bargain-priced sushi spot on Clinton, now the city's best restaurant row. BYOB.

7. Azuri Cafe, 465 W. 51st [9th/10th] 212.262.2920. A pitstop (emphasis on pit, rather than stop) but sparkling Israeli cold salads and falafel make it one of our faves. Cash only.

8. Mexicana Mama, 525 Hudson [Charles/W. 10th] 212.924.4119. El hole in the wall that makes some of the best Mexican food on an island overfilled with schlock-Mex.

9. Celeste, 502 Amst [84th/85th] 212.874.4559. If you need a lot of personal space and quiet, this isn't for you. For the rest, terrific Italian food. Can't get enough of the fried artichokes. Cash only.
From our friends at The Food Section we learn about the new venture from the people behind Blue Hill, 75 Wash Pl. [6th/Wash Sq. W.] 212.539.1776, called Blue Hill at Stone Barns, 630 Bedford Rd. Pocantico Hills, NY, 914.366.9600. It looks amazing: the Barbers and executive chef Michael Anthony will be serving seasonal American food on the former Rockefeller estate in the Hudson Valley (it's close to Kykuit). Also planned are cooking classes, wine tastings, and garden tours. The place is scheduled to open on May 1. Blue Hill, meanwhile, is closed through April 30.

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