Hell’s Kitchen NYC is really starting to put meaning into the KITCHEN aspect of the neighborhood’s name. Not only have many great restaurants popped up recently, but now there are half a dozen ramen shops, several awesome burger joints, and even a smattering of small niche joints serving things like like Korean fried chicken or Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches. The most recent thing on my radar is Gotham West Market. It’s basically an upscale food court featuring a bunch of really nice pop-up restaurants, a gourmet food market, and even a store selling kitchen items, cooking gear, and baking supplies.
I first came here to try the Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop.
My wife and I tried the Shio and Shoyu styles. They were both good, but they contained green onion cut in such a way that it became overbearing and difficult to pluck off of the noodles. I like a standard cross cut to my scallions. This “long ways” cut sucks. The soup base was good, on the other hand, and the rye noodles were delicious.
My wife went back two times without me and tried most of the other spots in there, like The Cannibal, El Colmado, Little Chef, The Brooklyn Kitchen, Genuine Roadside, and Court Street Grocers Sandwich Shop. Poke around her Instagram feed to see some of her escapades. Or simply hit up the #gwmarket tag on there. Here are a couple of collages of her pics:
So today we went in for lunch, which was my wife’s 4th time going in 3 weeks, since I have been dying to try some of the stuff I’ve seen on Instagram from El Colmado and The Cannibal. I’ll take these fuckers down one at a time for you below.
We sat down to a nice beer and a Bloody Mary to start. The Bloody came with some pickled items on top – a beet, a cucumber, and a pepper.
We ordered three items here. The first was an octopus terrine, garnished with some pickled fennel and dill. This was so amazing, especially after having such a shitty plate of octopus two nights earlier at a local Long Island restaurant that completely fucked the octo up, turning it into rubber. THIS, on the other hand, was a masterpiece. Soft, tender, juicy, and nicely dressed – just like a prom date. One of the best octo preparations I’ve ever tasted.
Next up was the pig head terrine. Essentially a head cheese of sorts. It was really tender and flavorful, and it even had some capers jammed in there too for a nice bite of brine. They served it with some crispy bread, lemon butter, and herbs. Delicious.
Last was the lamb tartare. You can see below that it’s sitting on top of the little mustard smear that mixed well with the flavorful meat. In the back were the little planks of lettuce upon which we spread the tartare before shoving into our mouths.
I was excited to have some shaved-by-hand cured piggy, so we started with an order of sliced Serrano ham. Not too salty, very soft and delicious. I expected nothing less in terms of quality when it comes to Chef Seamus Mullen, of The Next Iron Chef fame.
In keeping with the theme from The Cannibal, we doubled down on octopus and lamb items. First is the lamb meatballs. Succulent, juicy, and rich with lamby goodness.
The octopus here was grilled to perfection and served with some vinegary fingerling potatoes. Very nice tasting, and beautifully plated I might add. Needless to say, all memory of terrible octopus from the local Long Island place has been erased. This was superb.
Well – not all memory is erased. We still need to remember that is WAS bad, and that we will never go back there again. Ahh, El Colmado & The Cannibal – you made my day. Two of the finest places I’ve been to in a long time.
So anyway, we finished up at El Colmado with a nice saffron flan for dessert. Perfect texture, and great flavor.
So what’s the moral of this story? GO TO GOTHAM WEST MARKET ASAP!
And if you like burgers, then check out my Genuine Roadside review.
There’s something there for everyone. I snapped a shitload of pics from all over in there – I’ll leave you with that:
GOTHAM WEST MARKET
600 11th Ave.
New York, NY 10036