Tag Archives: les

Le Turtle

NOTE: THIS PLACE IS NOW CLOSED!

I went to Le Turtle with a group of Instagram food lunatic friends to try some of their iconic dishes. This ended up being one of the best meals I’ve had in a while. Let me get right down to it.

We started with the following:

Dry aged beef carpaccio with Hokkaido uni and pickled ramp bottoms. Just the right amount of surf with your turf. Great pop from the pickled ramps.

Sliced avocado and radish with avocado mousse, mango curd and mixed grains. Beautiful, light, refreshing and satisfying.

Fresh cheese and beets with apricot kernel oil, toasted sunflower seeds and a maple emulsion. This was fucking fantastic. Get it.

Tagliatelle carbonara with guanciale, pecorino and egg yolk emulsion. Really nice take on the classic pasta dish.

Halibut and tomato with brussels sprouts, calabrian chili and arugula. Perfectly cooked, light and flakey.

Fried octopus with crisped rice, ramp chimichurri sauce and togarashi and arbol chili peppers. One of the very best octopus dishes I’ve ever had. It gets braised for hours before a light batter fry. And the ramp chimichurri is incredible.

Sasso Poulet. This is the best whole chicken dish I’ve eaten. The birds are brined for days and then hung, to allow the skin to cook more crispy. The bird comes out on a plate of burning hay for display purposes, filling the dining room with an amazing aroma.

Then it comes back disarticulated and ready to eat. I particularly liked munching on the feet.

This comes with crispy fingerlings, chicken liver mousse and pickled shishito peppers. At $69 this is a steal, and can easily feed two people.

90 day dry aged Pat LaFrieda cote de boeuf. This comes out to the table for viewing uncut like this, before resting:

And then after resting it comes back ready to serve for two (or more) looking like this:

This would be a 10/10 if there was a bit more char and crisp on the outside. It’s a bit more like a roast. But the flavor is perfect. Not too funky that it fucks up your taste buds. Perfectly cooked. And the fat and trim is diced up and fried, which is a brilliant way to reduce waste and make everyone smile with more tasty bits to eat. 9/10. You can pass on using the molasses sauce that comes with it though.

There was also and Japanese yam dish that came out at this time. I wasn’t a big fan, but it was absolutely stunning.

There was also a simple but tasty salad of greens citrus and blue cheese. Good way to cut the richness of the steak.

Dessert was equally as impressive as the savory courses, and they were all unique, which is rare these days.

Hazelnut financier with blood orange creme anglaise and cranberry dust.

Chocolate sorbet with milk crumbs, sea salt and olive oil.

Forbidden rice pudding with vanilla chai ice cream, rye sand and coconut snow.

I highly recommend this place. Go while ramps are still in season though, because this is one place that actually made me respect that produce. Until now I didn’t get the infatuation with ramps. I’ll be back again very soon. In fact, I’m going tomorrow with my wife.

LE TURTLE
177 Chrystie St
New York, NY 10002

Butcher Bar

UPDATE: THIS PLACE IS CLOSED

Butcher Bar recently opened a location in Manhattan’s lower east side. I went with a small group of Instagram buddies to check it out. Here’s what we had:

Burnt Ends Sandwich: Top notch quality burnt ends, which contain the fat cap of the rib as well as the brisket.

50/50 Sandwich (half pulled pork, half brisket): Really great sandwich here. Throw on some house made sauces and you’re all set. Topped with slaw, onions and pickles.

Brisket Philly Cheese: Probably my favorite of the three sandwiches we tried. I would maybe have liked a bit more cheese but I really loved the combination.

Wings: Brined so that the flavors penetrate deep to the bone. Nice smoke flavor in a great homemade Buffalo style sauce.

Shrimp & Grits: Incredible. A must order when you come here. Nice heat from the smoked habanero on this too.

Chili Mac & Cheese: You’ll get a sense that you’re eating a bowl of chili when you dig into this. Very unique and tasty.

Rib Eye: 6/10. Good cook temp, good flavor all around, but this isn’t steakhouse level beef. It will satisfy when you’re craving, though.

Moonshine Creamsicle: You’d never even know there was booze in this – that’s how seamlessly mixed the moonshine is with the house made cream. Perfect for the summer.

BUTCHER BAR
146 Orchard St
New York, NY 10002

Mr. Taka

Mr. Taka is easily one of the best bowls of tonkotsu I’ve had in NYC. The thick, rich pork broth manages to be full of porky flavor without going overboard with the salt content or overpowering you with too much garlic. It’s velvety smooth – no off-putting textures, which can sometimes happen with thickened broths.

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The meat quality is awesome. Super soft with a good char on the outside of each slab. It falls apart between your chopsticks. So good. I recommend getting an additional slab, since your bowl will only come with one if you don’t.

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The noodles are the straight kind, not wavy, and if you order the spicy version you get a soft boiled egg and a normal sized blob of spicy paste that won’t overrun the entire eating experience with heat.

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I highly recommend this joint for all your slurping needs. It really is as close to perfect as you’re going to get.

MR. TAKA
170 Allen St
New York, NY 10002

Zum Schneider

One of the most fun bar scenes you will ever experience in Manhattan is Zum Schneider for Oktoberfest. Yeah, yeah, yeah (or, should I say, Ja Ja Ja) I know it gets mobbed in there, and you have to stand on line to get in, but it is SO worth it. The beers are excellent, the food is tasty, and the company is fantastic, always.

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This year they are offering the festivities under a huge tent on the Hudson River (at 23rd Street), so we will see how that pans out.

If panned out wonderfully, from the little that I can remember. Check out some pics – it was even a good time in the rain:

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A short video of the Ja Ja Ja’s into tune:

Another year in the bag, as a return to the big tent on a very similar weather day brought even more fun:

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This time I sampled a lot more of the food, like this nice meat and cheese plate. The blue cheese was good and funky, and the meats were nicely cured (there was even some head cheese).

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I saw these fuckers roasting outside, so I had to try one:

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It was a simple preparation. Just some seasonings plus char. I liked it.

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My buddy had some roast chicken and a potato dumpling in gravy.

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And of course we tried some brats and pretzels. The brats were on stale shitty bread but they were at least grilled nicely.

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MONTAUK LOCATION UPDATE – JULY 2016

The Montauk location is every bit as awesome as the NYC location, only it is steps from the beach.

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We really just came in for a drink before dinner across the street at Harvest, but I couldn’t resist this hax’n pork shank:

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So I ordered it as an appetizer of sorts. It was excellent. While not salted enough by itself, when eaten in conjunction with the pickled red and white cabbage, it was perfectly balanced. The cabbage cut the fat nicely too.

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The potato dumpling and stuffing balls that came with it were skippable, but the beer braise liquid was amazing. Perhaps just a few slices of nice sourdough bread would have been better.

ZUM SCHNEIDER’S
107 Ave. C
New York, NY 10009

ZUM SCHNEIDER’S MONTAUK
4 S Elmwood Ave
Montauk, NY 11954

Ochado

I stopped into this ramen joint for a quick bite after a sub-par burger. Since they were out of Orion (one of my favorite Japanese beers), we tried this fucker from NJ. Pretty good – a mild stout.

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My buddy ordered some chicken wings, which were nicely crisped and garnished with fried garlic and shallots. Very nice.

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I went with the “Prawn Mee” ramen, which is a non-traditional bowl but the menu descritpion sold me on this over the porky miso varietal. It was good. It had a great spicy kick to a broth that was clearly steeped in shrimp shell stock goodness.

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The egg was perfectly cooked, and all the shrimp within were similarly perfect. I didn’t love the way the scallions were shredded, but I swept those aside easily so they didn’t get tangled up in the noodles.

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Overall I enjoyed it, so I will probably be back to try the miso ramen.

OCHADO
76 Orchard St
New York, NY 10002

Mikey’s

This little lower east side burger joint is the perfect place for a hits-the-spot burger and fries combo.

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For $10 even, you get a pretty fucking solid little burger and a HUGE order of french fries. And on the weekend they still serve up the lunch special, which means you get a free can of soda with it.

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The bun is a great potato jammy, and the burger comes topped with lettuce, tomato and onion. The patty gets a wonderful crisp on it due to the flat top griddle:

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The menu is pretty great looking. I will definitely be back to try a couple of the hotdogs:

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MIKEY’S BURGER
134 Ludlow St
New York, NY 10002