New in the ‘Hood

It’s hard to keep track of all the food related places opening up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.  Here are just a few of my favorites:

A media favorite and for good reason is Pok Pok a tiny hole in the wall Thai place at 137 Rivington street with James Beard award winning Chef Andy Richer at the stove.  Pok Pok has a limited menu that specializes in the most amazing chicken wing variations.  Awesome!
Thai Posters hang everywhere giving this place a Bangkok feel it actually reminds me of a place I used to love to go to in Bangkok that was an art student hang out where you could get lunch for 2 bucks.   Dinner at Pok Pok is a little more expensive then that, though still very reasonable.
The food has a decided Issan (Northeast Thailand) feel and I found the non chicken wing items were not as strong.   I had a pork dish one night with sticky rice and Som Tam that I felt was a little tame and sweet, but now I know the folks here are very game to spice things up “Thai Style” if you ask and you should ask!

This isn’t the best picture of Christian Vautier: Le Concept, (the Times took a better one) the inside is bright, simple and airy with a long banquette for sitting and at the back a wonderful selection of home made truffles and confections to eat in our take away.  I’ve sampled three different truffles: Praline, Salted Caramel Kiss and Passion Fruit all exquisite.   They are also serving Dallis Brothers coffee.

This part of Broome street between Ludlow and Orchard is so hot it’s crazy.  If it’s not a new gallery, store or food place opening up it’s pack with film crews.  Just down the street from Le Concept is Home Espresso Bar which is wonderful if simply because it is so,well….homey.  In this landscape of super hip and trendy places it’s nice to have something local and easy, where you don’t have to dress up to go get a quick latte.

Finally the new (but not new) Doughnut Plant has opened and boy is it fancy!  They did a great job and even though it was instantly packed it is a great improvement from the original space next store.


About urbanfoodguy

I'm a self taught cook with a dedication to buying and eating food that is as humanely and sustainably raised as possible. Which is why in addition to recipes you will see a lot of environmental/political reporting here. I started cooking when I was about 6, it's something I always loved to do. Watching Graham Kerr - aka "The Galloping Gourmet" - was what got me started and I have never really looked back. Over the years I've been a private chef, a caterer, and a food stylist for magazines such as Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Real Simple, Oprah, Martha Stewart's Everyday Food and many more. I've also worked in the prep kitchen for the Food Network on the Bobby Flay and Paula Deen shows. Now I work at home in my kitchen sharing with you here recipes that I create or that other people have created that inspire me and I think you will like. I love my neighborhood (the Lower East Side of Manhattan) and I love to travel. Because NYC is such a big place I tend to focus mostly on my 'hood and the ones that are close by: The East Village, Bowery, Chinatown and Williamsburg. My love of travel has no limits really, I'm always ready to get on a plane. I was lucky enough to have a business for many years that allowed me to spend a lot of time in South East Asia. These days I've been spending time in Mexico, Germany, Canada and the West Coast of the U.S., but check back you never know where I might end up. I do consulting, cooking classes, and freelance lifestyle writing so if you are interested please send me a note:
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