By Hillary Latos
From the quaint cobblestone lined streets of the West Village to the Upper West Side, this month we focus on the thriving restaurant scene of the West Side of Manhattan. Heading into fall there are plenty of reasons to celebrate the great outdoors, the Indian summer weather, glorious fall foliage of Central Park and of course the ethnic diversity of Manhattan’s dining options.
Blossom on Carmine
While fine vegan dining may seem like an anomaly in NYC, Ronen Seri and Pamela Blackwell have filled that void with Blossom on Carmine to promote a healthy lifestyle that encompasses compassion on every level. This charming West Village eatery serves gourmand, organic, cruelty free, health conscious cuisine that could convert even the most die hard carnivores. Meat and dairy free options have never tasted so good. Their delicious marsala pan seared seitan cutlets have the same texture and flavor as tender veal cuts encompassed in a full bodied velvety sauce. “Salmon” created from beet marinated tofu is topped with a creamy and savory dill sauce and served with lobster scallops made from mushrooms. Their “non-dairy” pasta is made with a truffled cashew pesto cream creating a rich sensation without the guilt while the soft roasted pumpkin and sweet potato gnocchi is perfectly balanced with golden beets and sautéed kale. Touching on sweet and savory notes is the garlicky grilled kale and honey glazed baby bok choy. For a tasty elixir, try the spicy jalapeno margarita or the juicy fruit infused sangria which is perfect for a Indian summer night.
Blossom on Carmine
41 Carmine Street
646 438 9939
Bridging the popular street food concepts of Japan and Korea is Mokbar in the Chelsea Market. As ramen has been a staple in Asian cultures, this exciting concept is recreated stateside by Chef Esther Choi who grew up cooking traditional Korean food with recipes passed down from her grandmother. Korean comfort dishes like ramen in kimchi bacon broth, braised pork and stewed kimchi or the mokbar classic with pork broth, braised pork and vegetables exude bold flavors in a satisfying broth. For spice lovers the spicy tofu features a spicy garlic paste with minced pork that will satiate the craving. The popular black bean, bacon, and pork belly dish is full bodied and tasty on many levels. One of the most well known Korean dishes is the classic bulgogi which is a thinly sliced, marinated, and grilled ribeye served with kimchi and a poached which is easy to understand its popularity with every mouthwatering bite. Over dinner enjoy the seating around the open air kitchen as the wafts and savory aromas of Korean cooking enhance the dining experience.
75 Ninth Avenue
For over a decade Surya was a beloved West Village Indian favorite, which has now been resurrected into Savoury on the Upper West Side. Chef-owner Lala Sharma who has worked at some of the top restaurants in India brings his culinary expertise to NYC where he adds his signature flair of integrating contemporary Western techniques into classic Indian dishes representing the diverse regional flavors of the country. Some of the specialties of the house are the crispy vegetable samosas, spicy shrimp with chili masala sauce, and savoury scallops with a tamarind coconut chutney. Choose from the classic tandoori featuring succulent meats that have been marinated and baked in a clay oven to perfection, or reasonably priced chicken or goat main courses. Other New Delhi favorites are the chicken korma with a saffron laced almond cream sauce or the famous curry stewed from garam masala, tomatoes, onion and cilantro. The lamb or goat rogn has been carefully slow cooked in an aromatic cardamom, saffron and carmelized onion sauce which literally melts in your mouth. Housed in an intimate townhouse setting, Savoury is destined to become a neighborhood favorite just like its downtown predecessor.
489 Columbus Avenue