3 min Read
January 6, 2010

Sonny’s gift for 2010: Have fork; will travel

Big Duck

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a rather obsessive relationship with food. Not that it’s unhealthy mind you–more that things tend to revolve around it a lot (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made a big detour in my day in order to get the best doughnuts in New York City).And as much as I like cooking, dinner parties, and ordering takeout, there’s something special about going out to eat. And when you go out with your friends to share in the gluttony, it becomes an event. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It can be a hole-in-the-wall. It can even be a truck on the street. It just has to be good.

The Schnitzel Truck even visits us in Dumbo!

What constitutes a good eating experience, you ask? You’ll know. It’s when you moan over that next bite. When you want to lick every sauce and crumb from your plate. Again, it doesn’t have to be hoity toity–sometimes the best meals are quite…simple. Anyone can put ingredients on a plate and call it a meal. But you can tell when the chef puts an extra flavor punch in your dessert. Or puts two ingredients together that you never thought would work, but somehow, it does. It requires a certain creativity. Isn’t that the definition of design?

The end of the year is usually a time of lists–from lists of the best movies of 2009 to the resolutions for 2010. In essence, they’re all about reflection and looking forward. In keeping with this spirit, I’ve attached an excerpt from my list of gastronomic places in NYC (this is definitely not complete). These are places I’ve religiously visited, places I wish I visited more often, and places I’ve heard great things about which will be goals for the coming year.So whether you’re already here in NYC or looking for an excuse to come visit (besides visiting us here at Big Duck, of course), check these places out–and feel free to add or subtract to the list, and let us know what you think.


Old Favorites

  • Ramen Setagaya (141 1st Ave., East Village)–-Not the ramen you had in college. These cheap, hot bowls of noodle goodness will warm you up this winter, without breaking your wallet.
  • Five Points (31 Great Jones St. NoHo)–-I love this place. Heck, I had my wedding reception here. Go for brunch, go for dinner, go for dessert. If you see pork on the menu, you. must. order. it.
  • SriPraPhai (64-13 39th Ave., Queens)–-I’m not the first to say this–the best Thai food in New York. Possibly in America (that’s a hard statement to test, I know).

Burgers (Yes, this has its own category)

  • Minetta Tavern (113 MacDougal St., Village)–-I can’t vouch for it yet, but I’ve read the articles and seen the pictures in my copy of Playfood. I’ll bite.
  • Dram Shop Bar (339 9th St., Park Slope)–-A nice neighborhood joint. Have a drink, have a greasy cheeseburger. And oh yeah, have the deep-fried mac and cheese. Yes, you read correctly.
  • The Little Owl (90 Bedford Street, West Village)–-One of the many places that have their own Pat La Frieda blend. I’ve been drooling over the reports I’ve heard. This is a goal for me.

Newbies to look forward to

  • Kinski (128 Rivington St., LES)–-Nutella flavored frothed-milk drink?? Raspberry dumplings?? What??
  • Cascabel Taqueria (150W 10 St., Upper East Side)--A Mexican wrestling-themed taqueria. ‘nuff said.
  • Highlands (150W 10 St., West Village)–-A Scottish gastropub by a guy who worked Blue Hill. You had me at “Blue Hill.”