Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Spice Market
403 West 13th Street (212-675-2322).
Yep, I splurged. Well, it was actually for Sing’s birthday last month and it was a fun and worthwhile. Sorry, no photos though cause well, I’d like to say that I didn’t want to feel like a tool / tourist and be caught with a camera at a ‘jean georges’ restaurant. (See Frank Bruni’s NYT Article about photos) Haha. Actually I don’t give a shit and I had my camera but it was so dark in there that none of my photos came out – I’ll try to photoshop them and add them later.
Before the food, lets talk about the restaurant decor. If you’re a hard core POTD (Plate of the day) reader, you’ll recall my writeup about Hutong in Hong Kong. Hutong is also a pan asian restaurant decorated with vintage Chinese and Thai decorative motifs – antique lanterns, cabinets, and of course you have to throw in a few buddha statues. Both restaurants are Asian street food inspired. But I have to say, from here we see the difference. Spice Market is what Hutong should be – interesting decor + great service + innovative / great food. The waiters at Spice Market were top notch – abundant like Hutong but not in the way and very attentive.
For food we tried the Red Curry Duck which was cooked in a huge claypot with ample portions. The meat, however was a little on the tough side for me. We also tried the Strip Bass steamed on a bed of napa cabbage with water chestnuts and cucumber. Also gigantic portions to be shared with at least 2 people. This was a great dish, the fish was tender and delicious. For dessert we tried a strange home made candy bar that if you had to describe was like a Snickers, 5th Ave bar, and 3 Musketeers. Reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where George has the candy bar line up. LOL