RedFarm (UWS)

Photo by Gabi Porter

Photo by Gabi Porter

  • Why it’s worth it: 1. The pan-fried lamb dumpling shooters. 2. The bathrooms. 3. No reservations needed. Need we say more? Read on.
  • Vibe/layout: Anchored by a ship length communal table, RedFarm is a bright and cozy 82-seater filled with modern farmhouse decor. The easygoing space also features booth seating and a full bar in the rear. Although the bathrooms, and specifically the futuristic Japanese toilets, are a talking point (I mean the lid automatically opens when diners open the bathroom door), the dishes still take center stage. I must note that if I were Ed Schoenfeld, the owner, I would be as proud of the cuisine as I was of the bathrooms.
  • Ideal meal: The pan-fried lamb dumpling shooters served with miso tofu-seaweed broth (4) ($14) are a completely mind-blowing experience. Their delicate texture and well-executed pairing leave you craving more.
  • Address: UWS, 2170 Broadway (between 76th and 77th St)
  • Prices: While the atmosphere is rustic and comfy casual, the prices are on par with upscale eateries in the area ranging between $8 and $29 per plate.

Redfarm on Urbanspoon

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Chop-Shop (Chelsea)

Chop-Shop

  • Why it’s worth it: Chop-Shop, a Chinese/Southeast Asian restaurant, is a hidden gem in Chelsea, that is perfect for an early evening, post-gallery or pre-sunset on the High Line.
  • Vibe/layout: The decor of the cozy indoor portion of this ‘straunt is minimalist white, with the vibe low-key and inviting. The back of this ‘straunt opens up into an intimate garden patio with fairy string lights wrapped around tree branches (perfect for a date or gathering with close friends).
  • Ideal meal: Pan fried pork dumplings ($8) & spicy drunken noodle ($14)
  • F.Y.I.: This ‘straunt is unique such that there are no “starters” or “entrees;” there is just a list of dishes and their prices, all of which are amazing.
  • ‘Straunt tip: Check out the Kobra mural on 25th & 10th and then head to Chop-Shop for a delicious dinner!
  • Address: Chelsea, 254 10th Ave (corner of 25th St)
  • Prices: $7-$16

Chop-Shop on Urbanspoon

Nom Wah Tea Parlor (Chinatown)

Looking for real-deal Chinese food? We’ve got you covered: Nom Wah Tea Parlor is your answer. This is not the place for a romantic and intimate evening, but a place to enjoy good, quality Chinese food.

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  • Why it’s worth it: Nom Wah Tea Parlor is known as the first dim sum parlor in NYC, and has been around since 1920… and there are 56 classic dim sum options on the menu… all for under $10.
  • Vibe: This is not your typical dim sum ‘straunt. Outside, you will have to hunt for this ‘straunt, but inside you will be faced with yellow walls covered with framed photographs of movie stars and red booths, each with a coat stand and a red-and-white-checked tablecloth. All of these aspects and a vintage diner counter add to Nom Wah’s charming ambiance.
  • Layout: One large dining room: a tiny bar and a collection of circular and square tables as well as booths.
  • Ideal meal: Any of the following items: pork sui mai ($4), scallion pancakes ($4), the original egg roll ($5.95), roast pork bun ($1.95), vegetarian dumpling ($3.50, rice roll ($2.50), egg fried rice ($8.50), pan fried noodle with superior soy sauce ($8.95)
  • F.Y.I.: Nom Wah has no carts. The same small plates of delicious dim sum delights are being served; however, they are all made to order and waiters deliver them to you personally.  Also, much of the menu is gluten-free and there are some vegetarian options.
  • People behind Nom Wah Tea Parlor: Wilson Tang left a job in finance to take over Nom Wah from his uncle, Wally Tang, who started working there in 1950, at age 16, and bought it in 1974.
  • Address: Chinatown, 13 Doyers St. (between Pell St and Bowery)
  • Prices: $2.50- $9.95
  • Feel like you saved a bunch of money by switching your dinner ‘straunt to Nom Wah?… then head to the awesome speakeasy next door, Apotheke.

Nom Wah Tea Parlor on Urbanspoon