Momofuku often arises. Momofuku, which is Japanese for "lucky peach," is its own little culinary empire in the East Village, currently consisting of four restaurants and a bakery. The Chef-Owner is David Chang, a Korean-American who has garnered an excellent reputation, having won several culinary honors. Prior to opening Momofuku Noodle Bar, his first restaurant in 2004, David worked in the kitchens of a few famed chefs including Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Daniel Boulud and Tom Colicchio. A number of my friends strongly recommended that I check out the Momofuku restaurants.
So, on my recent trip to New York City, I scheduled some time to visit Momofuku Ssäm Bar and Milk Bar, which are located across the street from each other. Their menus change frequently and they attempt to use local and sustainable ingredients, whenever possible. They are both worthy culinary destinations in the East Village.
The Birthday Cake truffles and Banana Hazelnut Chocolate truffles looked like small donut holes, and had rich flavors, and a more cakey texture. My favorite of the two was the Banana, as I liked the interplay of the different tastes. The Cornbread was also a delight, containing cortija cheese, jalapenos and corn kernels. It was moist with a spicy undertone from the jalapenos, and the cortija added a bit of creaminess to it. An excellent savory item, I really wish I had brought more of this home with me.
This sampling impressed me and I would gladly return there on my next visit to NYC. If you want some more creative baked goods, high on flavor, then make sure to visit Milk Bar.
Their beer and wine list is eclectic and interesting. You will find local New York brews, but also beers from South Korea and California. Unfortunately, they do not carry any New York wines (which I think they should remedy), though you will find wines such as Chateau Musar from Lebanon, sparkling Riesling from Germany and Italian Rose. If local is so important to them, then why don't they carry New York wines?
An amazing lunch, indicative of the culinary genius of Chef Chang. I must check out the rest of his restaurants, as well as have dinner at Ssäm Bar. All of the positive press he has received seems well deserved. Lunch at Ssäm Bar gets my highest recommendation, and if you go, you must try the rotisserie duck.