I confess that I have lurked here more than I've posted, far more. Like all of us who live in the Great Metropolis, I have so little time...
My greatest sin, if any, has been not to have informed my fellow hounds of the greatness of a tiny, but mighty, 2-year-old sanctuary of really good eating, hidden in the depths of the Upper East Side. That restaurant is: KURIO (338 east 92nd, between 1st/2nd).
Small (about 10 tables plus 8-seat bar), romantic but spare, Kurio is that restaurant many of us want to find on our block. Or we want to open on our block. The food is elemental, that is, market-based (for the most part), and supremely well done. Everything is super-fresh. No short-cuts, no walk-in taste (okay, I'm sensitive to that). A good set of starters that double as bar food, such as tempura green beans, grilled shrimp (achingly fresh), etc. Main courses are solid things like lamb or beef shanks, ribeye steak or absolutely divine duck (roast, confit, pan-seared...). Plus, there is always offered an amazing seared soft tofu with wild mushroom reduction(a remanant from an old veg. friend) that satisfies like any meat-based meal.
Always a fabulous soup, esp. the cold-weather favorite, garlic in broth.
The owners, Jim/chef and China/front of house, run the whole joint by themselves, but lately have called upon the services of (her) Mom and Dad for backup. This is why we post this missive and welcome to invade our fave little secret: they need the business. They are bona fide chowhounds themselves. Food, wine and its tastes are everything to this wonderful couple, and one feels this when drinking or dining there. If you want to simply try it out, go to the well-run little bar in front and have a glass of thoughtfully-chosen wine, and a bite, and talk to China (pronounced like Tina)or her Mom about food and life. They're what it's all about.
Let us know what you think.