Went for a quick birthday weekend trip to Manhattan and had three excellent meals.
Momofuku Ma Peche - Saturday lunch
It was about 80% full which was a nice level of activity. We had reservation but there were several walk ins.
We started with a pork bun and shrimp rice rolls. The pork buns were great. I normally don't eat cucumber but it worked well with the rich pork and the sauce. Shrimp rice rolls were nice though I didn't think they were too special.
For main we had the striped bass and duck confit. Both were very well executed though I found the duck slightly overseasoned. The bass had a great combination of flavours.
Jungsik - Saturday dinner
I'll confess upfront, I'm Korean and my fiance, T, is a Brit. He loved Korean food when we went to Seoul but didn't enjoy his experiences in Korean restaurants in K-Town.
However we both loved Jungsik. Whether you would call it Korean restaurant or not (I wouldn't) bottom line is that this is simply great restaurant. Every dish we had was perfectly executed. I enjoyed it because I could tell the Korean influence in the dishes whereas he enjoyed the complexity of flavours.
Much has been written about the menu so I don't think I need to comment on them. The only issue we had was that because it was my birthday we ordered quite an expensive Bordeaux, which clashed somewhat with Classic Fish due to the spice level. They took out a very impressive Riddell decanter which was a nice touch. We would probably try the wine pairing next time.
Service level was very good, if not technically correct all the time. T can be a very hard to please diner but he was thoroughly impressed. We discussed whether we would go to wd-50 or Jungsik with friends when we return in July and agreed that Jungsik was overall much better experience. We've also been to Jean George and again, would prefer Jungsik.
ABC Kitchen - Sunday brunch
We started with the raw scallop and crab on toast. Both were excellent. The scallop had great dressing that T asked for a spoon to finish off. Crab was well dressed with a small dollop of mayo on each slice.
For main T ordered veal meatball pasta and I ordered roasted carrot and avocado salad as I was getting food fatigued. Here it felt like the food fell into the trap so many Manhattan restaurants seem to fall into - overseasoning. Both had very strong flavours which didn't really allow the great ingredients to come through.
I ordered two cocktails (after all it was my bday weekend!). Rhubarb mimosa was good though the blood orange bellini was much better.
The pizza on the next table to us looked great, sitting on top of metal grating so that the bottom won't go soggy. It looks like we missed what many people comment on, the salted caramel ice cream. Neither of us are dessert person but if we make it back we'd certainly try it.
Great weekend mostly spent at a table or another - cannot wait to go back!