Tuesday, May 6, 2014

nykeiko eats: Narcissa in the East Village [NYC]

When a friend of mine- whom I have not seen for probably over a decade!!- was visiting from Hong Kong and we were picking a restaurant for dinner, I had to think hard about finding an eatery that is different from what is offered in Asia. While I lived in Asia for a short period of time, I had consuming desires for good steak and mashed potatoes. My friend's cravings turned out to be bagels and hot dogs; but I refused to accept that our only meal together in New York would be by a hot dog stand (nothing wrong with that neither). Therefore in the end, I picked Narcissa (helmed by Michelin-starred chef John Fraser) for its farm-to-table-esque dishes. They offer seasonal menus orchestrated by organic and local produce straight from an upstate farm in the Hudson Valley. Can't taste any more of New York than that (it's not always about pizza, pastrami and bagels people.)

Narcissa is booked a full month in advance but walking in on a rainy day gave us no troubles at all getting seats by the counter; where we watched countless chefs and sous-chefs prepare all the dishes in an open kitchen. No behind the scenes, "5-second rule" applied here.

The food tasted clean and fresh; and all the flavors were combined in sweet harmony without being drowned down by sauces or extra salt. I was able to taste the fresh oyster even if it was baked under truffle-bonito butter, melted cabbage and bread crumbs. The Barley Risotto did not feel heavy at all but actually very healthy; and being a floral gal, the flower petals on the risotto was a delightful but odd surprise. My favorite dishes were probably the Baked Oysters and the Lacquered duck breasts. Yum! Kind of regret skipping out on desserts but nothing enticed us that night.

Well-prepared fresh food does come at a price though. Dinner for two with drinks (Cocktails "So Pretty") cost us about $140 with tax and tip.

Narcissa- baked oysters
Narcissa- Barley Risotto
Short ribs
Narcissa- Lacquered duck breast with vegetables

Narcissa- Fried carrots with jalapeno-tofu dip

Thanks for stopping by and drooling x

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