Paul Bocuse ranges among his teachers. Bangkok, Sinapore and Hong Kong range among his stations. Jean-Georges Vongerichten is the name of the Alsation celebrity cook who's been busy in New York as well. His restaurant: the Spice Market in the Meatpacking district. Since 2004 he serves South East Asian street dishes in the style of Thai and Vietnamese cookshops. The guests dine on two floors, surrounded by a wild mixture of artefacts from India, Burma, Malaysia, China and Thailand and tasty morsels continuously arrive at the table. Jacques Garcia was responsible for the design of this huge restaurant (comparable to a bus station). The French architect transports the guests with pagodas and colonial bespoke furniture into a distant world. A strong contrast to the New York peachiness of the Meatpacking District where hipsters shop at Stella McCartney or jog in the High Line Park.
The concept is as simple as brilliant: cooking and pleasure fans, from professionals to lay persons, meet up for dinner in a private ambience. The invitation to a night full of feasting, savouring, cooking, chatting and discussing comes by e-mail. On site - today a loft in Midtown, tomorrow a loft in Brooklyn, the day after tomorrow an apartment in Chelsea - it's all about talking, gossiping and enjoying. The menu is mostly a surprise. What we know: the Noble Rot serves good wine, oftentimes with artistic accompaniment and the Brooklyn Edible Social Club provides for five-course menus. And what's behind Apt4 Food & Wine - apart from delicious dishes - has to be discovered by all the adventurous persons among you. What you need to bring to those eating events are openness, curiosity, appetite and your wallet. Because although secret dining somehow resembles an invitation to a dinner at friends, it's not for free.
Pearl & Ash
The Pearl & Ash on Bowery Street in New York is the new place for endless parties with sea creatures. The persons behind the concept? Chef Richard Kuo, general manager Branden McRill, and sommelier Patrick Cappiello. Together they throw maritime-themed parties in their restaurant. Richard Kuo - who previously cooked at wd~50, Corton and the Scandinavian-inspired Pop-ups Frej - now serves scallops, ray, octopus and tea-marinated salmon at Pearl & Ash. They come with Brussel sprouts and long beans. For dessert, he surprises with coffee parfait, Fernet Branca ice cream and sweet mini portions for the little appetite after the opulent meal. The cocktails are named after historical events of the area, yet, taste contemporary. All this is framed by wooden frames pinned to the walls, with motifs such as Kodak cameras (for taking pictures) or boxes filled with moss (rather for looking only). Typically New York!