Cherche Midi

Keith McNally’s Cherche Midi on Bowery

Cherche Midi

Cherche Midi       282 Bowery (corner of Houston St ) NYC 

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Overall Food Atmosphere Price
♥♥ ♥♥ 1/2  $$$1/2
Keith McNally’s Cherche Midi opened three days ago (June 12) in my neighborhood. The location is the former space of Pulino’s at the corner of Bowery & Houston. I made a last minute reservation for six at 8:30pm on Saturday night. As soon as I walked in I realized the place looked just like Pulino’s. Keith McNally owned an Italian restaurant called Pulino’s that closed in February this year. I guess they didn’t change the interior very much. The bar, dining area, and kitchen are all the same. Even the basement bathroom is the same with its cute mini-tile floors. The only differences I could find were that there was no outside seating and the lighting was much warmer making it feel like a French bistro. The bartender gave us a free shot to welcome us while we waited at the bar for our table. 🙂 Nice!

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Once we were seated, I started my dinner by ordering a cocktail made with egg white. It was yummy~
We ordered three appetizers to share and each of us ordered different entrees. My entree was Whole Grilled Daurade with crispy herba – $34. I have to say, the best choice from the entree menu!! The fish was simply grilled and came in a large portion. It was seasoned with whole thyme and rosemary, brushed with olive oil, and served with grilled lemon on the side. After I opened the fish in half, I brushed it with oil using the herb stems, then squeezed lemon all over it. Besides my Daurade, I had bites of the Skate Fish, Lobster Ravioli, Steak Frites, and Salmon. They are all good, but nothing special.
Ratings for the appetizers:

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The HAMACHI CRUDO w. yuzu, radish and shiso ($15) was light and tasty. I thought the portion size was very fair.

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The PAN-ROASTED FOIE GRAS w. toasted baguette and a watercress salad ($19) It turned out to be plain pieces of watercress other than “salad’. The fois gras was good, but the baguette was very dry. None of us ended up eating it. The portion size was very small for the price. Overall, I would not recommend it.

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The SAUTEED SARDINES over grilled country bread with saffron aioli and pickled shallots ($14) was just ok. Again, I would not recommend it.

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I saw a posting with the FROG LEG green garlic veloute, garlic chips, crisp parsley ($19) on Instagram and it looked very good. We didn’t order it, but maybe that would be a better choice of an appetizer if you visit. Although I think $19 is very pricey for frog, so that’s your call! (I don’t care for frog dishes, but I had one of the best frog dishes at Le Philosoph In Noho that I blogged about a few years ago.)
We definitely had a great time and we were glad to check out this new place, but none of us were impressed. Also, we ate here many times back when it was Pulino’s so it almost didn’t feel like a new place. Yes, I know it sounds like I’m a jaded foodie NYker, but it’s true!!! However, I would like to patrol again if they start serving breakfast since my neighborhood doesn’t have many breakfast spots.

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PS– My friend Dr Anthony had PAN-SEARED SALMON lentils, cumin-scented yogurt and greens.  #BAM Heathy choice!!! Omega 3 🙂
xoxo
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Hinata Ramen

Chicken Broth Ramen

Hinata Ramen 159 E.55th St. b/t 3rd & Lexington Ave | 212-355-2974

I read on Twitter that Chef Michael Anthony from Gramercy Tavern visited Hinata Ramen a few months ago. I hadn’t heard of this ramen shop until then. So, I decided to come here for lunch. Hinata Ramen opened last November in Midtown East. I often eat ramen for lunch. There are many choices of ramen shops around my office in Midtown such as Hide-chan, Totto, Ippudo West, and a few more places. Today I found a new edition to add to my ramen lunch options. Chef Anthony mentioned this place’s noodle and that it was somehow related to Ippudo. So I was even more curious about this place!! I was also interested in tasting their broth. Most popular ramen shops often serve pork based broth, but Hinata specializes in chicken broth ramen.

Overall Food Atmosphere Price
♥♥♥1/2 ♥♥♥
♥♥1/2 $$  
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Original Hinata Paitan Ramen – Chicken broth $12.5 ♥♥♥1/2

I started my lunch with gyoza and pork bum to share. I didn’t much care for either appetizer, but it was good and decent enough. I sat at the front counter seat so that I could see the action in the kitchen behind the glass window. (It does not have an open kitchen.) I ordered the Original Hinata Paitan Ramen and my friend ordered the Aburi Niku Miso Ramen which is limited to 10 bowls per day. Both ramen were very good.

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Aburi Niku Miso Ramen – (Limited 10 bowls per day) ♥♥♥1/2

My favorite is Shoyu Tonkostuu (soy based and pork based mixed.) Compared to pork based this was much lighter and cleaner. Definitely refreshing.

It was also great to meet the owner, Chef Madoka Tamura. I was a little shocked to see a young Japanese lady. I guess I always imagine a ramen shop owner to be a man. Like I said, Hinata’s ramen is very clean and elegant. This made perfect sense once I met her. She was lovely. I asked her about her background. She said this is her first restaurant and she taught herself how to make ramen. I’m the owner of Cutie Room, but having a boutique and running a restaurant are two different things. I was very impressed. I love seeing Japanese women doing their thing in NYC!

Owner/ chef Madoka Tamura

I eat at most ramen shops more than twice before giving a rating. So, at this time I can’t give a proper rating yet. I am definitely going back for lunch again soon. Stay tuned for an update!

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Hinata Pork Bun ♥♥♥

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Kurobuta Gyoza ♥♥♥

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