Robert Sietsema is the food critic for the Village Voice where he writes the Counter Culture column. Robert recommends Nepalese restaurant Mustang Thakali Kitchen in Jackson Heights, Queens. He likes the sel roti, which is a donut made from rice flour. And, he likes the yohsi or kneaded buckwheat starch. Dip the yohsi in various curry accompaniments or in the sweek yogurt dipping sauce.
For Chinese food, Robert says that white table cloth Sichuan restaurants are popping up around New York. Robert likes Bamboo Pavilion in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Ox tongues, stomach tripe, rabbit, whole fish and jelly fish dishes are featured. Robert likes the flowered kidney with hot sauce.
The neighborhood formerly known as "Hell's Kitchen," and now called "Clinton," in west mid-town Manhattan, is in the process of a culinary revitalization. Robert highlights Gazala Place, which features Druze cuisine. The Druze are a religious group from the Middle East who practice an offshoot of Islam. Chef Halabi Gazala serves hummus, stuffed grape leaves and other Mid-East delights.
According to Robert, 10 Downing is a new hot-spot in the West Village.
Chef Jason Neroni serves typical yet tasty bistro fare including steak
frites and charcuterie. One particularly trendy item, says Robert, are
the pickled vegetables accompanying each
Mustang Thakali Kitchen
74-14 37th Avenue, Jackson Heights, Queens, 718-898-5088
6920 18th Avenue, Bensonhurst,Brooklyn, 718-236-8088
709 9th Ave., New York, NY 10019
10 Downing Street, New York, NY 212-255-0300
Music Break: Any Color You Like by Easy Star All-Stars