As the creator of a web site whose very name extols the virtues of Asian food and bone marrow you might think I enjoy the latest trend in pho, the add-on of a roasted marrow bone. After all what’s more comforting than a bowl of beefy noodle soup? And what’s more sumptuous than a cross-cut roasted marrow bone, its cavity filled with meat butter?
Just because they are both good separately doesn’t mean they belong together though. Because I am at heart a gluttonous carnivore, I want to like the combination, but it’s just a ploy by restaurants to jack up the price of a humble noodle soup while feeding ravenous hordes of Instagrammers. (more…)
This week I caught up with my old friend Josh Ozersky, the Meatopia maven and food writer. Of late Josh has been writing hunger-inducing dispatches like this one on modernist barbecue over on Esquire’s Eat Like A Man. In case anyone is wondering the rumors about Josh and I rolling around in the dewy heather on Martha Stewart’s compound are dirty lie. It was asphalt
Where do you like to eat when you make it out to Queens? I still have a soft spot for the Bukharian places in Rego Park, like Arzu and Cheburchnaya, and I never miss a chance to visit the Northern Chinese “mutton men” of Flushing. I would like to go back to La Portena someday.
Ah, the mutton men. You owe it to yourself to try Fu Run’s Muslim lamb chop. Tell me where did you learn to use chopsticks? I haven’t, and I won’t. Chopsticks are the stupidest implement in history. There can be no more ludicrous act of pretension than an American claiming to like them. You might as well wear a powdered wig, or carry a Roman short sword into battle.
I seem to remember reading something about you having a beef with chefs overusing bone marrow. Tell me more? It’s all written right here. The simple fact is that bone marrow sounds sexy, but it’s just tasteless fat, never meant to have a starring role. It should be, like Joyce’s God, invisible and omnipresent in a dish. (more…)
With a menu that includes Italian-inspired fare from Famiglia Chiarelli and German-inspired dishes from Familie Dieterle Harold Dieterle’s The Marrow is a deeply personal restaurant. It is also deeply delicious at least based on the dish I tried, The Bone Marrow ($16) Chef Dieterle’s genius combination of uni and bone marrow with baby celery leaves, Meyer lemon aioli, and crunchy little potato cubes. The man in charge of what is surely New York City’s first Teutonic-Italian eatery took some time to answer Seven Questions as he prepped for dinner service last Friday afternoon.
The Marrow’s menu is a nod to your lineage, you’re half German and half Sicilian right? My paternal grandmother is actually Irish but her husband was 100% German. I grew up eating two very different styles of cuisine. Half the time I’d eat very German, schnitzels, spaetzels, a lot of braises, very peasant style food. The other half of the time I would eat very southern Italian style food.
What do your folks think of the half German half Italian menu? They love it. It’s a very personal restaurant to me. They’re very excited about it. They’re proud that this is what I decided to go with for the next place.
Why did you name the restaurant The Marrow? A lot of our restaurants have double meanings, so The Marrow really means the center of or the best part of. It’s very much a meat-focused restaurant, so we thought it would be a fun name. (more…)
Will Horowitz cooks “Vietnamese Cajun food” at Ducks. Photo: ELK
This week I pose Seven Questions to Will Horowitz, the chef-owner of Ducks Eatery in Manhattan’s East Village. Ducks is the kind of place where trail mix, crispy pig’s ears, and yakamein with barbecued brisket and clams all appear on the same menu. Strange, beautiful and delicious.
How would you characterize the food at Ducks?
We like to tell people that it’s “Vietnamese Cajun food, strongly influenced by local terroir” so people have some sense of category, maybe next week we’ll just start calling it “New Orleans 2047.” Really though, I have no fucking idea. I’m building recipes like stories, my inspiration is found in old trade routes, travels, nature, wars, traditions and heritage techniques. With that being said, there’s also a very “stream of consciousness” style undertone to our creativity, which we tend to paint on what’s often a very comedic canvas.
Do most customers get it?
A lot of people get it, a lot of people don’t. Not that I expect everyone too, that wasn’t the goal. Religion gives faith to the uncertainty of the universe’s question marks… we are a question mark with no religion. We’re utilizing a mentality driving some of the world’s most exciting restaurants in the form of corn dogs & moonshine. With that being said we have a huge following from the neighborhood, food writers and most of all industry folk. We’ve become sort of a cult hangout for a lot of really cool chefs, which makes me happy. I love cooking for other cooks.
When eating pork bone soup a straw and a glove come in handy.
“And where is this pig marrow bone soup you speaketh of?” my pal Liza de Guia of Food Curated tweeted me a couple of weeks back. Her question was prompted by my mention of a joint in Flushing where one could get pig marrow bone soup. OK, Liza I suppose you have been waiting long enough. The mysterious pig marrow bone soup can be had at Zhu’s Snacks on the lower level of the Golden Shopping Mall. (more…)