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Restaurant recommendations, new openings, and highlights from the NY Chowhound community.

Tigerland: Stylish Southeast Asian in the East Village

Tigerland applies a dash of French technique to top-notch ingredients to make slightly upmarket Vietnamese and Thai food. Even some purists are impressed. “Not really a substitute for home-style Thai, but a lot of great dishes,” says Simon, who singles out shrimp sauteed with garlic and Berkshire bacon. “It’s not exactly fusion, but more like updated home cooking.”

A don’t-miss appetizer is Angel Wings (deboned chicken wings stuffed with seafood, noodles, and vegetables). Also recommended: tom ka gai (chicken coconut soup), papaya salad with Vietnamese sausage, banh xeo (Vietnamese crepe) with shrimp and pork, Shaking Beef (seared cubes of meat with garlic, black pepper, watercress). Meats are naturally raised, produce is mostly organic, and seafood is wild, not farmed.

Early diners can take advantage of an attractive prix fixe special: appetizer, entree, rice, and dessert for $22 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. “An amazing deal,” declares jungirl. “It is a ridiculous amount of food.”


Tigerland [East Village]
85 Ave. A, between E. 5th and 6th Sts., Manhattan
212-477-9887
Locater

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TIGERLAND!!
angel wings
Heaven chicken wings
need great thai or french vietnemese restaurant
Excellent Thai in les—Ama ya
Hip Intimate Ethnic Restaurant? Please Help

In Jackson Heights, a Burmese Discovery

Lephet thoke, or tea leaf salad–a brightly seasoned party-on-a-plate of fermented green tea, nuts, bean sprouts, and more–is a must-try at Jackson Heights’ promising new Burmese Cafe. It’s crunchy/smooth, dry/oily, fresh, surprising, and irresistible, says Peter Cuce.

Other winners: sour pork curry, chile-spiked fish cake salad, crispy squash fritters with sprightly sambal, and a rich, gingery duck soup, punched up by tangy pickled greens. The menu also offers Burmese-style Chinese dishes that include a stir-fried fish curry authentically redolent of garlic, onion, and chile, reports marachino–but also undistinguished kung pao chicken.

Prices are gentle, service exceptionally friendly. “Everything had a unique, different taste. I’m so glad about this new addition to the neighborhood!” writes welle.

In a city where good Burmese food is scarce, this place could be big news if it fulfills its potential. Burmese hound juhlee, who approves of the tea salad and fish curry–but is unmoved by mohinga (fish noodle soup) and coconut chicken noodle soup–ranks Burmese Cafe slightly ahead of Manhattan’s Village Mingala. “It does seem promising, and I would return to try other dishes since the options for Burmese food in New York are limited.”


Burmese Cafe [Jackson Heights]
71-34 Roosevelt Ave., at 72nd St., Jackson Heights, Queens
718-803-1820
Map

Village Mingala [East Village]
21 E. 7th St., between 2nd and 3rd Aves., Manhattan
212-529-3656
Locater

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New ‘Burmese Cafe’ in Jackson Heights

Cronkite: Thin-Crust Bliss on the Lower East Side

First-class toppings on an uncommonly good thin-crust pie are the draw at Cronkite Pizzeria. Opened in November by the owner of Williamsburg’s Fornino, it shares its sister restaurant’s artisanal bent–home-grown herbs, house-made fennel sausage, carefully chosen wine list, imported Italian tomatoes and burrata.

“It’s the best thing I’ve eaten in a while,” raves Peter Cuce, who tried the Vongole (clams, mozzarella, Parmesan) and the Lombardi (arugula, mozzarella, prosciutto). ironfrank describes a nearly perfect crust, cracker crisp with just the right amount of char from the brick oven. “It’s no DiFara,” he adds, “but it’s quite good.” Beyond pizza, check out starters like the tomato-buffalo mozzarella salad or polenta with roasted wild mushrooms.

Dissenters say delivery orders can fall flat and suggest that some combos on the ambitious, two-dozen-plus topping list don’t quite work.


Cronkite Pizzeria and Wine Bar [Lower East Side]
133 Norfolk St., at Rivington, Manhattan
212-375-1500
Locater

Fornino [Williamsburg]
187 Bedford Ave., at N. 7th St., Brooklyn
718-384-6004
Locater

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Cronkite Pizza–Over Budget but NOT out of this world
Cronkite Pizzeria?

Ceol – Sturdy Irish Breakfast in Cobble Hill

At Ceol in Cobble Hill, they lay out a serious Irish breakfast on weekends. It’s two eggs, Irish slab bacon, two link sausages, black pudding (blood sausage), white pudding (pork-oatmeal sausage), grilled tomato, fried potatoes, and soda bread with house-made jam, all for $11. “Everything was very good and fresh,” reports prunefeet, whose only complaint is that Ceol’s Irish breakfast deal, unlike many others, doesn’t include a drink.

Coffee is nothing special and surprisingly expensive (“just like Ireland, actually,” observes IrinaD). But the gracious staff encourages lingering–as does the cozy setting, especially when they stoke up the fireplace.


Ceol [Cobble Hill]
191 Smith St., at Warren, Brooklyn
347-643-9911
Locater

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Irish breakfast at that place on Smith St.

Uncommonly Fresh Filipino Flavors at Grill 21

Grill 21 does something many of Manhattan’s Filipino eateries do not: It cooks most of its menu to order. “Not a steam table place, which is a welcome change,” notes nyufoodie, who ranks it on par with Elvie’s and a step above Krystal’s and relative newcomer Bayan Cafe. Recommended: crispy pata (fried pork knuckle) and meaty, deftly fried lumpia.

Billed as a grill, this place offers plenty of Filipino barbecue: salmon, tilapia, bangus (milkfish), short ribs, pork belly, chicken, etc. Also on the menu: adobo (with chicken or pork), kare-kare (oxtail in peanut sauce), fish and shrimp (fried or cooked in coconut milk or tamarind broth), rice porridge, and breakfast fare like longsilog (sweet pork sausage, served with egg and fried rice). Lunch specials (curry, adobo, lumpia, etc.) are $6.


Grill 21 [Gramercy]
346 E. 21st St., between 1st and 2nd Aves., Manhattan
212-473-5921
Locater

Bayan Cafe [Grand Central]
212 E. 45th St., between 2nd and 3rd Aves., Manhattan
212-450-8260
Locater

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Best lumpia/Filipino market?

Sfogliatelle Showdown in the Bronx and Beyond

New York chowhounds have been obsessed of late with sfogliatelle, the delicate Italian breakfast pastries with a sweet, creamy, cheesy filling. Among numerous deserving purveyors around town, three emerge as current favorites:

Morrone, the Bronx: “The ultimate in sfogliatelle pleasure,” declares rose water, who describes crisp, fresh pastry enclosing an alluring filling, perfumey and just sweet enough, with a refreshing citrus note. This Morris Park veteran just opened a bright little shop on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx’s Little Italy.

Court Pastry Shop, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn: Consistently fresh, with very thin, flaky pastry resembling a clamshell, observes Cheese Boy. “In a word, perfect,” swoons kenito799, who praises its shatteringly crisp pastry and moist, delicious filling, slightly eggy and slightly citrusy. After tasting Court’s sfogliatelle alongside Morrone’s, he throws up his hands and calls it a draw: “Both are absolutely top notch.”

De Lillo’s, the Bronx: rose water likes the buttery shell with its welcome touch of salt. The filling boasts more cheesy richness than Morrone’s, which is stronger on citrus. “Maybe the ideal solution is to have De Lillo’s as a breakfast pastry and Morrone’s as an evening dessert,” muses Striver. “May our lives be filled with such dilemmas!”

Other contenders include Enrico’s in Morris Park, though it doesn’t always have sfogliatelle, and 18th Avenue Bakery in Borough Park.


Morrone Bakery [Bronx]
1946 Williamsbridge Rd., between Neill and Rhinelander Aves., Bronx
718-828-8111
Locater

Morrone Pastry Shop Cafe [Bronx]
2349 Arthur Ave., between E. 186th St. and Crescent Ave., Bronx
718-733-0424
Map

Court Pastry Shop [Carroll Gardens]
298 Court St., between DeGraw and Douglass, Brooklyn
718-875-4820
Locater

De Lillo’s Pastry Shop [Bronx]
606 E. 187th St., between Arthur and Hughes Aves., Bronx
718-367-8198
Locater

Enrico’s Pastry Shop [Bronx]
1057 Morris Park Ave., between Hone and Lurting Aves., Bronx
718-823-7207
Locater

18th Avenue Bakery [Borough Park]
6016 18th Ave., near 60th St., Brooklyn
718-256-2441
Locater

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The great Bronx sfogliatelle showdown

Pardo’s – Superior Peruvian Chicken in the Village

At Pardo’s, a Peruvian chicken chain, the secret is in the marinade. Brewed from a recipe developed at the source in Lima, it works its way deep into the bird, resulting in exceptionally flavorful meat. The chicken comes off the rotisserie moist and tender, with crisp, delicious skin. “Sometimes there’s nothing better than a good roast chicken,” notes jdmetz, “and this place came through big time.” Alongside the chicken come a couple of house-made sauces, of which the green peppercorn is the winner, says Benjamin68.

There’s more than roast chicken here. Hounds recommend yuquitas (yucca fries), chicharron (fried chicken with an unusually light cornmeal crust), garlicky, bacony stewed canario beans, and dense but refreshing flan for dessert. Parrillero (grilled chicken fillet), anticuchos (grilled beef heart), fried rice, and a handful of other sides round out the short menu.


Pardo’s [West Village]
92 7th Ave. S., near Grove St., Manhattan
212-488-3900
Locater

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Pardo’s chicken–Just as good as now-defunct El Pollo
The Best (Peruvian) Rotisserie Chicken–Pardo’s
New Peruvian Chicken Place in West Village

Exit Bar Minnow, Enter Brooklyn Burger Bar

Bar Minnow, a once-promising Park Slope seafood house, has finally gone under after months of decline. In its place is Brooklyn Burger Bar, which appears to be struggling in its opening weeks. Assessments of the food range from tasty to just awful, and service sounds like amateur hour. One bright spot: the black and white shake, tasty and enormous, with just the right ratio of chocolate syrup to vanilla ice cream, reports redgirl.

In Astoria, Le Sans Souci has closed, ending a two-year run of solid bistro fare, friendly service, and live jazz. Kitchen turnover did the place in, according to the owner. “It is sad to see this happen,” laments bebe.

Down on the Jersey Shore, Pearl of the Sea is no longer by the sea. Displaced by redevelopment from its oceanfront space, this hound-endorsed Portuguese restaurant has moved inland and rechristened itself Pearl of Lisbon. Still good, says jsfein: sangria, garlic shrimp, filet mignon, and bony but delicious whole snapper are as satisfying as ever.


Brooklyn Burger Bar [Park Slope]
formerly Bar Minnow
444 9th St., at 7th Ave., Brooklyn
718-832-5500
Map

Le Sans Souci [Astoria]
44-09 Broadway, Astoria, Queens
Map

Pearl of Lisbon [Monmouth County]
formerly Pearl of the Sea
609 Broadway, near Grand Ave., Long Branch, NJ
732-263-1050
Map

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Bar Minnow is now Brooklyn Burger Bar
Brooklyn Burger Bar: Uh Oh…
Did You Know Le Sans Souci in Astoria closed down?
Pearl of Lisbon (formerly Pearl of the Sea), Long Branch

Shopsin’s Packs It In; and Other New York News

Shopsin’s, the quirky grab-bag eatery in the Village, has closed its doors. After months of rumors and feints, it has sold its lease on Carmine Street. Chef-owner Kenny Shopsin plans to reopen in much smaller quarters in the Lower East Side’s Essex Street Market, probably a sandwich stand with a drastically reduced version of the menu that once offered mac-and-cheese pancakes, Nigerian beef soup, and Georgia barbecued pork oatmeal, among several hundred other things. “Whatever Kenny does,” promises G4Gluttony, “I will follow him there for his prolific and mad scientist-like culinary chops.”

March, the elegant town house restaurant off Sutton Place, has also shut down, temporarily. Wayne Nish, co-owner and founding chef, is downscaling the menu, recasting the kitchen staff, and aiming to reopen sometime in January.

Inside, the cozy hideout on Jones Street, closed on New Year’s Eve. “We, along with many others in the neighborhood, loved their consistent food and generosity, and always felt at home there,” eulogizes erin07nyc.


Shopsin’s General Store [Lower East Side]
to open at…Essex Street Market, stall 16
120 Essex St., between Rivington and Delancey, Manhattan
Locater

March Restaurant [Sutton Place]
405 E. 58th St., between 1st Ave. and Sutton Pl., Manhattan
212-754-6272
Locater

Inside [Greenwich Village]
9 Jones St., between Bleecker and W 4th, Manhattan
Map

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Shopsins closing
Shopsin’s Closed for Good?
March closing–worth trying to go beforehand?
goodbye, Inside

N Love with Westport’s Ndulgence La Patisserie

Ndulgence is a welcome newcomer in Westport, especially now that the good bakeries in town seem to be dying off. Go for fruit tarts, buttery sugar cookies and linzers, or light, eggy rolls, suggests ClippyZ. The personable owner, Victor, is a veteran baker from Guatemala who also makes a haunting, anise-scented corona bread. He’s unusually liberal with free samples, too.


Ndulgence La Patisserie [Fairfield County]
1765 Post Rd. E., in Westfair Center, Westport, CT
203-255-2866
Locater

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New Fairfield/Westport, CT Bakery