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Advice for visit

I second that recommendation. I love Risotteria and didn't even notice it was mostly gluten-free at first. My favorites are also the risottos and the yummy breadsticks, but they also have good sandwiches and pizzas. That neighborhood in general is great for reasonably priced good food.

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Risotteria
270 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

Mar 18, 2011
puddingcup in Manhattan

Momofuku Ko dinner

No problem, RGR. Since the activity on this thread, I've taken a look around and it looks like the Momo restaurants definitely inspire strong reactions, good and bad. Interesting to read. It looks like you have a food-related blog. I'm looking forward to reading it too.

Mar 18, 2011
puddingcup in Manhattan

Momofuku Ko dinner

I'm glad you enjoyed your dinner, ellenost, and that the intern was there too. Did you have the exact same menu I did? I'm curious as to how much they tweak the menu on the day to day, beyond seasonal changes. It looks like you've eaten at Ko a number of times. Do you know how often they switch out the entire menu (or almost all, I understand they keep some favorites, like the foie gras).

Mar 18, 2011
puddingcup in Manhattan

Momofuku Ko dinner

Wow, I didn't expect my post to take this turn. In any case, I hope you and your wife enjoy yourselves, nextguy, and please do post about your experience.

Mar 17, 2011
puddingcup in Manhattan

Momofuku Ko dinner

No pork at a David Chang restaurant is a challenge! Though now that I think of it, there wasn't any pork on the menu last night.

Mar 17, 2011
puddingcup in Manhattan

Momofuku Ko dinner

But why would someone fake a gluten intolerance? It's not like disliking onions or skate, for example (that would be me).

Mar 17, 2011
puddingcup in Manhattan

Momofuku Ko dinner

I agree with this. They are not surly. I can't imagine that they wouldn't take an allergy seriously. I thought the issue was whether gluten affects so many dishes that your wife would have to give up too many courses, not that she was at risk for getting sick.

Mar 17, 2011
puddingcup in Manhattan

Momofuku Ko dinner

Sorry, but I don't know enough to say for sure, but maybe the ravioli, cavatelli, pumpernickel and donuts? It's so hard to say, because they could have added flour to the almond crust, for example. They did ask us about allergies before we started eating, and we have none, but I was wondering what they could do to accommodate us if we had had any. I suppose for nut allergies there's only the pine nut brittle.

If, let's say, it's only the above 4 elements that have gluten, the ravioli is only an amuse (and not amazing anyway), the pumpernickel turnip could easily be left off the plate, and as I've said, the donuts aren't great and your wife could enjoy the ice cream and chocolate. The cavatelli she may have to skip. I don't know which courses had soy sauce, if any, but maybe the dashi and the mustard greens? However, the lunch menu is longer than dinner, and I don't know how many more courses would be affected. Sorry can't be more helpful.

Mar 17, 2011
puddingcup in Manhattan

Momofuku Ko dinner

Let me know if there is a young, female "trainee" there when you go. It was her first night there. I don't know what kind of a trainee she was. Even though she said she had graduated from culinary school, she looked so insecure, I couldn't imagine her becoming a cook there any time soon. Anyway, she was the one person who talked to us the most. When I wanted clarification on some of the dishes, she would answer (or more likely get the answer for us). The only work she did was wiping a few plates before the food was put on them. Once in a while, one of the chefs would explain a few things to her and I would eavesdrop. Once he quietly passed her an extra donut plate and she went into the back kitchen to eat it. It was very cute. When she came back out, I asked her if she had liked the donuts she said "yes" very seriously. Donuts are very serious business at Ko, everyone.

Anyway, as we were leaving, I asked her if she was coming back the next night, and she kind of looked around, and said, "I hope so".

Mar 17, 2011
puddingcup in Manhattan

Momofuku Ko dinner

Hello everyone, this is my first post on these boards, though I've been a reader for some time. My husband and I ate at Momofuku Ko last night for our anniversary and I thought some of you might be interested in what the menu was. As you probably know, they don't allow photos, so I took notes on my phone about the courses. Please forgive any slip ups.

1 dashi with king oyster and matsutake mushrooms and culantro (not a typo)
2 chicharone with togarashi salt
3 crab ravioli with honey vinegar
4 long island fluke with spicy whipped buttermilk and poppy seeds
5 spanish mackerel tataki with beet apple puree, cabbage and puffed black rice
6 potato daikon soup with lamb, roasted brussel sprout leaves, artichokes and wood sorrel
7 soft boiled hillcrest farm egg with hasselback caviar, onion soubise and fingerling potato chips
8 ricotta cavatelli with fried beef tongue, crispy sauerkraut and fresh horseradish
9 marcona almond crusted skate wing with almond foam, seragnola olive, charred cauliflower and water chestnut
10 hudson valley foie gras with riesling jelly, lychees and pine nut brittle
11 muscovy duck breast with chinese mustard greens, tokyo turnip with pumpernickel dust
12 sancho apple cider sorbet with apple compote, burnt rosemary and apple soda
13 donuts, one with parsnip glaze, one with crushed hazelnuts, parsnip and caramel ice cream, caramelized white chocolate and brown butter solids with parsley

My favorite dish was the potato soup, believe it or not. The cauliflower and artichokes had such a lovely, nutty flavor. My husband's favorite was the mackerel, but he also loved the fluke. We both loved the egg and caviar dish.

The meal was great, though not "life changing" as I've seen on these boards. In general, I was impressed by many of the vegetables, they had so much flavor, and were great accents to the dish they were a part of (in addition to what I've mentioned, I loved the tiny pieces of potato chips, olive, cauiflower, and water chestnut). And I'm not even a big vegetable person. I was less taken with many of the proteins, but then I've never really liked skate. I love duck, and also beef tongue, and these were good, but not amazing. My husband remarked how the dish washer must have a pretty easy job of it, because the plates that were taken away were eaten so clean.

The famous grated foie gras dish was a lot of fun, it was fruity and relatively light. It was really like a sundae, complete with crispy bits.

I was disappointed that the donuts were cold. I think serving them warm would have made an enormous difference, too heavy, otherwise. The parsnip ice cream with salty chocolate and butter bits was good. (In general, I don't like making savory dishes sweet and vice versa, just for the trendiness of it, but I thought the foie gras and salty chocolate parsley dessert were great examples of that kind of twist.)

Portions were just right. We were full after the meal but not too much so.

I didn't even notice the music for most of the dinner, so they must have toned the volume down. I heard Jay-Z at one point, but very quietly.

Seats - yep, uncomfortable, but bearable.

Staff - yep, standoffish, especially the one waitress who sets all of the silverware. She only smiled once, when were were leaving, and she smiled so big then it looked really uncomfortable. The chefs were pretty quiet, but at the end of the evening, we were talking to one and he just seemed like a shy guy.

While were were eating our last course, the chefs started cleaning up of the kitchen area. This didn't bother us, because I love watching backstage stuff like that. They did a really fast clean up job. We noticed that one chef didn't do any cleaning and my husband said, I see what the hierarchy here is.

Anyway, we enjoyed ourselves and I feel so grateful we got to eat there. I love food (sigh).

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Momofuku Ko
163 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

Mar 17, 2011
puddingcup in Manhattan