Monday, April 23, 2012

Landbrot Bakery and Bar (New York, NY)

Landbrot Bakery and Bar

The east side of 7th Avenue between Charles Street and West 10th Street seems to be in a perpetual state of flux. First, Birdbath Bakery opened and closed, a much lamented passing in our household. (Justin snuck in for something every time he went to the garage to "get the car".) Then a Louisiana snoball shop opened and closed, to be replaced months later by a mediocre, overpriced wine shop. Its near neighbor is a barber shop advertising $12 men's haircuts for senior citizens. The rest of the block seems to be permanently enrobed in scaffolding, which Julius enjoys leaving peemail on. It's an unsightly stretch, often covered with glass from broken beer bottles, but the scaffolding comes in handy when it rains.

Imagine my surprise when, one spring day, after months of walking past all this muck, I look up to see a very attractive, shiny new bakery with huge plate glass windows, and row after row of beautiful breads and sweets, which has appeared out of nowhere. This gorgeous apparition is called Landbrot Bakery and Bar, probably the only German bakery in Manhattan, today -- or one of only two, if you count its sister location on the Lower East Side, which also opened in early April. All the breads and pastries are baked daily upstairs above the West Village store, under the supervision of a certain Herr Udo Fischer, whom Serious Eats identifies as a "Bavarian master baker".

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Neta (New York, NY)

Grilled Scallop with Uni

In Mexican Spanish slang, "neta" means roughly "the real thing". In Japanese, "neta" means roughly "the good stuff that comes with the shari". In multicultural New York, Neta restaurant is both. This newcomer, opened by ex-Masa and Bar Masa head chefs Nick Kim and Jimmy Lau, is legit. It appears (on the basis of my one meal) to serve some of the best sushi this city currently has to offer -- and some seriously good neta to go with it.