Their new record Wide Awake!, produced by Danger Mouse, is out on Friday and we’ve loved everything we’ve heard thus far. You can grab tickets for the afternoon show this Thursday at Rough Trade. If you can’t make it, fear not. Pitchfork will be streaming it. Wide Awake! is New York’s Parquet Courts’ fifth record since their […]
In the former home of T.B.D, The Springs is now open at 224 Franklin Street. Like T.B.D., there’s an enormous courtyard that’s the perfect place for groups on a sunny day. The bar has been given a makeover and now has a Palm Springs theme with slushy drinks and a food cart. A new bar, […]
This will be the final season for the Greenpoint venue. RSVP begins May 30 for Action Bronson. House of Vans Brooklyn — 2018 Schedule June 14 – Action Bronson (RSVP Open May 30) June 30 – Slowdive (RSVP Open June 13) July 14 – Suicidal Tendencies (RSVP Open June 27) July 24 – Special Guest […]
This one stings. The popular restaurant announced yesterday on Instagram that they will be closing at the end of the month. They have been on our favorites lists for years and will be missed. The owners stated that rising costs and the L Train shutdown led to their decision: We are sole owner/operators & investors […]
Opened in 2016 as part of a successful Kickstarter campaign, Win Son is simply one of the best Taiwanese restaurants in the city. Nestled away in a small space in East Williamsburg/Bushwick, the restaurant serves a traditional blend of Taiwanese dishes including pan-griddled pork buns, sesame noodles, oyster omelette and the always polarizing stinky tofu. (Try it, you just might like it!) Expect to wait, because Win Son is popular, but you will not be disappointed. Save room for dessert because the Tian Miantuan (fried sweet dough, vanilla ice cream and sweetened condensed milk) is amazing.
Win Son is just an unassuming neighborhood spot that happens to serve some of the city’s most ambitious Taiwanese fare. ne of Taiwan’s modern classics, spicy popcorn chicken, became popular in the late 1970s as an easier-to-eat analog to the bone-in variety, hawked by local KFC outposts. Win Son’s riff on that dish is spectacular. Brown coats dark-meat nuggets in a cayenne-laced sweet-potato starch, fries them to a dense crunch, and drenches the morsels in a butter-spiked persimmon hot sauce. The chicken bursts with a distinct poultry tang, offset by shards of crispy fried basil. Wendy’s stock price would go through the roof if the chain figured out a way to take these nationwide.
Taiwanese fare, of course, is not new to New Yorkers, but what makes Win Son particularly compelling in 2018 is that it’s benefiting from a resurgent interest in the Asian nation’s cuisine, fueled by a new crop of young culinarians riffing on their ancestral fare.
The menu is a mix of some of Taiwan’s greatest hits, freely tinkered with by Brown, and originals inspired by the cuisine. Take, for example, the so-called nutritious sandwich, named for the Keelung Miaokou Night Market stall that serves a very popular sandwich of fried sweet dough with Kewpie mayo, crispy hot dog, thousand-year-old egg, tomato, and cucumber. The dough is still fried, but the fillings are subbed out for a mix of pineapple, ham, and jalapeño. Other dishes only have minor changes or none at all: The fried eggplant comes with tart labneh in addition to the usual black vinegar, and pan-griddled pork buns are doused in chili vinaigrette. To wash it all down, there are a few beers, wines, and cocktails like the Auntie Leah (gin, cherry amaro, Aperol, lemon, and lime.)
Brown’s dishes feel constructed for maximum fun. He serves eggplant fried piping hot and buried under chopped cashews and fresh herbs, riffing on the chilled, marinated version he enjoyed abroad. The bowl of crunchy nightshades comes drenched in black-vinegar caramel and, startlingly, labne kefir. (“One thing I learned in Taiwan: Everything’s game,” Brown says.) The dish is Win Son’s sleeper hit, a donnybrook of flavors tied together by rich, tangy yogurt.
General Debs is a Sichuan restaurant from the same people behind Faro and formerly Northeast Kingdom. The menu is a huge departure from their other ventures, but don’t let this deter you. Expect traditional Sichuan dishes at General Deb’s — hot sesame noodles, bang bang rabbit, twice cooked pork — even though the owners aren’t Chinese. As with their other ventures, ingredients are always fresh and dishes are all made with care. General Debs offers some of our favorite Chinese food in Brooklyn.
The menu at General Deb’s pays tribute to the provincial cuisine using sustainably raised meats from Autumn’s Harvest Farm in upstate New York, like rabbit that’s roasted whole and slicked with a chile-and-fermented-bean-paste sauce. The bean curd for mapo tofu will be made in-house, and “fish slices in fiery sauce” will employ local seafood like black bass rather than the ubiquitous tilapia. There will also be wontons in red oil, dan dan mian, twice-cooked pork, cumin beef, and gong bao ji ding (a.k.a. kung pao chicken), plus a full bar serving beer, wine, and cocktails.
Adey is known for his pastas at Faro, which he makes from house-milled flours, and plans to eventually do the same for all his noodles at General Deb’s. But to start, he’ll outsource some from ramen kingpin Sun Noodle for iconic dishes like niu rou mian, the Taiwanese beef-noodle soup said to have originated with the influence of the Sichuan military families who migrated to the island after the Chinese civil war. Instead of the shank and tendon that usually populate that bowl, Adey is garnishing his anise-infused broth with red-cooked cow’s-head meat, in keeping with his whole-animal-utilization philosophy. “Cows have heads, too, and they’re excellent for soup,” he says. “At Faro, we fill the tortellini en brodo with meat from the head, and the consommé we make out of it is insane.”
General Deb’s is a Sichuan restaurant in Bushwick from the same people behind Faro, an Italian spot nearby. But unlike that place, General Deb’s is small, dimly-lit, and crowded with maybe one more table than there should be, as well as people sharing wontons in chili oil, pickled vegetables, and noodles. Most things on the menu are both very good and pretty spicy (although the wontons could have used a little more chili oil), so if you enjoy the slow burn of Sichuan peppercorn that sometimes makes your glass of water taste like it’s vibrating, you’ll like the food here. Overall, it’s a great addition to the neighborhood.
The “fish slices in fiery sauce” ($18) was a perfect evocation of what is often my favorite dish in the Sichuan restaurants of Flushing, Chinatown, and the East Village: a bowl of red chile oil swimming with fish filets and seething with Sichuan peppercorns. Take drink of cold water after a bite and your mouth feels like stainless steel. Wonton in red oil ($10) was another example of a dish true to its antecedents, requiring only a quick stir to be fully enjoyed.
Other dishes represent a reworking of traditional Sichuan fare. The rabbit appetizer on most menus is a bony but delicious plate of rabbit slicked with oil and dotted with peppercorns. Here, the bunny is boneless, and a dark sesame sauce has been added. Improvement or unwarranted meddling? You decide….
Beverages include wine, beer on draft and in cans, spirits, and invented cocktails. As far as Sichuan restaurants go, this one is likely to make you very happy: reverent toward its models, with a few interesting tweaks
Exciting news for Bowie fans. There’s a David Bowie-themed takeover at the Broadway-Lafayette station. The takeover is a clever ad campaign promoting the current Bowie exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum, but fans are definitely going to want to grab one of the limited edition metrocards: As Bowery Boogie notes, the Broadway-Lafayette station, which is just a […]
The Times published an unnerving report today about the L train shutdown, that’s just 15 months away. The article claims that 14th Street could become “the busiest bus route in the country” and wreak havoc on Chinatown and the Lower East Side: Seventy buses an hour will stream across the Williamsburg Bridge and pour into […]
Tickets are on sale for the event, which will be hosted on the Williamsburg waterfront on April 15th. Sure, Brooklyn BBQ may be a funny meme, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying this delicious event. Brisket King of NYC returns for its seventh year, moving to Williamsburg. The lengthy list of competition participants includes NYC […]
There’s lots of good news for beer nerds living along the L line these days. First, Queens Brewery is now open in Ridgewood at 1539 Covert Street. Bushwick Daily gives it a modest thumbs-up: Queens Brewery at 1539 Covert St. is Ridgewood’s only beer hall, since the heavy metal-themed Bierleichen closed suddenly early last year. Please don’t start […]