Pure Thai Cookhouse

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 9.09.02 PMHave you New Yorkers ever been to Pure Thai Cookhouse? Unless ordering into my grey universe of a Midtown office three years ago counts, neither had I….until this weekend. On Sunday, a friend you might remember from my Philly excursions was visiting, and Hell’s Kitchen was a convenient midpoint for both of us (said no one ever…but this time f’realz!) so I decided to visit the home of a dish that made lunch in a cubicle worth looking forward to–crab and pork dry noodles. IMG_8989

The tiny interior was a chic version of what I assume a downhome restaurant in Thailand looks like. The only thing more refreshing than my fresh coconut juice (with silky chunks of the coconut meat) was seeing an entirely female run kitchen and staff!

IMG_8988The papaya salad and pork buns were their best selves, and pad see ew hit the spot. And, as ever, the crab and pork dry noodles were transcendental.

766 9th Ave #2, New York, NY 10019

Bienvenidos a Miami

welcome-to-miami-oSo, I’m back on the road again (as usual)…
Full disclosure, my trip to Florida was not as food focused as many of my others, as there were bloody Marys to be had, champagne corks to be popped, and outfits to be ogled. I did, however, particularly enjoy two meals in the city where the heat is on.

1. BodegaInterior-Bodega-1800-x-1200-1800x1200Although this funky, casual Miami beach eatery markets itself as a “taqueria y tequila” joint, we found no evidence of the latter. Luckily, the tacos more than made up for this deceit. There were inspired flavor combinations such as the “Camaron BLT” with shrimp, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and a chipotle-cotija dressing. The chicken taco with garlicky kale and avocado salsa verde was also a winner. We didn’t try their “tortas” (Mexican-style sandwiches), but the housemade popsicles, in both tropical and classic flavors, were super tasty, especially a mango-chile one. Basket-of-Tacos-1800-x-1200-1800x1200 1220 16th St
Miami Beach, FL
(305) 704-2145
http://www.bodegasouthbeach.com/

2. 27 at the Freehand
27 is a restaurant at a hostel. But don’t start envisioning greasy haired backpackers and dingy digs–Miami’s Freehand hostel is a chic, young spot, with options for both individual and shared hipster-decorated rooms (think colorful artwork and yoga class-style blankets.) Their bar, The Broken Shaker specializes in handcrafted cocktails and some of the best wallpaper I’ve ever seen. 1297_Freehand3_72-960x630Bar patrons spill outside to the many outdoor areas, around the pool and in old school lawn furniture. 27, the Freehand’s restaurant, serves really standout food–so good that I came back twice in one weekend (no joke, Friday and then Sunday.] 27The menu is comprised of small plates — shocker — but they really deliver, from their arepa platter served with gloriously umami ropa vieja to an ever-changing selection of roasted and pickled vegetables largely grown on the property’s garden. As much as it pains me to say it, the kale salad with miso and tahini is particularly off the chain:Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 3.07.05 PMDon’t miss the cocktails–particularly the Smoky Calabaza (Charred Calabaza with Garam Masala Spices, Fresh Citrus with Del Maguey Mezcal and egg whites with “27” emblazoned on it) and the Miso Old Fashioned with miso-honey reduction and mushroom (!) bitters.IMG_8869

2727 Indian Creek Drive, Miami Beach, Florida 33140
(305) 531-2727
http://thefreehand.com/miami/

*photos courtesy of Bodega and The Freehand, respectively.