Lunch at the new Red Farm, Upper West Side
October 31, 2013
Craziness on a rainy Halloween afternoon! How do all these people crowding into Red Farm know the place has opened? Red Farm is so squeaky new it isn't even serving dinner yet, but if Joe Ng and Ed Schoenfeld thought they were going to manage a soft lunch-only opening, they were very much mistaken.
Food people are pouring in; today it's John Besh at one table, Chris Cannon and Josh Wesson at another. And isn't that the actor, Tom Skerritt, in that booth over there?
It's wild insanity, and enormous fun. Strangers pass tidbits from one table to the next and pour out glasses of wine. (The Ruggine Josh Wesson's drinking is lovely; slightly fizzy, it's an unusual wine that's perfect with this intensely flavorful food.)
The food itself is fantastic. These soup dumplings:
are huge, floppy, juicy creations that are almost unimaginably light. They're so satisfying and delicious that if I'd eaten nothing else I would have left a happy woman.
But that would have meant missing the vegetable pancakes
a fantastic riff on mu shu that redeems this too-often ordinary dish.
And you definitely do not want to miss the pork chops:
slightly charred, the crisp edges taste of lemongrass and garlic, and come perched on a mound of the most wonderful fried rice.
Dessert? The fruit plate was as pretty as that tuna salad which started off the meal. (See above.)
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