Almost an afterthought, we took my mom to Momofuku's noodle bar*, on 1st Ave and 10th Street. The faraway part of the bar looking onto the kitchen was deserted for some reason, and we grabbed seats there. The best ones, because you're practically in the cooks' laps.
My pear salad was riverting, featuring pears three ways: fresh-shaved, pickled and other-pickled. It had hazelnuts grated over it, pickled mushrooms (honsemeji)) and chervil and tarragon for an anise bite, and something red and tart, too, which I couldn't figure out: crabapple skin??? It was wonderful.
Of course we had pork buns. Can't not have pork buns. Toothsome, succulent, delightful. Vince had panfried potatoes mit lardons and poached egg. I had an oxtail soup that was over-salted, and my mom had Savoy cabbage with apple and maybe a hint of kimchi. Food arrives rather randomly.
At Ssam , a few days later, I ordered the $8 bread and butter. I think it was Sullivan Street baguette, my favourite; the butter was from Vermont and artisinal, of course (I would love to create an alternative menu with "store-bought butter, Velveta cheese plate, yellow cheese sandwich"...but that's another story). The white stuff? Whipped lard.
I then had rude slices of honey crisp apple marinated in kimchi, with labneh (like strained yogurt) spiked with maple syrup, in one of those skidmark schmears that have been appearing on plates for about a year (a reaction to squeeze bottles and toothpicks?), and pork jowl bacon, which was as crispy and fat-happy as bacon can get.
My mom had more stone crab claws served with harissa mayonnaise and Vincent had more pork buns and then spicy sausage with Chinese broccoli. Good, hot, comfort food
I am now looking at gym membership.