Bakar at Back Bar – Hudson, NY

 

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Bakar at Back Bar is a new restaurant from Zak Pelaccio, formerly of Fatty Crab in Manhattan, and currently owner-chef of Fish and Game in Hudson. With the opening of Bakar, Pelaccio is revisiting the Malaysian food he made popular at Fatty Crab. Unlike the very expensive Fish and Game, Bakar is moderately priced, with a limited menu consisting of small plates all well under $20. We made a very substantial meal of four plates plus two orders of rice. Dishes were curried crab with fish balls and rice noodles, bok choy with squid, spicy pork laab, and fried chicken. The indoor-outdoor setting looks like something out of Bushwick, as does most of the clientele. Service is a bit spotty, but pleasant. Once our order was taken, the food was well-paced and servers attentive.  Finding food this delicious and imaginative in Manhattan is not difficult, but in Hudson it was next to impossible, until now.  Give it a try.

http://www.347backbar.com/

Great Dinner at Maialino

For my recent birthday, we were looking for something a little more special than the places on our usual list. Nothing super high-end, which we have come to appreciate less and less over the years, but a place with atmosphere, top-quality food, great wine, and really good service. We had only been to Maialino once, several years ago, and had enjoyed it, so I thought this would be the perfect occasion to experience it again. It did not disappoint.

Note that prices are more reasonable than they appear on the menu as there is no tipping, so the service is built into the price.

I started with tripe in tomato sauce, while Stanley had the crispy suckling pig face. I love tripe, but the pig face, with its wonderful crisp skin and rich meat, takes the prize. For the main course we shared the whole roasted rabbit. I was expecting a whole rabbit, and wondering how they would get all the parts to come out right, as when I cook a rabbit I make the different parts in different ways. As it turns out, they brought out a plate of parts, including thin strips of leg meat with skin, the loin, which had been pan-roasted as I would have done, liver and kidneys lightly sauteed, and the best part, sausage made from the leg meat and broccoli rabe, something I could never have duplicated at home. Served on a bed of Swiss chard, it was truly a wonderful dish. We also ordered a side of mushrooms, which was heavenly.

The Tenuta San Leonardo, Terre di San Leonardo 2012 was full-bodied, delicious and a good value at $69.
We shared a tiramisu for dessert, and while it was perfectly acceptable, it did not quite live up to the level of the rest of the food.
Maialino is a very special place. I hope to return soon.
 http://maialinonyc.com/

 

Do Hwa – Tasty Korean in the Village

Last year I posted a comparison of Hanjan and Oiji:

https://robertrems.com/2015/07/10/hanjan-vs-oiji-a-tale-of-two-koreas/

Then I received a Blackboard Eats deal recently for Do Hwa, so I was delighted to be able to compare another Korean place, particularly as it’s right in our neighborhood.  We had actually been to Do Hwa a few years ago, and though the food was good, we never felt compelled to return. Maybe we just didn’t try the best dishes. Having been there twice in the last month, I have to say this is really, really good, and quite reasonable even at full price.

I like that the menu is large, and the generous portions make it great for sharing. Among the appetizers, the seafood pancake and the pork ribs are exceptional. A nice assortment of side dishes and kimchi are served with main courses. We’ve had both the barbecued beef and barbecued pork, served with lettuces leaves to roll it up in, the fried chicken in a light, fluffy batter with jalapeno sauce, and the spicy sauteed squid. We loved every one of these.

I would go so far as to say I prefer Do Hwa over Oigi, though the styles are a bit different. We will definitely be making this a regular stop.

http://www.dohwanyc.com/