EAT + DRINK | New American Cuisine - New York City - Bouley
A Taste of New York City
In 2010, New York City’s health department started placing grades A, B, and C in bold letters outside restaurants. We feel happier going into a restaurant with a sanitary grading of an A. Restaurants with awards also place their honors next to their A’s. One such favorite restaurant is oasis Bouley, with accolades visible, encircled by the beautiful lavender hydrangea plants. Zagat 2014 describes Bouley as “French decadence at its best.” Of our city’s over 24,000 restaurants, Bouley is rated highly and the $55 tasting menu at lunch called “a bargain.” And it really is. You can try chef David Bouley’s creations at 163 Duane St. downtown in a stylish, beautiful, and comfortable atmosphere, while having your senses engaged by the scent of hundreds of New York State apples placed at the entrance in wooden racks (we were ensured they are not wasted).
Bouley is still, after 30 years, a standard for top-quality ingredients. It represents one of the highest forms of cuisine in New York, where every culture is represented throughout the entire city. Its owner and chef, David Bouley, is very focused on purity and using the freshest ingredients. Some of them include bee pollen (sprinkled on wild Alaskan sockeye salmon for a garnish); chia seeds; truffles; caviar; grade-12 Kobe beef; Wellfleet oysters from Chatham, MA; mango and papaya; Hawaiian hearts of palm; white asparagus from France; duck from Long Island; Spanish ham from Pata Negra; and wild strawberries from Santa Barbara, CA, for a mouthwatering, summer-fresh fraise des bois dessert. The owner rides a Harley-Davidson motorcycle to Chinatown and Little Italy for ingredients. “He wants to bring the best, the freshest ingredients we can get,” says Manuel Enfedaque, general manager. Bouley is usually in the kitchen. Through the window, you can watch all the chefs working: It’s magical, seeing them clip greens, some of the microgreens coming from Renee Giroux and Gilbertie’s Herb Farm, with over three acres the largest USDA certified organic herb and vegetable greenhouse system in Connecticut.
In TriBeCa, Sweetgreen only serves salads, displaying the sources of their ingredients on a blackboard, with lines down the block after 12:30pm. Same thing with Bubby’s, not far away, with the farm-to-table approach. And Chef Bill Telepan’s Lower Manhattan restaurant, Telepan Local, has a healthy snack tasting from 3 to 5 p.m. at lower prices to try the regional farm-fresh pairings of foods with rhubarb, celery root, fennel, watercress, and spicy fermented cabbage.
With the scene changing, what about the community known for the highest diabetes rate in Manhattan? There is a vegan soul-food place in Harlem, called Seasoned Vegan. “We want to be the beacon for healthy living in Harlem—and all of Manhattan and New York City,” says Aaron Beener, 29, who is general manager and co-owns Seasoned Vegan together with his mother Brenda Beener.Beener said he’s learned at his restaurant that if you want something like barbeque sauce to be healthy without the added bad ingredients, you have to make it yourself. “Absolutely. We make our own barbeque sauce and eliminate the high fructose. Everything is 100% vegan, organic, and scrumptious at Seasoned Vegan. Raw sweet potato pie, raw sage burgers made with walnuts instead of red meat, and a spaghetti dish made with zucchini noodles, their motto is “the food you love ‘veganized.”
“For us it’s about longevity and health.” Many other restaurant owners in the Big Apple are starting to think along his lines, and everyone will benefit. It’s about every ingredient that goes into the food-making, what it is and where it comes from. “Being a native New Yorker, I’ve actually witnessed the trend towards healthy eating and more salads and nutritious ingredients and knowing the origins of foods.”
Experience NYC Dining at
163 Duane St
New York, NY
55 St. Nicholas Ave
New York, NY
TNE NEW AMERICAN CUISINE - foreword by Jeremy Joven
America’s Cuisine is known to the rest of the world as fatty, sauce dribbling, pre-packaged foods. We’re famous for hamburgers and hotdogs and just about anything that is entirely unhealthy, riddled with sodium and food you would never serve royalty. This gross idea of American Cuisine is not exactly a misconception, but a reflection of our Corporate Food Culture. The type of food we are famous for around the globe are the foods served at global chains like McDonalds and KFC. There’s nothing wrong with that image, although - after centuries of evolution, a new American cuisine is taking hold - the Locavore movement.
It is not a novel idea, or even a publicly accepted one. Though now more than ever, the locavore movement is wildly popular from coast to coast. It’s roots have been growing in top restaurants for decades and it is now reaching a tipping point as it penetrates even the lowest of the food chain; fast foods.
The New Asterisk explored 6 American Cities, showcasing this trend in “New American Cuisine” (not to be confused with New American restaurants - this is an exploration of the "New" ways of how Americans eat) with the help of local writers in each city, from our home city, San Francisco, all the way to Denver, Kansas City, Atlanta, Charleston and of course, New York - we dove in to find out what every city’s food culture is like and where it is leading with a sampling of each area’s most popular restaurants and chefs.
In regards to exploring the ‘New American Cuisine’ by means of its ingredients - we asked 6 chefs featured to tell us their most used ingredient in their kitchens - many are things you most likely do not have in yours, something you can aspire to create and use in home cooking.
read our exploration of other foodie towns -
SAN FRANCISCO | NEW YORK CITY | CHARLESTON | ATLANTA | DENVER | KANSAS CITY