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  1. Red Farm 529 Hudson St. New York, NY10014 Phone: 212-792-9700 Web: http://redfarmnyc.com/ Reservations Not Accepted At first blush, Red Farm is yet another small, hipster, urban farmhouse restaurant, with reclaimed wood, a communal table, and tattooed servers who are cooler than you. But this version by restaurateur Ed Schoenfeld and Chef Joe Ng incongruously serves Americanized Chinese food, and actually very good Americanized Chinese food at that. I admittedly glazed over when our server dutifully recited the pedigree of the ingredients in nearly every dish. But almost everything tasted fresh and like quality ingredients should, so I'm sure each of the places is wonderful and full of happy cows, pigs, and chickens. The lone exception was a lobster, which had the slightly murky flavor I associate with the cheap ones I sometimes buy in my local Asian grocery. But more on that in a minute. During a very brief wait at the tiny bar, I started with an excellent Shiso Cucumber Martini, a slightly sweet gin cocktail with strong cucumber and a light shiso flavor. My lovely dining companion went with a Blackberry Fizz, which is basically a vodka soda made special with fresh muddled blackberries and a touch of lime. After that, with a long night ahead of me, I stuck to Tsing-Tao during dinner, while she went with a glass of The Chook Sparkling Shiraz, a tasty sparkling red which is refreshing enough that it almost conquered my, perhaps unfounded, aversion to: (1) red wine with Asian food; and (2) sparkling red wines in general. Almost. Dinner began with "Kwaloon Filet Mignon Tarts" ($10), which are two tasty little bites of perfectly-cooked steak with Asian herbs in a fried wonton. From there, we moved to the "Crab and Shrimp Dumplings" ($12.50), four perfectly fried shrimp with crab stuffing that came served with little mayo and black sesame seed eyes. The whimsical touch, which made our shrimp look like tiny battered flounders, carries over to all of the dumplings here, including the traditional steamed and pan-fried ones. And from the looks of the other dumplings, it's clear that those versions are this chef's true specialty. But the fried shrimp "dumplings" we got were tasty enough that any jealousy directed toward our neighbors at the communal table was short-lived. For our main courses, I went with the aforementioned lobster, descriptively named "Sautéed Lobster, Egg, and Chopped Pork" ($38). Even with the slightly murky lobster, this is a good dish with a tasty, spicy sauce. The murkiness maybe even lends a bit of authenticity to it. My chief complaint is actually the preparation, which requires cracking lobster parts coated in slippery sauce, making it fairly difficult to eat without a giant mess. The attractive half of our party chose the even more specifically named "Shrimp, Scallops, and Mussels with Rice Wine, Tomato, Basil and Very Thin Rice Noodles" ($28.50). This is a vaguely Asian Cioppino that maybe could have used a bit more punch and tastes far more of San Francisco than China. But it is a great pot of seafood that let its marquee ingredients -- giant, fresh prawns, large, well-seared scallops, and plump (clearly farm-raised) mussels -- shine. So it's hard to quibble. Nobody would quibble with the entree portions at Red Farm either. Though fairly pricey, both were huge, leaving no thought in my head of dessert. And a look at the brief dessert menu suggested that the course may be somewhat of an afterthought here. But I may have mentioned to my friend that if you put key lime pie in front of me, I'm going to eat it. And so I did. This version is good, and its sour-sweetness was a nice, if unnecessary end to the meal. It wasn't the end I was expecting, though. That never came: Red Farm doesn't serve fortune cookies. Probably for the best, I guess. Lacking direction from any authoritative confections, we headed out into the New York night to find our own fortune. Original Post: http://whitestmanint...st-village.html
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