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Red Farm, 529 Hudson Street in West Village - Chef Joe Ng's Modern Americanized Chinese with Quality-Sourced Ingredients

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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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Nice review. I think you've captured the essence of this place in your first paragraph. As for the "whimsical touch" with the food, either they stopped serving or you didnt notice the dumplings made to look like Pac-Man heads from the video game.

Unfortunately for those of us who eat a lot of less "Americanized" (also nicely put, by the way) Chinese food, we're totally pissed off that Joe Ng (the chef) decided to do this. He was the original dim sum chef at a place in Bklyn (World Tong) that was probably the best in NYC for several years. Excellent, creative, fresh, traditional, wide ranging Chinese dim sum dishes that are sorely missed, even in a city that has many, many other choices in several C'towns. Oh well.

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But Steve, we were actually pissed off when he went to Chinatown Brasserie, no?

Yes...absolutely. But mainly because he took it too upscale for me and decided to sell dim sum at 10x the price to folks in the Village. But the food was undeniably very good and not gimmicky & the place was commensurate with the price point. This, to me, is a step down and not in the right direction given his talents. But, he's a nice guy, it's his decision and that's life. Oh well.

Good to hear about Nom Wah TP.

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I spent much of my time on the train to NY yesterday morning considering my options for brunch/lunch. I found myself craving the pastrami eggroll at Red Farm so that's where I went. The pastrami eggroll is overpriced - $7.50 for one eggroll with mustard sauce - but I couldn't help wanting it, and I enjoyed the crispy shell and pastrami filling (with a side of rice to offset the salt and grease.)

I also had the pan fried pork buns with spicy sauce. They were fine, nothing special. The sauce was not spicy at all.

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Via Red Farm Facebook page -

Red Farm in the West Village closed for maintenance on Aug. 27 for 3 to 4 weeks.

On Aug. 28, they opened RedFarm Steak in the lower level at 529 1/2 Hudson St.  It's only open for 28 days.

And "At the moment we expect the new RedFarm at 2170 Broadway to open a week or two after Labor Day and our new Cocktail & Peking Duck spot, Decoy, also located on the lower level at 529 1/2 Hudson St., to debut during the beginning of October."

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