Thursday, March 6, 2014

10th Anniversary Celebration for Jean Georges' Spice Market (New York, NY)

Jean-Georges' Spice Market recently celebrated their 10th anniversary. It doesn't seem to have been that long since he opened this Southeast Asian spot in Meatpacking district! I sent over a couple of guest writers to cover 10th anniversary party, and you can read about their experience below:

by Michael Judice and Cathryn Hunt

When we received our invitation to a party at the Spice Market we were excited and grateful to attend. We were honored to do our duty in tasting every dish offered, in service of the greater good. The neighborhood isn’t our usual vibe or budget, but we jumped at the chance to taste some good food and decided to approach it with open minds, sharpened senses, and willing palates.

Upon entering the space we were taken aback by the low lighting, and décor that could easily be oversimplified as rustic. Indirectly lit copper pendants accented the rough-hewn exposed wood beams. This gave the space an overall glow of firelight. This feeling of warmth also seemed to radiate from the choice of colors used in the décor.

Spice Market

The overall experience of the restaurant was lovely. What really made the food special was a greater attention to detail.  Spice market did not create a “reinvention of Asian fusion” but found new twists, subtleties, and complexities on flavors. As you ate each dish different layers of flavor revealed themselves in every bite. This attention to subtle detail made the food more sophisticated.

Out of the array of dishes we were presented with, these left a lasting impression on us:

Ginger Margarita-
Sweet. As opposed to some margaritas that are too sour or salty, the ginger and lime made it smooth and delightfully refreshing. It was a good palate cleanser between courses.

Pork Vindaloo-
This dish was spicy in the best way. It was hot without being over powering. As if it filled your head with aromatic heat and spice. Even the rice had the perfect texture of stickiness. Approachable even if you don’t love spicy food.

Pork belly bun-
Leaves you speechless. Texture is soft. Barbeque sauce is a great compliment without shrouding the salty flavor of the meat.

Lobster summer roll-
This appetizer took the prize for the most unique. Sliced like Sushi with citrus gelee and Sriracha emulsion, we were pleasantly surprised by the texture of the gelee and the slow kick of the Sriracha. On the whole the experience lasted beyond the first bite.
If you have the opportunity to taste the miso caramel taffy in edible paper at the end of your evening don’t pass on it. The texture of the paper adheres to the taffy and instantly dissolves to reveal the sweet caramel flavor of which miso is only a hint. It will cleanse your palate of the tangy burn that Asian and Indian food leaves in you mouth for hours after eating it.
Spice Market can be found in NYC’s Meat Packing District, at 403 W 13th Street. They offer a variety of menus, from brunch to drink & dinner pairings. For the curious palate of both in and out of towners, the dining experience is worth leaving the usual comforts of your neighborhood. So if your looking for a shift in your usual weekly outing or simply famished after walking the entire highline swing by and grab yourself a bite. Now, where’s that margarita?


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