Ask the Critics: New Zealand Cuisine -- Does It Exist in New York?
Sarah M. asks: I just got back from a trip to New Zealand and loved it. What are New York's top spots for Kiwi cuisine?
Dear Sarah: Unfortunately, New York doesn't boast many New Zealand restaurants. In fact, I only know of three. But they're definitely worth a visit should you have a Kiwi craving.
Located on a quaint stretch of the Seaport, Nelson Blue is the city's foremost New Zealand restaurant, with good food and a lively bar scene to boot. The lamb chops are good, as are the fried egg club and burger, should you go for lunch. And I like to munch on the corn fritters as a snack while knocking back a glass or two of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc on the patio.
Kiwiana, meanwhile, is the New Zealand newcomer, having opened in Park Slope a few months ago. Chef Mark Simmons (yep, the Top Chef contestant) fashioned the eatery after his grandmother's dining room. Don't think the food is ye olde quaint, though. Expect to see modern flourishes like smoked and pickled Green Lip mussels, manuka- and Marmite-braised baby-back ribs, and edamame with kelp salt.
Following a jaunt to Kiwiana, continue further down the Slope to Windsor Terrace, where you'll find D.U.B. (Down Under Bakery) Pies, offering tasty savory New Zealand-style meat pies. Steak and onion is the signature, but you can also sample options filled with chili and cheese, chicken and veggies, and one even with breakfast fillings (bacon, egg, and cheese).
What's more, some of the city's Australian eateries also offer New Zealand specialties. Eight Mile Creek, for example, sells kiwi-topped pavlova for dessert, while the Australian offers lamington, the beloved, coconut-dusted sponge cake. Or just knock back a few glasses of wine from New Zealand at the Park Slope Aussie bar Sheep Station. Guarantee you'll have a fun time.
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