Screw Your Bone Broth: The Ten Best Soups in NYC
Bara's chicken soup
Stock, the product of boiling water with (most often) animal bones, vegetables, and savory herbs, has been around for centuries. "Bone broth," on the other hand, reared its smugly head last year, and the trendy collagen-rich slurry has only gained in popularity, even though the two are essentially the same. Some proponents assert that for stock to be considered bone broth, it requires at least a day bubbling away on the stovetop (for the bones to release the most nutrients, naturally) and a proper drinking vessel. Just like stock, broth helps with inflammation, but its many purported benefits mostly come up short. But that hasn't stopped celebrities from endorsing the stuff, or bone broth-ers from organizing a festival to memorialize marrow and celebrate their superior health.
Giving in to the concept of bone broth as something new feels like accepting a rebranding of oatmeal as "sipping porridge." A $9 paper cup filled with bone-marrow-spiked beef is still a paper cup. How about a bowl of soup instead? Here are the ten best in New York.
10. French onion soup, Balthazar (80 Spring Street, 212-965-1785) After the recent mirror mishap at Keith McNally's popular Soho restaurant, wherein one of the massive, dusty glass fixtures came crashing down on a group of lunch patrons, you'll want a dining companion with sufficient upper-body strength. Because you, of course, will be too busy dragging your spoon through one superlative bowl of French onion soup, enriched with Port and white wines and a browned cap of melted gruyère, to save yourself or anyone else from disaster. Country bread croutons maintain their crunch while soaking up caramel-colored broth thickened with charred onions. It's easy to see why the kitchen goes through gallons of the stuff each day.
9. Laksa, Taste Good (82-18 45th Avenue, Queens; 718-898-8001) Fans of Southeast Asian cuisine have long headed to this narrow Malaysian restaurant in Elmhurst for two kinds of laksa, fragrant noodle soups radiating with chiles and perfumed with fermented sardines and anchovies. Curry laksa blends rich coconut milk with a pantry's worth of spices to form a rich broth, which supports fresh shellfish and thick rice noodles. Tamarind sets assam laksa's funky, sour tone, bolstering tender chunks of white fish with dried shrimp paste, mint, and pineapple. Both showcase Malaysian cuisine's finest attributes, grounding bold and bright flavors with earthy ones.
8. Chicken soup, Bara (58 East 1st Street, 917-639-3197) At Ian Alvarez's whitewashed French-Japanese tavern, tucked along a stretch of East 1st Street on the edge of the Lower East Side, the chef dares to broth, ladling tea dashi over sunflower seed purée for a duck entrée. His ramen-inspired chicken soup forgoes noodles in favor of enoki mushrooms, Tokyo turnips, soy-marinated eggs with jammy yolks, and a sheet of nori. Earthy, mellow, and served in a French crock, it's one slick bowl for the soul.Next Page
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