I don’t intend to write restaurant reviews, but I can’t resist the temptation of mentioning some of my favorite restaurants, so I thought I would share those memorable moments when a specific place perfectly satisfies a peculiar craving.
Fall is the season for soba in Japan, when the flour ground from freshly harvested soba (buckwheat) is most flavorful; it seems the Japanese seek out soba noodles in the fall the way Germans chase asparagus in the spring. Although I didn’t grow up with the concept of a season for flour, I’m happy to embrace the idea, and coincidentally (or perhaps not), every year when the leaves begin to change and the temperature drops I am irresistibly drawn to Sobakoh.
Sobakoh is a small restaurant in the East Village with a low key atmosphere and excellent food. The owner can often be seen making his soba in a little windowed nook between the bar and the street; the process is beautiful, and the result delicious. The bowls of soba noodles – hot or cold – are the best I’ve had, and there are other incredible dishes: appetizers such as gomaae (broccoli rabe with sesame sauce), age soba (deep fried soba with sea salt), and a memorable burdock salad that was not on the menu yesterday, but which the kitchen was kind enough to prepare nonetheless.
309 East 5th St. (between 1st and 2nd Aves.)
New York, NY 10003
Open daily, 12pm-3pm and 5.30pm-10.45pm