Armory Show Eats
by Julie Besonen, 02/26/2014
Photo: Tagger Yancey IV
773 Tenth Ave., 212-713-0271, Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan
This restaurant's sublime food, a melding of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean, is worth carving out some time in your schedule. First off, the straight-from-the-oven rosemary and sage focaccia is irresistible, as is the sambusak loaf stuffed with feta, jalapeño and onion. Of the meze, grilled baby octopus confit and shrimp sizzling in a cast-iron skillet are the must-haves. In general, seafood is a strong suit here, including wild striped bass and whole branzino to be matched with compelling wines from Greece, Israel or Spain. The soft-lit corner spot benefits from white accents—sheer white curtains knotted at the windows, white wooden tables, a white domed oven and a white-tiled (though wood-topped) bar where patrons can order creative cocktails like the Opah: fig-infused vodka blended with bourbon, lemon juice, ginger syrup and a splash of champagne. Dishes are meant to be shared family style; that goes for desserts too, especially the incredibly delicious silan—vanilla ice cream strewn with puffed rice, pistachios and shredded halvah.