Momofuku Ssäm Bar
With a mile-long list of accolades and awards—and even longer waits for stools at his East Village dining bars—the Korean-American cook David Chang is New York’s favorite chef du jour. First he grabbed headlines with Momofuku Noodle Bar, turning New Yorkers into a bunch of “rameniacs.” The equally streamlined and passion-inducing Momofuku Ssäm Bar dazzles diners at night with boldly flavorful dishes composed from the best American heirloom produce zapped with Asian accents. Think steamed pork buns and roasted duck with hints of kimchi, ginger, and chiles. The venue shines with its degustation of cured American hams; fresh uni; and stir-fried rice cakes cooked with local pork. You eat all this squeezed between fellow diners behind a crowded counter, watching steaming plates emerge from the kitchen.