Admittedly, my husband and I have eaten almost the entire menu, which means I may be more qualified to write about this particular menu than those in any previous post. It also meant I was the most qualified to order for four very hungry dudes last night. I took a chance by starting with the Diced Tuna and Crispy Noodles, partially to test the waters with the group, and partially because it’s my favorite dish that I refuse to skip over. It was a hit. Meaty chunks of diced tuna toss harmoniously with unexpected bites of salt, sweet and crunch in the form of salmon roe, heirloom tomatoes, blueberries, jicama and crispy fried noodles, tossed in rum and a cumin vinaigrette. I knew we’d have some fan favorites with the fried appetizers, too, including Spicy Crispy Beef and of course, in a true moment of welcomed New York kitsch, the Katz’s Pastrami Egg Rolls. I find them to border along overindulgent, but I was working a group here, so it just made sense.
Arguably, if you wanted to sample more small-plate wonders with a smaller party, it’s feasible to skip over the mains, but not because they are less noteworthy. Three Chili Chicken balances hot peppers with a sweet peanut sauce. Shrimp-Stuffed Chicken, a dinner special offered on occasion, is a strange anomaly that’s suckered me more than once, in which pounded shrimp is revealed underneath the skin of sliced crispy chicken.
But rice and noodle selections cannot be missed. Wide Rice Noodles with BBQ’d Duck Breast are successful, because there are not many places that would serve such elevated, well-prepared sliced duck for tossing with a street-classic fat noodle. Dungeness and Rock Crabmeat Long Life Noodles succeed for the same reason. Nueske’s Bacon & Egg Fried Rice reaped a few “hell yeahs” from the boys.
When it’s all said and done, RedFarm brought new life to the Upper West Side and excites diners on every visit, as it did for Dad and his crew last night. Shame on me for not applauding it sooner. But sometimes, when you share a place you enjoy with those you care about, you begin to love it even more.