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RedFarm Does Dim Sum At Its BestWe Chatted with RedFarm's Ed Schoenfeld and sampled some of his favorite dishes
While NYC is filled with dim sum joints and greenmarket-driven menus, very few fuse the two together. Until RedFarm opened on Hudson Street, that is. The West Village spot—which has been packing in diners since opening last August—perfectly mixes Chinese and Western flavors with a dim sum driven menu featuring only high-end ingredients selected at a greenmarket every week.
I finally got to stop by and chat with RedFarm owner and restaurateur, Ed Schoenfeld, who opened the eatery with famed Chef Joe Ng of Chinatown Brasserie. Once inside, one thing was clear: RedFarm is no typical Chinese restaurant. In fact, the rustic Hudson Street digs look like a chic farmhouse with long, wooden communal tables, flower pots sprinkled throughout, and mismatched, upholstered chairs. Menus and chopsticks hanging from exposed pipes also add to the laidback feel.
After admiring the small, yet inviting space (and trying not to stare at Brooke Shields, who popped in for an early dinner), it was time to sample some of Schoenfeld’s favorite dishes. “Whenever people ask me to order for them, I order the salmon salad bruschetta,” he said. The flavorful starter ($8) is a fun take on the Italian favorite, but uses a smoked salmon salad as the tomato and a crispy tempura eggplant as the crostini. The dish is, in a word, amazing.
Next it was on to the dim sum, each more whimsical and creative than the next. First, we tried Katz’s pastrami egg roll, made with meat from the famed NYC deli. (After all, Schoenfeld is a Brooklyn boy at heart.) The flaky roll ($6) was perfectly crisp and complimented by a deliciously sweet house-made mustard and kaffir lime sauce. Last but not least, we sampled the adorable Pac Man shrimp dumplings—with sesame seed eyes to boot—which are almost too cute to eat. I could try to explain how delicious these little creations are, but I don’t think I can do them justice. You just have to try the light and juicy bundles for yourself. In addition to a big selection of dim sum and starters, RedFarm boasts some excellent main dishes including sautéed short ribs for $29, dungeness crabmeat and rock crab long life noodles for $27 and soft and crunchy. Don’t forget a side of vegetable fried rice ($14).
As you can imagine, the eatery fills up quick and there’s usually a wait—especially since they don’t take reservations. Just head to the back bar and try an inventive cocktail (think Ginger Watermelon Rum Punch and a refreshing RedFarm Manhattan sweetened with agave). Plus, you may even do some celeb spotting (Julianne Moore is another noted regular). Nontheless, we promise, it’s worth the wait. As Schoenfeld puts it, “the good food is excellent and the excellent food is terrific.”—CHASE ROSENRedFarm| 529 Hudson Street| 212-792-9700