"We don't have a New York cuisine," Eater's Joshua David Stein reported Chef David Chang as saying at Gatronomika in San Sebastian, Spain last week. "I don't want New York to be known as a place that tries to make authentic dishes. We need to have our own cuisine and that's what we're trying to do."
Perhaps it was a statement out of context, but it's not an easy one to swallow. Cuisine, after all, according to Merriam Webster is "a manner of preparing food, a style of cooking; also : the food prepared." What are we talking about here? Plating? Service? Dish origination? There was a whiff of authenticity there, which is worrisome, considering that 'cuisine' doesn't necessarily denote authenticity. And what's to say any one city corners the market on an 'authentic cuisine' any longer. Not in the 21st century. Not in a time where the world feels smaller than ever.
If anything Chef Chang was part of what New York City's cuisine was, or is at least, until he opens his second place outside the East Village, the restaurant he has planned for Austrialia. And until that happens, New York's Chang cuisine stays here. "Wait," you're saying, "Milk Bar delivers! Those of us in San Francisco can finally sample all the treats we've been hearing about for so long."
Well, yes. And no. The new site means you can try some of this New York cuisine: pies and cookies. And there are a few truly exceptional treats included there. It's true. But there are also some things that are still part of New York's cuisine, at least for now, and you can find them in this slideshow.
View the David Chang New York Cuisine Slideshow.