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Mandoo – New York, NY

On our recent trip to NYC we met a few friendly locals at a bar who gave us some very helpful tips, one that lead us to Mandoo (the Korean word for dumplings), a little spot that’s easy to pass by in the heart of K Town (Korea Town).  Being fans of Korean food already we knew we were going to love this and we did!  Before you even walk in you know the food is going to be fresh seeing the Korean ladies in the windows making the mandoo.  Because it was our last day and we were on a mission to finish out some mandatory eating spots, we knew we needed to eat light and just get appetizers.  We decided on the Goon and Seafood Mandoo dumplings…both delicious in their own way.  One is boiled, the other pan-fried.  One is seafood, the other pork.  If you’re in NYC and happen to be in K Town, I highly recommend this spot for either a light bite or a full meal (they’re open all day until 10pm).  I’m dying to get back and try the Kimchee Mandoo – steamed dumplings filled with Korean Kimchee, tofu, pork and other vegetables.  Yum!

The cute little ladies making dumpling after dumpling

Goon Mandoo – lightly pan-fried dumplings filled with pork and veggies

Seafood Mandoo – Boiled dumplings filled with shrimp, crabsticks and vegetables

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Revel – Seattle, WA

For those of you who don’t know the background behind Revel…here it is in a nutshell…

Iron Chef America husband and wife team, Seif Chirhi and Rachel Yang, are the chefs behind this 7 month old restaurant in Fremont which has gotten an unprecedented amount of press since opening in mid-December 2010.  First it was the New York Times mention, then the taping of The Best Thing I Ever Ate for the Food Network due to Frank Bruni’s visit and now love for the asparagus rice bowl, next it was the Wall Street Journal and most recently Revel was named the Best New Restaurant in Seattle for 2011 by Seattle Weekly.

The concept is Korean street food.  Salads, dumplings, pancakes, rice bowls and noodles.  The menu changes appropriately according to the season so don’t get too attached to one thing.  It’s refreshing to know that even if you go often you’ll always find something new.  During the summer you’ll find the BBQ smoking on the deck and a whole animal being served up a number of different ways.  One week it might be a goat, next a whole pig!

Next door (attached to the restaurant) is Quoin (the architectural term for cornerstone), Yang and Chirchi’s bar.  There’s a spacious deck off the back with a great fire pit and plenty of seating around.  For those that can’t get in or don’t have the patience to wait for a seat at Revel, the full menu is served inside and out at Quoin.

If you haven’t been, what are you waiting for?  The wait can be long but I promise the food is worth it!

Corned lamb salad with mizuna and spicy nuoc cham

Pork belly pancake with kimchi and bean sprouts

Lamb dumpling with goat yogurt and cucumber

BBQ of the week – whole cow

White gulf shrimp, cilantro pistou and coriander noodles

Spice cake ice cream sandwiches with salted caramel dipping sauce

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