This year, Restaurant Week snuck up on me. I’m usually poring over the list, trying to identify spots to visit. This year, I wasn’t quite my normal self. Thankfully my friend M did her usual – selecting a good 4-5 restaurants, booking each for 4 people, and asking us all if we are interested in joining her. Spice Market had been on my “to try” list for a long time – a spot I usually forget since I’d say the Meatpacking District is one of the areas of town you’re least likely to find me.
When I walked in, I was intantly intrugued by the set-up. The upstairs bar area truly does look like a spice market and all of the workers are wearing uniforms in keeping with the theme. I can’t say I’ve been to another space with such a pronounced theme that didn’t feel awkwardly overdone or gimmicky. Nicely done. I suggest grabbing a drink at the bar before sitting down for dinner since it’s such a fun space. From their cocktail menu, I suggest their Whiskey Passion Fizz – which is George Dickel No.12, passion fruit, chili, and ginger ale. It has just a bit of heat to it and the passion fruit was such an unexpected yet amazing addition. And to boot, it’s only $10!
To start, I had to try their Soy Cured Salmon, which was served with a cilantro crème fraîche paired with Asian pear. The soy gave the salmon an almost smokey flavor to it. I can’t say I have ever had fruit mixed with salmon, but it worked well here. The pear added a crisp light layer to the dish.
When the server noted my choice for a main, the pork vindaloo, was spicy, I knew I was going to be pleased. It was prepared with crispy herbs and leeks. The dish in which it was served was deceptively small. At first, I was worried they hadn’t given us enough but I quickly realized just how much pork it really was. The flavor was great – nicely spicy but stopping well short of the threshold of losing true flavor in favor of heat. I could eat this dish every day. So good.
One friend ordered the wok fried rice noodles, which were quite good and served with mixed vegetables and a soy yuzu broth. The dish was great but it’s this unique broth that still stands out in my mind.
The degree of preference our server showed towards the Thai tea sundae over the other Restaurant Week dessert options made this choice super easy. The sundae was served with an Orange Blossom Whipped Cream, which added a slightly creamy layer that wasn’t too heavy and had the subtle orange blossom flavor. I understood instantly why this was the servers favorite. A must have!
Spice Market – 403 West 13th Street – 212.675.2322
Reservations Required / Bar Seating Available