New York’s food scene is notoriously competitive, but these restaurants have done their best to stand out from the crowd with some wacky and wonderful inventions.
Catering to diners with luxury tastes, Michelin-star restaurant Le Coucou in Chinatown serves its $89 beef tartare with a thick spread of caviar on top along with a perfectly round quail’s egg yolk.
While Double Chicken Please in the Lower East Side – which currently ranks second on the World’s 50 Best Bars list- has a cocktail on its menu designed to taste like ‘cold pizza,’ with the mash up of ingredients including tequila, parmesan, burnt toast, tomato, basil, honey and egg white.
To read more about these quirky menu items and the other culinary treats causing a stir, munch your way down for DailyMail.com’s mouthwatering roundup…
Butter candle: Carriage House
Celebrity chef Jordan Andino, who previously cooked for the Kardashians, opened
Celebrity chef Jordan Andino, who previously cooked for the Kardashians, is on a mission to make his mark in Manhattan with his first upscale restaurant in the form of the Carriage House.
This polished restaurant, in the West Village, occupies a former police carriage house.
One of Andino’s more unique inventions is his ‘candle butter.’
He told DailyMail.com that he was frustrated by the hard butter he would often find at restaurants that wouldn’t spread properly on the bread.
In a bid to solve this problem, he decided to thread a block of butter with an edible wick made from beeswax.
On being lit, the butter slowly melts, making it the perfect consistency for spreading or the runny liquid can be used as a dip.
Each dinner at the Carriage House starts with complimentary bread service accompanied by the ‘butter candle’ made from a ‘seasoned compound butter.’
Tuna cotton candy: The Bazaar
The Bazaar at the Ritz-Carlton New York, NoMad, offers a fusion of Spanish and Japanese-inspired dishes. One of the more unusual creations is the Cotton Candy O-Toro
The Bazaar by José Andrés is described as a place where ‘dining transcends into fête extraordinaire,’ with a spread of innovative dishes luring diners from far and wide.
The Washington, D.C.-based, Spanish-American chef and restaurateur has opened various iterations of his ‘Bazaar’ concept across the US with the most recent landing in New York.
The Bazaar at the upscale Ritz-Carlton New York, NoMad hotel offers a fusion of Spanish and Japanese-inspired dishes with sumptuous interiors to boot.
One of the more unusual creations is the Cotton Candy O-Toro, which is listed in the ‘Little Starters’ section for $18 a pop.
The dish comes served as a ball of cotton candy on a stick, with the servers instructing you to eat it in one mouthful as the spun sugar will quickly dissolve.
Bizarrely, as you devour the fluffy ball another flavor comes through in the form of a slice of soy cured tuna belly sandwiched with avocado and ‘crispy rice balls.’
On Yelp, reviewer Rebecca K. gave the Cotton Candy O’Toro a thumbs up. She said that the dish ‘tasted amazing and started our meal with a bit of fun.’
Gold sprayed taco: Trust Bae
At Trust Bae chef Frances Tariga serves a tuna taco sprayed with gold leaf
Japanese omakase restaurants – where diners are served multi-course sushi menus – are peppered across New York but one chef trying to set herself apart from her peers is Frances Tariga.
The former Top Chef contender opened her own version of an omakase restaurant on Broadway this year, with her bringing her Filipino heritage to the table.
Tariga’s restaurant, called Trust Bae, has somewhat of a nightclub feel with low-lighting, velvet curtains at the door, a hip hop heavy playlist and a neon sign behind the counter.
The 16-course tasting menu, which mainly consists of one-bite dishes is priced at $185 with each sitting lasting 90 minutes.
Tariga’s culinary creations certainly cater to the Instagram crowd, with each one boasting a theatrical edge.
One dish which causes everyone to whip their phones out is Tariga’s ‘Otoro Tartare Taco.’
The handheld bite consists of a seaweed taco filled with fatty tuna. To top it off, there is a spoonful of caviar and Tariga finishes it by spraying it with a sparkly coating of gold dust.
‘It’s best filmed in slow motion to get the full effect,’ she told DailyMail.com.
Triangle penne: Cafe Mars
Cafe Mars in Brooklyn features triangle-shaped penne on the menu infused with onion gravy and beef cheeks
You might feel as though you’ve landed on another planet with a trip to Cafe Mars in Brooklyn.
This kooky restaurant, which occupies a former pasta factory and Italian grocer, describes itself as an ‘unusual Italian.’
Its ‘about page’ adds: ‘Be it food or drink, our menus shine a light on overlooked classics and unexpected flavors that aim to reframe what it means to go out for Italian.’
From the get-go Cafe Mars brings a sense of fun to dining out, with chunky chairs, different colored neon lights and bright slaps of paint here and there.
Veering away from tradition, there is triangle-shaped penne on the menu infused with onion gravy and beef cheeks.
Another of the restaurant’s wacky creations, which it says is a best-seller, is its ‘jell-olives.’
The olives come encased in a cube of jell-o, which tastes like a negroni cocktail. The cubes are then finished with orange oil and guests are instructed to to ‘scoop them up and eat them with their fingers – no forking around.’
Shot on a toy car: Bad Roman
Bad Roman just off Central Park serves four post-dinner ‘Italian Carpool Shots’ shots
Priding itself on being a playful, modern Italian, Bad Roman just off Central Park was masterminded by restaurant group Quality Branded.
This upbeat restaurant is located on the third floor of the Columbus Circle shopping mall, with floor-to-ceiling windows serving up appetizing views of the park.
To get diners in the swing of things, there is an indulgent menu featuring everything from caviar gnocchi to lobster tail scampi to dig into.
The sense of fun flows through to dessert with a lemon cheesecake crafted to look like actual lemons.
Meanwhile, diners can choose from a selection of four post-dinner ‘Italian Carpool Shots’ shots which come served in glasses glued to toy racing cars.
The options include the Ferrari (Fernet and Campari), the Maserati (Mezcal Vida and Ramazzotti), the Fiat (Jameson and Moretti) and the Lamborghini (Lambrusco and Midori).
Caviar-topped beef tartare: Le Coucou
Catering to diners with luxury tastes, Michelin-star restaurant Le Coucou in Chinatown serves its $89 beef tartare with a thick spread of caviar on top
Catering to diners with luxury tastes, Michelin-star French restaurant Le Coucou in Chinatown serves its $89 beef tartare with a thick spread of caviar on top.
To finish, the team of chefs add a quail’s egg yolk with a dash of sea salt.
The restaurant manager told DailyMail.com that it is widely considered the best steak tartare in Manhattan, thanks to the amalgamation of fancy ingredients.
On tasting it, the caviar combines perfectly with the hand-cut prime filet, leaving a creamy and salty taste.
Diners can combine the layers of ingredients as they please with slices of bread to spread it on.
Given the price point, this is certainly a dish to savor every mouthful.
Caviar butter: Caviar Russe
Caviar Russe boasts a glitzy two-story location in Midtown. In the Michelin-starred dining room even the butter is infused with caviar, as seen above
Priding itself on being one of the largest caviar importers in the U.S., Caviar Russe boasts a glitzy two-story location in Midtown.
The upstairs dining room opened in 1997 and it has been awarded a Michelin Star for seven years running which it retains to this day.
There is a three or six course tasting menu on offer in the snug dining room with caviar being the running theme.
Before the courses commence, diners are served a selection of fresh bread along with three types of butter.
One butter, smoothed into an orb shape, contains caviar which gives it a deliciously creamy and salty taste when combined with bread.
One of the restaurant’s most popular dishes, which is also served in the downstairs bar area as an a la carte option, is the ‘Golden Egg.’
This unique dish consists of a breadcrumbed runny egg topped with caviar, sitting amid a frothy cheese broth.
Pizza cocktail: Double Chicken Please
Double Chicken Please in the Lower East Side serves a beverage called Cold Pizza, featuring a mash up of tequila, parmesan, burnt toast, tomato, basil, honey and egg white
Double Chicken Please in the Lower East Side currently ranks second on the World’s 50 Best Bars list but its cocktails might not be for everyone.
The popular venue, which books out within minutes of reservations opening, says that the menus were ‘inspired by exploration and experimentation of traditional drinks and dishes.’
In the restaurant’s back room, which it refers to as The Coop, there are various cocktails inspired by savory dishes.
One beverage, called Cold Pizza, features a mash up of ingredients including tequila, parmesan, burnt toast, tomato, basil, honey and egg white.
Another drink was modeled after a Waldorf Salad, with a blend of whiskies, apple celery, ginger ale and walnut bitters.
Sticking to the salad theme, the NY Beet Salad features gin, beet, pineapple, cranberry, mascarpone and yogurt.
There are also several drinks inspired by desserts, with Mango Sticky Rice, Key Lime Pie and Butter Raisin Biscuit being among the booze infused offerings.
Truffle ice cream sandwich: Twenty Three Grand
Twenty Three Grand has a truffle menu with a a Truffle Chipwhich for dessert
For a limited time, the buzzy Twenty Three Grand restaurant on the fringe of Soho and Tribeca has launched a seasonal truffle menu which will run through to December.
The chefs have gone about creating four dishes featuring a selection of black and white truffles.
Combining sweet and savory flavors, the dessert comes in the form of a Truffle Chipwhich.
The restaurant’s twist on an ice cream sandwich features two chocolate chip cookies filled with vanilla ice cream and rolled in shaved white or black truffles.
The cookies are then topped with Maldon salt and served with a side of olive oil for dipping.
Depending on the type of truffle requested, the dessert ranges from $35 to $42.