New York City is home to a lot of restaurants, and among them are hidden gems the majority of New Yorkers just aren't unearthing. To help guide us to these potential discoveries, we've enlisted some of our city's many food luminaries to share with us their under the radar recommendations for Dining Confidential.
Today, Seamus Mullen of Tertulia, winner of the 2011 Comeback of the Year Eater Award, praises adventurous food at Hakata Tonton in the West Village:
"This quirky little Japanese restaurant is not necessarily for everyone, but there are a ton of delicious and unusual things to eat, nearly all of them have pig's trotters in some permutation. The veal liver sashimi was enough to make even me a little squirmy, but it's surprisingly delicate and elegant. Their version of Bibimbap has a decadent, sticky pig's foot broth and the bathroom is full of pez dispensers and nutty tchotkes. I love that New York has places like this, there's something so cool about a restaurant that's completely dedicated to championing the culinary underdogs.
A whole menu featuring pig's feet! What's not to love about "Healthy collagen salad?" At its best, Hakata Tonton is pretty remarkable, grilled pig's feet are amazing and the tasting menu is very, very reasonable. This is definitely drinking food—I know that I need a few shots of Shochu courage before tackling slabs of raw veal liver. It's nice to know that I don't have to trek all the way out to Flushing if I have a late night craving for, er, foot."