Welcome to Ask Eater, a column from Eater New York where the site’s editors, reporters, and critics answer specific or baffling restaurant requests from readers and friends. A new question and answer will run every Thursday. Have a question for us? Submit your question in this form.
We are looking for a fun restaurant with great food to say goodbye to a friend leaving NYC for good. We are a group of eight people in our mid-30s, and we like to have good drinks but above all great food. We are very adventurous eaters with no dietary restrictions and would like dinner to not be crazy expensive — up to $25 to $30 entree range and anywhere in Manhattan, but below 28th Street preferred. We looked at Mission Chinese (mixed feelings on the reviews) and Union Square cafe (too old?). Can you help?
— Sending Off in Style
New York City send-offs are a very specific type of celebration. They should feel representative of someone’s time here — and how does one fit the feeling of the entire city into one spot? It’s almost impossible, but with the parameters you listed, I think David Chang is your man.
For those coming of age in the last decade, there was perhaps no cooler set of restaurants than the Momofuku empire. Chang burst onto the scene with a rebellious cuisine that refused to fit into the NYC restaurant box, intentionally uncomfortable seating, and an obsession with bold flavors. And his quintessential, incredibly hyped first restaurant is Momofuku Noodle Bar.
It’s a casual place that 10 years in still ranks among the city’s most essential restaurants. If you and your friends are — as you say — people who “like to have good drinks but above all great food,” then you’ve likely already been to Noodle Bar. So for a throwback, book the fried chicken feast.
This large-format meal feeds up to eight people (at $18.75 per person for eight) with two whole fried chickens (one Southern style and one Korean style), mu shu pancakes, baby carrots, red ball radishes, bibb lettuce, four sauces, and an herb basket. You can also always add on the famed pork buns or some ramen.
It’s a down-and-dirty sort of endeavor, perfect for a large group, lots of nostalgia, and hangover preparation. So order soju slushies and beer with abandon. Bon voyage!