Tea Service at Dinner
Caesar salad, you dinner-menu stalwart--you've been replaced.
At the new Foragers City Table in Chelsea, we've fallen for a new lettuce treatment: the fermented tea-leaf salad ($15).
Known as lephet, the salad is a Burmese specialty. A mound of crunchy shredded Little Gem lettuce is dressed lightly with toasted-sesame-oil-and-lime vinaigrette and surrounded by six small circles of toppings: peanuts, sunflower seeds, crisp garlic slices, fried yellow split peas, miniature dried shrimp, and a hauntingly floral green paste made from salt-fermented tea leaves that chef Douglas Monsalud imports from Burma.
Gently toss the components together for a texture- and flavor-filled trip that will leave your head spinning.
The restaurant, which is connected to the Foragers City Market, features a produce-driven Asian menu that's heavily influenced by greenmarket bounty.
Monsalud's light touch shines throughout the offerings: in a dish of black cod served over spring peas, tomatoes and crisped bacon ($13), and in a small plate of rich, house-made pork crépinettes ($5), which are balanced by bright lettuce leaves, cucumber and a punchy Meyer lemon nuoc cham dipping sauce.
Even with that impressive spread, we're still swooning over that salad.
Foragers City Table, 300 W. 22 St. (at Eighth Ave.); 212-243-8888 or foragerscitygrocer.com