It's the middle of May and still not very Spring-like in New York City. As the rain continues to dribble down the window panes, any and all thoughts of a warm outdoor dining experience dissapear. Forget about prosecco and oysters on the terrace, what we should be eating instead is ramen, and inside please.
Ippudo NY is a trendy and gorgeous little restaurant that serves as the ultimate hideaway from the rain. The ambiance is warm and sleek, the staff is attractive and the food is AMAZING. Within bites of their perfect pork buns and Modern Ramen, your seasonal depression melts and the lousy weather is no longer a concern. Steaming broth and silky vegetables warm the heart and soul, and for meat eaters, the pork loin chasu is just another reason to smile as you slurp up chewy noodles and salty soup. Don't forget to add a perfectly seasoned soft boiled egg, it will boost the ramens deliciousness ten fold.
Another Ramen restaurant worth retreating to- Minca. This much smaller and intimate Ramen shop consists of tiny tables and a 5 seat bar. The ambiance is casual while one woman takes your order and two to three men seem to do all the cooking. The menu can be a bit overwhelming with a myriad of options in regards to noodle size and broth flavor. Pork broth? Thin noodle? Wavy noodle with chicken broth? This is basically a build-your-own type of place, which is nice if you are particular about your soup. Other highlights at Minca- homemade gyoza (similar to a potsticker) and Californian sake.
Until the rain subsides and those proverbial May flowers start to bloom, try and stay dry and enjoy tasty Japanese soup. Ramen is a favorite that can obviously be enjoyed year round, but seems to taste just a little better in the rain.