We won't fault you for being sick of Asian fusion. But if you're one sad tuna tartare away from packing up your chopsticks forever, consider a trip to Red Farm, whose inventive menu merges Chinese and Western flavors in an elegant, playful and incredibly tasty way.
This West Village spot, which opened last week with Chinatown Brasserie chef Joe Ng at the helm, strikes us as perfect for sophisticated group dinners. Meal sharing is encouraged, and the rural-chic tables (think mismatched farm chairs and tin jars filled with flowers) are large and accommodating.
As for the food, small plates are clearly the stars. We loved the savory filet mignon tartlets ($8.50), the tangy duck-and-fuji-apple wraps ($11) and the thoroughly creative shu mai shooters (bites of shrimp and mushroom followed by ginger-carrot-juice chasers) ($7)--all a far cry from your average dim sum. But our favorite appetizer was the pastrami egg roll ($6), a flaky pastry filled with Katz's finest deli meat and served with a sweet-mustard dipping sauce.
It's easy to assemble a meal from these starters. Still, we suggest saving room for the main dishes. We split the rich okra-and-eggplant curry ($17) and the rib steak with bok choy ($36), both of which were tasty and innovative.
Red Farm, 529 Hudson St. (between W. 10th and Charles sts.); 212-792-9700 or redfarmnyc.com