Despite the luxe reworking- matched with a pleasant though militantly stiff waitstaff and those fussy trappings left over from the space’s days as the oligarchic Brasserie Pushkin – chef Bryce Shuman thankfully hasn’t lost his sense of fun.
Although there’s a beautiful pricey steak – Creekstone Farms rib eye in a tenderizing marinade of fresh papaya and soy, the real draw for the neighborhood is the stuff that’s most recognizably Chinese, given the dearth of good Sino restaurants nearby.
The Italian-American supper clubs immortalized in mob movies and sepia-toned photos were never as dreamy as they seemed. The young guns behind Carbone, though, have moved beyond sentimentality in their homage to these restaurants by flipping the whole genre onto its head.
This East Harlem hole-in-the-wall may serve the city’s best al pastor tacos, sliced to order from a rotating spit crowned with a hunk of grilled pineapple. The tortilla-to-meat ratio is perfectly balanced.