Chop Shop II
 
 

The Flatiron’s chill spot for Asian Fusion feasting

By Erik Mathes

After 16 years of running the successful Tuscan restaurant Bottino in West Chelsea—and Barocco in Tribeca before that—Danny Emerman felt it was time to do something a little different. So when he opened a new place just down the street from Bottino in 2012, he decided to base it around a cuisine he knew little about: Asian fusion.

Thankfully, the veteran restaurateur had worked with several accomplished Chinese food chefs since hitting the scene in the ‘80s, so he tapped a few of them as partners for the new venture. The team made sure to design the space in Bottino’s fresh style of white brick walls with light wood tables and chairs, so their colorful dishes would pop.

To stand out even more from New York’s countless carbon copies of Chinese restaurants, the team curated a boutique menu of international wines, and for the coup-de-grace, the menu brought in eclectic ingredients and rotating dishes to allow for the unexpected, such as spicy margaritas with Thai chiles, coconut curry “risotto,” and seasonal gelato.

The concept caught on quick, and in 2015, Emerman and his team expanded with Chop-Shop II, which became a Flatiron favorite nearly overnight. Tucked away on a relatively quiet side street, this place fills up fast with a decidedly hip crowd, making you feel as if you’re in on the neighborhood’s best-kept secret—when you’re lucky enough to snag a table. Just don’t expect a replica of the Tenth Avenue location. The sequel has its own unique vibe—and menu—with plates like avocado tofu summer rolls with curry dipping sauce, and steamed lamb dumplings with chile-infused oil.
Regardess of which location you find yourself at, the possibilities are almost endless. You could make a meal of spicy cucumber salad, crab fried rice, and spicy Thai-fried bass, with chiles, lime, sugar, and fish sauve. Or perhaps you’re feeling more like braised pork belly buns, Thai-style spare ribs, and pad Thai. Then there’s Emerman’s recommendations: the cold noodles with sesame sauce and chicken, the green curry with shrimp and eggplant, and the lightly breaded and fried salt and pepper baby chicken with flash fried slices of red onion and sweet bell peppers, all of which are sharable.

So next time you’re waffling over Chinese, Japanese, or Thai takeout—again—get smart: There’s a place nearby where all three (and more) cuisines intermingle—a place where you can sip Spanish tempranillo with sweet and spicy Szechuan orange beef, or pair Prosecco with pan-fried pork dumplings. With all the delicious options, you have no excuse not to indulge.

hours

Lunch: Mon–Sat noon–3:30 PM
Dinner: Mon–Wed 5:30 PM–10 PM; Thu–Sat 5:30 PM–10:30 PM; Sun 5 PM–9:30 PM

price range

$14 (Penang vegetable curry) to $20 (Thai fried bass filet)
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