Food & Drink

Thailand in Brooklyn

Published On 04/17/2012 Published On 04/17/2012

Being an adventurous eater can be difficult, as the person behind you on the Scream Machine usually ends up plastered with about half of your hoagie. Get adventurous without getting stupid, at Pok Pok Ny. Having given Pok Pok Wing ample time to settle in, PDX's Andy Ricker has decided to launch a full-service operation to highlight his unique brand of super-authentic Thai, resulting in a semi-industrial fish shack with large fans, checkered tableclothes, East River views, and a massive backyard outfitted with a cookout-ready charcoal rotisserie & colorful stacks of milk crate planters. The menu sports some of the original Portland location's greatest hits (aforementioned chicken wings, spicy pork bone soup w/ smoked frog legs, whiskey-marinated soy/honey/ginger baby backs…), plus newness including a rotisserie La Belle Rouge hen stuffed with lemongrass, garlic & cilantro, and a garlic-/coriander-rubbed Mangalitsa boar collar described as "Northern Thai drinking food", though with city names like Bangkok and Phuket, you'd think the South was doing some serious boozing too. Drinking here isn't quite like anywhere else in the city, with cocktails incorporating housemade Som drinking vinegars (the Stone Fence = apple vinegar, draft cider, Applejack & bitters), and Asian brewage including Chang, Lao, and iQhilika Fig Mead, which is just one more sign the fig mead trend has totally reached the tipping point. And just when you thought things couldn't get bonkers…er, they're even making beer slushies using a barrel-like contraption that shakes bottles of brew in a salinated mixture until they emerge as Bia Wun ("jelly beer") -- so delicious you might become a scream machine yourself.

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1. Pok Pok Ny 117 Columbia St, New York, NY 11231

Andy Ricker's Michelin-starred restaurant on Brooklyn's Columbia Street Waterfront specializes in Northern Thai food, a regional cuisine that favors pork and deep-frying over spiciness and coconut milk. Pok Pok's menu is filled with family-style plates like deep-fried pork riblets, minced pork salad with crispy fried garlic, and insanely good chicken wings, deep-fried and coated in fish sauce. There's usually a wait at peak dinner times, especially for a table on the back patio in the summer.