Ed Schoenfeld has been an important part of the NY dining scene over the last forty years. His last restaurant opening before Decoy was Red Farm. When Red Farm first opened on Hudson Street we went there for dinner and our experience was not over the top. I wrote about it. He reached out to me asking me to come back and I did. Round 2 we had a great experience and began a relationship with Ed that we hope will last for many years to come. He is not only an absolutely charming individual he defines what I love about NYC. Red Farm expanded to the UWS so there are now two Red Farms in the city. He took over the laundry mat underneath Red Farm on Hudson Street and created his latest venture alongside his partner Joe Ng and backer Jeffrey Chodorow to open Decoy. Decoy is a peking duck spinoff of Red Farm and the food is fantastic. His biggest problem that I forsee is that the place is too small. One of my favorite things in the restaurant are these two huge photos of ducks that have a feeling of something out of the 1800′s. Very cool We started off with a few nibbles from the bar snacks. Decoy Chips served with a black garlic dip. The chips were light yet dense and super crispy. I admit I did not touch the dip. We also had the assorted pickles and cold veggies bites. The thinly sliced pickles are amazing. For the first of many courses we began with shrimp and snow pea leaf dumplings. They are experts at dumplings. Red Farm puts them out upstairs all day long and before that they were the people behind Chinatown Brasserie (sorely missed). Delicious.
The other dumpling we had was deep fried and stuffed with pulled oxtail. A bit heavier but just as good. Foie gras and strawberry tarts shaped in the form of little ducks. These are simply decadent as foie gras always is. My only criticism here is that it is a little heavy handed on the strawberry sauce. Kumamoto oysters served in a Yuzu ice and a small piece of cucumber on the side. Nice presentation. This was seriously beautiful and unique. Sweet potato noodle salad topped with uni. A cold soba like noodle made out of sweet potato and adding in the uni takes this dish to a whole other level. The creme de la creme here is the peking duck. He has bought these amazing roasters that remind me of the green egg. The ducks come out absolutely perfect. Crispy skin, juicy meat served with pancakes, house pickles, decoy chips, three sauces and duck soup shots (below). Honestly this dish is flawless. Oh yes there was more. We had the lobster with wide rice noodles. The lobster has already been cracked into small pieces that easily slide out of the shell over the noodles mixed with green onions and cilantro. Yum. We also had the pork toro. Small pieces of deep fried pork that resemble a korean rice cake. Mixed together with thinly sliced pieces of root vegetables ( I believe some lotus root) and softened scallions. Our last was the Jamaican style jerk baby chicken with corn, brussels sprouts and noodles. Now I could have hit the wall but I was pretty good about pacing myself. The chicken was cooked perfectly but the dish was a tad salty and am not sure you need it here. Maybe Jerk inspired dishes can be Ed’s next place. All and all it was a wonderful meal and a great time. That duck is just epic. You certainly do not need as many dishes as we had but it is hard trying to figure out the balance of small, large and sides with the duck. I guess I have to return to figure it out.