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 decoychipsWe 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. veggiesWe also had the assorted pickles and cold veggies bites.  The thinly sliced pickles are amazing. shrimpdumplingsFor 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.

oxtailThe other dumpling we had was deep fried and stuffed with pulled oxtail.  A bit heavier but just as good. foiegrasstrawberrytartsFoie 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. oystersKumamoto oysters served in a Yuzu ice and a small piece of cucumber on the side.  Nice presentation. noodleuniThis 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. pekingduckThe 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). duckshotHonestly this dish is flawless. lobsterOh 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. porkWe 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. chickenOur 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.

Comments (Archived):

  1. AG

    Somehow seeing what you’ve eaten never gets old. And it’s funny how I often feel like I know more than I would have if I’d read a “professional” review.Wondering, though, whether you ever feel like you can’t give a bad review because of the connections you have to the restaurant industry in ny.

    1. Gotham Gal

      very good question.i hate to pan someone where i had a bad meal and i know them. generally i just do not write about it. return later with hopes that it gets better. also why write about mediocre food..:)

      1. LE

        If you haven’t done so you have to watch this, it’s on Netflix, about Sirio Maccioni and Le Cirque.:…The way Sirio reacts to the NY Times review is absolutely priceless.I ate at the son’s restaurant in Las Vegas (can’t remember the name but it’s mentioned in the movie) and it was pretty good and worth the visit.

  2. LE

    Jeffrey Chodorow was featured in the short lived reality TV show “The Restaurant” which I really liked watching. (Was with Rocco Dispirito).I later found out that Jeffrey’s son Max and Zach went to my high school and in fact the alumni mag said that he was approached by the school to donate to a new library but instead, based on what his son Max told him, decided to pay to upgrade the school kitchen.How do you make a food service directorhappy? Ask him to draw up a wish list ofmodern kitchen equipment. Then add aconsulting design team and a corporatechef, blend in just the right amount offunding, and turn the whole projectaround in less than two months. GeorgeSchool Food Service Director Joe Ducatiof CulinArt Inc. is no stranger to theunpredictable world of the professionalchef. Yet after decades of working inrestaurants from New York to Miami,he was both humbled and thrilled bythe golden opportunity that recentlycame George School’s way. Thanks toa generous contribution of $200,000from Jeffrey and Linda Chodorow,parents of Zach ’04 and Max ’07, theschool’s kitchen facility was upgraded ina way that Joe describes as “going fromdriving a 1940 Buick to driving a 2007Cadillac.”“We are enormously grateful to Jeffreyand Linda for their donation,” says Headof School Nancy Starmer. “We originallyapproached the Chodorows to see if theymight be interested in contributing tothe new library. Instead, they offered torenovate the kitchen thanks to feedbackfrom their son Max, who also happens tobe very knowledgeable about food and a wonderful cook himself…Pdf: