Chef Rebecca Weitzman has had a hand in restaurants all over the city, most recently the West Village’s eclectic new American spot Clarkson, Thistle Hill Tavern and helming the reopening of Cafe Noir in 2014.
She left the consulting life behind to join SoHo’s beloved seasonal vegetable-focused restaurant Chalk Point Kitchen last December, but it’s her late summer dinner menu that caught our eye, with items like smoked diver scallops with melon gazpacho and farm-fresh peaches topped with spice-roasted macadamia nut crumble on a chipotle crema.
And, while it lasts, grab her lobster roll on a gluten-free English muffin. A full half of a Maine lobster gets a dressing of lemon aioli, with tarragon, dill, chervil and an ingredient Weitzman finds practically irresistible: nasturtium flowers.
“A lot of edible flowers don’t have a ton of flavor, whereas nasturtium are so unique, they’re really sweet and then they finish with this awesome peppery, arugula flavor that goes really nice with the sweetness of the lobster,” she says, admitting to loving the plant in her rooftop garden to death.
When it comes to going out, Weitzman prefers ethnic restaurants and rarely visits the same place twice — but she does have some memorable spots.
Hidden gem: “I don’t generally go out to eat my own kind of food, so I’ll go to smaller, ethnic restaurants. I love real Thai and Vietnamese food, and Somtum Der is one of my favorite restaurants for Thai food in the city, I love it, so spicy and good and authentic.” 85 Ave. A, East Village
Best meal under $10: “If I just wanted an easy lunch that I didn’t have to think about that’s always really fresh and consistent, I love Westville, they do what they do really really well, it’s nothing crazy but it’s just good. They focus on vegetables, and I’m a huge vegetable person.” 246 W. 18th St., Chelsea, 210 W. 10th St., West Village
Favorite bar: “I’m a huge margarita person, I love all different varieties of tequila cocktail, and I had a spicy carrot-tequila cocktail [Twisted Rabbit] that was not sweet, which are hard to find, at Bar Virage. Their cocktail list is really interesting. The other best cocktail I’ve had is a beet-tequila one [Calacas] at Hudson Clearwater, I’ve been there just to get that, and they have a really awesome patio in the back.” 118 Second Ave., 447 Hudson St.
Solo dining: “I love sitting at bars and eating. I really liked the food at Mayfield, a good atmosphere and they always are changing the menu and doing really interesting things, and they have really great bartenders who are always very knowledgeable.” 688 Franklin Ave., Crown Heights