Chef Wong’s streamlined summer fare

To keep his menu healthy, chef Simpson Wong makes time to shop at greenmarkets around the city a few times a week.

After suffering a heart attack at 41, Simpson Wong decided to focus on healthier alternatives that never sacrifice flavor — and the results are on display at his restaurant, Wong, in the West Village. Tucked into Cornelia Street just off Sixth Avenue, the restaurant is a cozy place to take in the delicious fare, from succulent pork blade with lime pickles and summer squash fries to lobster egg foo young, all of which blends Asian technique with local flavor.
 
What inspired your summer menu?

We go to the market and see what they have, and we bring it back. We talk to the farmers, they’ll tell us what they will have, so we usually say that if you have it, save it for us.

Where do you shop for ingredients?

We go to the Union Square market four times a week. We go to the one in Borough Hall once a week, on Thursday. Everything is hand-carried from the farmer’s market: all the greens, collard greens, all the salad greens, all the peas, eggs. We buy a case of eggs, fish.

A lot of the dishes seem regionally inspired. Do you try to use food from the NYC area?

It’s a lot of work. You have to go there every day to look for it. The only thing as far as protein that is not that local is the shrimp is from the Gulf of Mexico. Lately we’ve been featuring shrimp from Maryland. They know what we are and what we do. They will bring it over, and if we like it, we will order.

What’s your favorite dish right now?

The Blue Moon Boat Black Bass, with sour curry and lots of summer vegetables, eggplant, okra, tempura wax beans. We also have a lot of whole fish, from the Long Island Sound. We’re selling fluke a lot because fluke is not too expensive, you have the same benefits, same nutrients. If you eat local, if you buy things local, it’s going to save you money and it also benefits your heath.

The menu seems healthier than others — tell us how the heart attack changed the way you create menus.

We only use butter for one dish, the scallops that are caramelized. We don’t use butter at all and then sometimes we use olive oil. We use more canola oil to sauté stuff, it’s not as much cholesterol, and then we’re doing a lot of steamed stuff. We watch out for the fat content, so we have a lot of grass-fed steak on the menu.

Do you cook at home, or is cooking work to you?

I have a beach house in the Hamptons, so when I’m there I don’t leave the house — I just stay in the area. I even buy the vegetables and the seafood from the farmers market [in New York] and put it in the trunk and drive out there because it’s so expensive there, and I don’t want to deal with people going out to eat. I just cut the herbs, and then I eat pretty well. Just this past weekend I had some pesto pasta, and then I had shellfish, mussels. … You can eat a lot because it’s so light.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Boston Strong: One year on from Boston Marathon…

  For more than a century the Boston Marathon has been an even centred around sportsmanship, endurance and athleticism, but there's no denying the face…

Local

Best nature spots for kids in New York…

When it comes to kids and nature, most U.S. parents agree: children should be spending more time outdoors. According to a recent survey by The…

Local

Easter 2014: The year's best bonnets

It's Easter, and that means it's time for Fifth Avenue to turn into a veritable catwalk of bonnet-wearers. The annual march, which kicks off at…

Local

Woman arrested for attempted kidnapping of baby in…

Authorities said that a Queens woman behind an attempted kidnapping of an 8-month-old baby boy was arrested on Saturday.

Television

‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."

Television

'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

NHL

Rangers let chance at victory slip away in…

All the Rangers had to do was hold serve in a raucous Madison Square Garden — roaring in anticipation of putting a hated rival in a 2-0 series hole.

MLB

Yankees place Ivan Nova on DL with partially…

Yankees starter Ivan Nova was diagnosed with a partially torn UCL in his throwing elbow Sunday.

NHL

Rangers never thought opening round would be 'an…

You might have thought the Metropolitan Division semifinal series was going to be a rout after watching Game 1 Thursday night. The Rangers did not.

NHL

Rangers blow two-goal lead in Game 2 loss…

The Rangers got out to an early 2-0 lead in Game 2 and the Garden was rocking. But it went downhill quickly from there.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.