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Good Taste: Taam Tov
June 12, 2006 by Howard Blas
Taam Tov 41 West 47th Street, New York Tel. (212) 768-8001
Open: Mon. - Fri. 10am - 6pm, kosher
Wade through the sea of mainly Orthodox diamond dealers mingling and conducting business along 47th Street and you will come across a man with a sandwich board, standing in front of an office building, passing out menus for Taam Tov, three flights up. “Bukharan, Uzbeki, Japanese, American, Middle East, all together,” says Alex, the Uzbeki owner, when asked about the unusual mix of items on the menu.
Rated No. 7 on the Village Voice’s list of 100 Best Incredibly Cheap Restaurants 2005 - the higher priced selections hover around the $9 zone - Taam Tov (Hebrew for “good taste”) is open only for (a very long) lunch, but offers tasty, filling, bizarrely aggregated fare. The Middle East offerings include lamb, chicken, beef and fish (sea bass and salmon) shish kebabs, shwarma with side dish or “over pita,” humus and tehina; while what is likely the “American” menu is limited to chicken cutlets, French fries and spaghetti.
The Diamond District denizens must go for Japanese food, because that list of selections is far more extensive, with a nice variety of sushi and sashimi. For those with expensive taste, the ruby, crystal, platinum vegetable, jade dragon and precious rolls make up the “Diamond Special,” each for $9.95; the diamond roll costs $10.95.
Then there’s the other stuff, much of it Bukharan: spicy kharcho soup, with beef cubes and rice on the bottom, onions, celery, scallions and peppers in the middle, to be mopped up with homemade lepeshka (Bukharan bread); manty, steamed dumplings filled with beef and spices; samsa, a baked meat pie; and the Uzbek pilaf, with chickpeas and carrots mixed in and juicy chunks of meet on top; baksh (Bukharan pilaf), and the golubtsy, which is stuffed cabbage with meat and rice.
Fill up on the main courses, the only jewels at Taam Tov, because there’s no dessert.Howard Blas