RESERVE: Thai-Inspired Wine Bar

By Louis Edward

Green Curry Pizza. Are you serious? Yes, and it tastes amazing! Like many of the unique Thai fusion dishes on this very diverse menu at Reserve, Green Curry Pizza both surprises and satisfiies. Reserve is actually the first Thai-inspired Tapas and wine bar that boasts 55 different international wines. I’m sure by now you’re probably a little curious …and hungry!

This little secret on 3rd Ave. (between 28-29th Streets) in Kips Bay, was really a surprise. I sat down with the very young and extremely busy restaurant owner “Luk”. She and I chatted while her pleasant staff brought out Reserve’s tasty dishes one by one. It was hard to concentrate on the interview because the food was pleasantly intoxicating me as I glanced outside our window seat looking directly at the Empire State Building. We were also sitting with the other members of the Asian Fusion staff sharing food and having conversation in a cozy and friendly atmosphere without a hint of pretentiousness. This is exactly the “shared experience atmosphere” that Luk had envisioned and executed.

They have a great wine list that works well in any price range, a few surprising beers and a good selection of liquor with some very desirable specialty cocktails. “Our wine list is made up of spicy, sour, salty, and sweet. We specialize in bold flavors,” Luk said.

Food was particularly satisfying and tasted rather excellent. Despite a few common dishes, the menu reads nothing like a normal New YorkThai restaurant and the food tastes superior to any similar Thai eateries in this price plane. The curries were all phenomenal and exceptionally priced. Luk told me that, “most curry dishes are $10 dollars, here they are $5.00”. The spicy food went really well with the big bodied wines that we were having. There was a really delightful salad of minced pork and shrimp marinated in spicy zesty sauce, served with little rice puffs. The noodle dishes were also far from commonplace.We also ate mieng klum Shrimp, khauo thung, gratong tong, smoke salmon deviled eggs, shumai, and beef avacado tomato. Luk told me that the best sellers and signature dishes are the Khauo Thung, which is minced shrimp and pork coconut relish on crispy jasmine rice crackers, green currie pizza with fontaine cheese, and the spicy spinach artichoke.

Executive Chef Monchai Boonchim, a native of southern Thailand who has high-end cooking experience (Brasserie and Atlas), has enabled him to create world-infused Thai dishes that truly rock!