Meatpacking District and Chelsea

Spice Market

Considering its location (in the middle of meatpacking-district hell), its ridiculous size (as big as a bus depot), and its strange hothouse décor (like the palace of an arriviste Balinese drug lord), it’s a wonder this restaurant works at all. But Jean-Georges’s take on the street foods of Southeast Asia works to surprising effect, and despite its eccentricities, Spice Market is just plain fun. If you can’t get a table (and even if you can), sit at the cantilevered bar upstairs, where it’s a pleasure to dine on chicken wings drizzled in a sticky-sweet chile sauce, or bowls of curried duck, or the short ribs, which are softened in a mass of onion and green chiles, and watch the party unfold. — Adam Platt

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