Family Recipe, NYC

Family Recipe

Chef/Owner: Akiko Thurnauer
Cuisine: Japanese, European, Asian Fusion, Small Plates
Neighborhood: Lower East Side
Price: $50 per person
Address: 231 Eldridge Street, NYC 10002
Phone: 212-529-3133
Dinner: Mon – Wed 6:00-11:00pm, Thur – Sun 6:00pm-12:00am
Brunch: Sunday 12:00-4:00 pm

I first came to this restaurant by the way of a Gilt City coupon — I had purchased a dinner voucher at Family Recipe for four vegetarian tapas and sake pairings for just $27. The voucher expiry date was May 15, 2012… which of course was the date I finally made a reservation. On that date, the restaurant was packed with other procrastinating, bargain hunting Gilt patrons such as myself. I usually am never too impressed with any of the restaurants I have found via coupon sites like Groupon of Living Social; however, I was definitely grateful to Gilt City for bringing attention to this adorable gem of the restaurant. I brought along my usual Asian-fusion-fare-loving friends, Nat and Josie, and even with the first few dishes, we knew we found another keeper to add to our list! (If you are curious, the other Asian fusion spots on our list include Bohemian, Basta Pasta.)

Chef and co-owner Akiko Thurnauer first opened Family Recipe with her husband Eric in September 2011. As the name implies, the restaurant is based upon Akiko’s family recipes, which originated from her “food-obsessed parents in Tokyo, Japan.” However, the cuisine is not traditional Japanese; Akiko’s father had traveled extensively for business and would often bring back unique ingredients from all over the world to incorporate in their home cooking. Akiko pays tribute to her father’s culinary legacy by using her father’s kamon (family crest) for the restaurant’s logo. The cuisine is predominantly Japanese with American and European influences (the latter inspired by her husband’s English/Swiss family roots).

Family Recipe is all about home cooking, and I certainly wish I lived in that home. Once we saw the menu, we knew we couldn’t be limited to the four vegetarian tapas included in the Gilt City voucher. We wanted to try everything on the menu and I think we did order most everything off the Specials board. I am quite partial to Japanese food, and I loved her unique interpretations of traditional dishes. The food was fantastic and the ambiance was cute yet sleek. The interior feels like a cross between the funky Cafe Gitane and the glossy Jewel Bako. It feels perfect for dates and small groups. I can’t wait to return for another delicious meal! My only wish is that my photos had better lighting to do these dishes justice…


Oni no Shiaburi (Honjozo) // Denshin “haru” (Junmai Ginjo) // Aiyu Shiboritate (Junmai, Draft) // something else…


Shishito peppers
I love shishito peppers.. chargrilled and savory with a hint of spice


Brussels Sprouts: miso butter, pine nut, fried shallots
Butter + Miso is a brilliant idea… I definitely want to try to make this at home

Kale Salad: grapes, olives, dates, 5 spiced pecans
I ordered the kale salad after my obsession grew from Paprika’s Black Kale Salad … this one wasn’t my favorite but still light and refreshing… the sweet grapes and salty olives were an interesting duo

Dumplings: Rock Shrimps, Dried Shitake

Crispy Soft Shell Crab Buns
It’s about time someone put something other than pork belly in steamed buns! No offense Momofuku Ssäm Bar, I love your buns. But soft shell crab rocks too! Look at that tobiko and pickled daikon… yum!


Rock Shrimp & Squid Ink Okonomiyaki
I haven’t had okonomiyaki since I was last in Tokyo, and this tasted nothing like what I remembered because Family Recipe’s verison is epic. The squid ink was pretty awesome.

Uni, Ikura, Tobiko Rice Bowl
Just look how much uni is in this bowl! This was a seafood fantasy right there


FR homemade ice cream cone
These were so adorable; I couldn’t stop taking pictures until the ice cream melting finally knocked some sense into me

One Response to “Family Recipe, NYC”
  1. Thank you so much for great review! we are join to keep up our quality high! Akiko

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