Té Company in the West Village is that rare tearoom known as much for its excellent food as for its focused selection of meticulously sourced teas and the care with which they’re served. Credit for that goes to Frederico Ribeiro, a Portuguese-born former Per Se sous chef who eschewed predictable finger sandwiches and scones for a daily-changing menu of seasonal, Iberian-accented small plates, and whole-wheat sourdough bread better than what you could find at the city’s top bakeries.
But despite having cultivated a following with dishes like his signature tortilla de patata, Ribeiro couldn’t shake the sense that his food didn’t cohere with the Asian-minimalist space or his wife Elena Liao’s Taiwanese tea list. So late last month, he introduced a new menu written in Mandarin and English, offering Taiwan-inspired snacks like spicy peanuts and preserved kumquats. Its centerpiece is a hearty lunchtime bowl of lu rou fan, the rustic pork-sauce-over-rice dish eaten throughout the island. Ribeiro developed his recipe based on meals the couple ate on trips abroad, the unsparing critiques of his wife and in-laws, extensive research, and a rice-cooking consult with sushi chef Eiji Ichimura, according to whom you only need two things: “Really good water and really good rice.”
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On the menu at Té Company; $14; 163 W. 10th St., nr. Seventh Ave. S.; 929-335-3168.
*A version of this article appears in the March 19, 2018, issue of New York Magazine.