Ramen Thukpa rides the Ramen wave and focuses on an assortment of fortified hot soups that are especially appealing in the cold of this winter. It has a very simple and pleasant interior with limited seating that plays to the Thukpa roots; Thukpa being a soup meal from Tibet similar to the Japanese Ramen, both having overlapping Chinese influences. The restaurant was recently opened by two entrepreneurial industry veterans who are making a go of it on their own. They do local delivery, but we enjoyed a dinner for three on a cold February night.

Aside from Ramen, appetizers, dumplings, soup, and salad are offered. We tasted an assortment that included Scallion Pancake, Crab Rangoon, Beijing Duck, Pork Soup Dumplings, and a Cucumber Salad. All proved to stimulate the taste buds, but the Pork Soup Dumplings, a generous portion of six each in their own little tart pans, were freshly made and had a rich deep and slightly sweet flavor, especially captured in the broth that became your last slurp on each dumpling. The duck bun sandwiches were a pretty good quick proximally of the real deal and the cream cheese and crab fried dumplings, also known as Crab Rangoon, where tasty bites.

We tried a pork, fish, and duck ramen. All were a hearty portion with the fish special that evening standing out as the most interesting. The special had a few kinds of fish, including fish balls or dumplings, along with a curried coconut, milk, creamy broth. The prices are all very reasonable and an ample dinner for three was about $75. At this point, they do not have a liquor license so more value is added with beer or wine from a block away on 7th Avenue.

Empire Diner is an old favorite of many older New Yorkers. It has been closed for a good decade and reopened unsuccessfully in the last few years. I am happy to report that on another cold, snowy evening, I had a very satisfactory dinner while watching the snow fall again on 10th Avenue. The interior, which has been updated a little, is classic with a menu to match, helped to birth again by Amanda Freitag, a chef who has been around the few blocks a few times.

The menu is simple and well-priced with somewhat new takes on classics including a Greek salad with grilled octopus and skate wings done in the style of buffalo chicken wings. Both worked well and were thoughtfully prepared. A roast chicken with a lemon, rosemary sauce served with whipped ricotta was a nurturing comfort food entrée on a cold night. Brussel sprouts were as tempting as potato chips, roasted crisp with some chili jam. Apple pie with whipped cream was a pie of which any diner could be proud. The Empire Diner is only open for dinner at this point but plans to be open longer hours soon.

Ramen Thukpa 70 Seventh Avenue South ( just north of Commerce Street) 212 929-2188

Empire Diner 210 Tenth Avenue at 22nd street 212 596 7523

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