I believe that the time-honored tradition of New York’s neighborhood eateries is reason alone to visit America’s most sought-after metropolis. Have you ever entered a restaurant and felt like you could hang out the entire evening? While meandering New York’s gritty, bohemian East Village, I stumbled upon just such a place, The Eddy.

Just walk down any street in New York, and you are sure to find scrumptious meals and superlative dining options. The Eddy is what makes New York one of the world’s champion food cities to immerse in neighborhood dining – taking from the farm to table model that one expects to see in the Napa Valley town of Yountville, but less so in New York’s gritty, bohemian East Village.

At the helm of The Eddy kitchen is a young chef making his mark on refined home cooked meals, Chef Jeremy Salamon whose mantra is that the freshest seasonal ingredients are necessary to create the most delicious meals.

“I started cooking when I was seven years old, and knew by the time that I reached nine that I wanted to become a chef,” said chef Salamon.

Stellar executive chef Jeremy Salamon looks more like your neighbor’s artsy kid next door attending his first year at Colombia. At the ripe age of 24 years old, he is right at home in the kitchen while most kids are fixated on finishing a college degree or contemplating the first real job away from parental guidance. In the kitchen, Salamon has taken over as executive chef of The Eddy with a menu made up of his families’ Hungarian-influenced dishes dating back to his affinity to his grandmother.

Progressive at a young age might best describe this extraordinary cook. Some creative geniuses just know their calling. At age 13, Salaman started his blog JeremyCooks.com as a way to connect with other teens with a passion for food and cooking, which featured his vault of favorite family recipes and stories.

Rarely does a younger chef receive such esteemed status from his peers on a culinary stage. From a four-year span of 2009 to 2012, the magnetic chef competed in two American Culinary Federation competitions. Arriving with a pedigree immersed in homespun meals around the dinner table with family and friends, cooking being commonplace, he turned out to be the youngest competitor, winning a silver medal both times, and hosted the Food Network South Beach Food & Wine Festival Food Labs. These accolades come from a starting point where kids get the chance to cook one-on-one with celebrity chefs.

The culinary whiz kid moved to New York to attend the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, and worked in kitchens such as New York’s Locanda Verde, Buvette, and Prune, as well as running a Hungarian pop-up dinner series called Fond.

The Eddy continues to serve seasonal dishes, driven by the fare and farmer’s market at the Greenmarket, where Salaman seeks out seasonal ingredients mingled into his many global influences, as well as his Hungarian background.

“From an early age, I took an interest in my Hungarian roots, and saw other trends like French, Spanish, Italian and Greek cuisine having such a positive influence throughout America, but not so much Hungarian, so I want to showcase some of the meals that I grew up with,” said Salamon. “People have an impression that Hungarian food is meat and sauce heavy when most Hungarians have gardens and most dishes are on the lighter side.”

On my visit, I experienced some of the classic dishes from the young chef’s childhood repertoire. Digging into his Hungarian roots, the street food pizza like Langos is a deep-fried treat. The doughy delight is served warm with sour cream and grated cheese, or country ham and rubbed with garlic butter.

The traditional Hungarian Goulash showcases the forward-thinking chef’s creativity consisting of beef cheek, anchovy roasted carrot, and preserved tomato. The classic pork schnitzel is succulent and rich in flavor. For those arriving hungry, there is a 50-day Dry Aged Ribeye cooked to perfection with a side of horseradish butter and season vegetables.

The Eddy reflects upon one of the most distinct and diverse food and wine experiences in Manhattan. The wine list consists of everyday Pinots to full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignons, as well as its own original signature cocktails spruced up in an eclectic array of glassware and copper goblets. The unpretentious space is laid out for a snug and cushy evening of eating and drinking.

I never did delve into who this Eddy guy is, or if there is even is a namesake, but on a bitterly cold January evening, I was warmed up by the palette-popping classic dishes created by a young chef who dazzles his guests by lending his eclectic upbringing merging into Eastern European comfort food. Learn more: www.theeddynyc.com

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