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The Best Dishes Eater Editors Ate This Week

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Mining the latest dining gems NYC has to offer

Olmsted Photo by Daniel Krieger

The amount of excellent food available in New York City is dizzying, yet mediocre meals somehow keep worming their way into our lives. With Eater editors dining out sometimes several times a day, we do come across lots of standout dishes, and we don’t want to keep any secrets. Check back weekly for the best things we ate this week — so you can, too.


December 18

Olmsted’s beer-battered squash rings
Olmsted’s beer-battered squash rings
Sonia Chopra

Olmsted’s beer-battered delicata squash rings

I went back to Olmsted for the first time in ages last week, and my favorite among the dishes we shared — including a bouillabaisse-esque hot pot, the rutabaga tagliatelle, and the cauliflower okonomiyaki — was definitely the beer-battered squash rings ($8), which are crispy, filling, and topped with enough crunchy flavorful things that they don’t even need a sauce. The winter drinks, including a sweet spiked cider and the hot chocolate served in a thermos, are fun too. 659 Vanderbilt Avenue, Prospect Heights — Sonia Chopra, director of editorial strategy

Fausto’s salted caramel panna cotta

Chef-owner Erin Shambura and owner Joe Campanale have produced what’s a decidedly fine neighborhood restaurant in Fausto, the Italian replacement for Franny’s in Park Slope. The pastas and appetizers are solid — but a stand-out is the salted caramel panna cotta ($10), a lightly sweet and creamily textured custard that’s a great meal-ender. Shambura, though not a pastry chef by training, executes a panna cotta that tastes and feels expensive, avoiding both the cloying sweetness of many salted caramel desserts and the lack of excitement of many panna cottas. 348 Flatbush Avenue, Park Slope — Serena Dai, editor

Diner’s burger and fries
Diner’s burger and fries
Patrick H./Yelp

Diner’s burger and fries

We all have holes on our culinary resumes; I do my best to plug them up when appropriate. As fate would have it, I was passing by Andrew Tarlow’s Diner recently and realized, against all probability, I’d never been (hey it happens!). So I went in, and I had the grass-fed burger, and it was quite good. I don’t typically do burgers at restaurants these days, but I figured these guys are famous for it, and the price is right — $24 with fries and cheddar, service-included. It was a near-perfect burger, generously salted, uniformly medium rare, and distinctly beefy. I’ll be back. 85 Broadway, Williamsburg — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

<p id="7j93QV">La Morada’s chorizo tlayuda

La Morada’s chorizo tlayuda

Robert Sietsema

La Morada’s chorizo tlayuda

The tlayuda is sometimes called the Mexican pizza, often eaten in Oaxaca as a late-night bar snack. To make it, an outsized hand-patted tortilla is crisped on a griddle as chorizo, refried beans, stringy white cheese, and sometimes jalapeños, salsa, tomatoes, lettuce, crema, and avocado are heaped on top. The bottom ingredients agreeably melt together while the salad type stuff stays cool on top. While you can get one at newcomer Claro in Gowanus, the one at La Morada in Mott Haven, the Bronx, is even better, cut into four bite-size wedges for sharing ($18). 308 Willis Avenue, Mott Haven — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Tavern Kyclades’ Greek-style shrimp
Tavern Kyclades’ Greek-style shrimp
Mark P./Yelp

Tavern Kyclades’ Greek-style shrimp

The original Astoria location of Taverna Kyclades is always mobbed, but the East Village one is pretty easy to get into — and very affordable. Entrees can seem a little daunting at upwards of $25 each, but the mountain of food that arrives is impressive. The best bite from my meal was the Greek-style shrimp ($25.95), which consisted of perfectly tender shrimp swimming in a tomato sauce that tasted like a Greek version of vodka sauce. It was creamy from feta cheese, with an anise tang from ouzo and flecked with garlic and herbs. Spooned over rice, it made for a very comforting meal. 228 First Avenue, East Village — Stefanie Tuder, senior editor

December 11

Boba Guys’ eggnog horchata
Boba Guys’ eggnog horchata
Photo by Sonia Chopra

Boba Guys’ eggnog horchata

Eater hosted a pop-up in Chinatown’s Canal Street Market all of last week, which meant that I spent quite a bit of time there. My favorite discovery was the eggnog horchata ($6) from Boba Guys, which coupled something I love (horchata) with something I avoid whenever possible (eggnog) and added some boba into the mix. I wasn’t sure about it: Could those three totally disparate elements work, or would this be some kind of Instagram-driven trendy disaster? But the end result is a cinnamony, just-sweet-enough drink that actually did help get me into the holiday mindset. 265 Canal Street, Chinatown — Sonia Chopra, director of editorial strategy

Faro’s caraflex cabbage

You’ve seen them in the farmers markets: cone-shaped cabbages with a sharp point on one end and a hemisphere on the other. When poached and pickled, the hybridized vegetable becomes the softest cabbage in town, while turning the palest shade of green. The Bushwick Italian bistro Faro has created an app out of it, tossing caraflex cabbage with long scarlet radishes sliced thin and shaved red apples awash in a dill vinaigrette that delights the tongue, just as the visual composition pleases the eye. 436 Jefferson Street, Bushwick — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Guantanamera’s banana pudding
Guantanamera’s banana pudding
Photo by Ryan Sutton

Guantanamera’s banana pudding

I wish there were more places like Guantanamera in New York, venues where you can swing by after work for a hot meal, excellent cocktails, and live music for not too much money. I awarded the restaurant two stars in the summer of 2015, and I continue to go back, usually for vaca frita and a few mojitos. As fate would have it I was in need of some sugar on a recent evening, so I went for the banana bread pudding ($7), an aromatic and moist cake, topped with a layer of pink-guava. I scraped off and discarded most of the guava (too sweet), but paired with a rum and coke, it was still enough to keep me awake for at least two more hours. 939 Eighth Avenue, Hell’s Kitchen — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

Estiatorio Milos’ galaktoboureko
Estiatorio Milos’ galaktoboureko
Photo by Daniela Galarza

Estiatorio Milos’ galaktoboureko

If you have an extra bag of cash lying around, there are a lot of reasons to visit Estiatorio Milos, the landmark Greek restaurant in Midtown that’s known both for its extensive fish selection and as an occasional hangout spot for Hillary Clinton. My favorite excuse to sit at the bar is what might be the best galaktoboureko ($10) in town. The flaky, creamy cousin of baklava is served at nearly every Greek restaurant and bakery in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, but at Milos the semolina custard is thick but not too sweet, and sheathed in house-made filo. The crisp exterior and pudding-like interior is addictive enough on its own, but Milos gilds the lily by topping a wedge of the pastry with a spoonful of candied kumquats. Those golden nuggets of citrus are just the thing to pierce through all of the sugar and butterfat, adding depth as the bitterness of the fruit bounces off the tastebuds. 125 West 55th Street, Midtown West — Daniela Galarza, senior editor

December 4

Bar Primi’s ricotta crostino
Bar Primi’s ricotta crostino
Robert Sietsema

Bar Primi’s ricotta crostino

Bread as a platform has been neglected lately due to carbophobia, but what could be better than a delectable snack that can be maneuvered mouthward without utensils? Witness Bar Primi’s crostino, which mounds whipped ricotta light as air on a substantial piece of toast, then heaps on hazelnuts and sluices the whole thing with truffle honey, which is emphatically not the same thing as truffle oil and a million times better. And this crostino ($11.50) is so big, you can share it with a friend. 325 Bowery, East Village — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Txikito’s squid ink ñoquis
Txikito’s squid ink ñoquis
Ryan Sutton

Txikito’s squid ink ñoquis

I had the good fortune of reviewing Alex Raij’s tapas-themed El Quinto Pino and basque-themed Txikito in Chelsea this week. I ate well at both and awarded two stars to the Spanish veterans. The so-called "ñoquis" ($19) at Txikito were particularly compelling. Raij, who always seems to enjoy mimicking pastas in her protein preparations, uses ground bits of shrimp and Iberico ham to make, as the name implies, gnocchi. The shrimp imparts the little knobs with a low-level sweetness, while the Iberico adds a more complex nuttiness. And then there’s cilantro on top for aroma and a mushroom pil pil underneath, along with some squid ink, for umami oomph. Let this triumph be a call to arms for more meat-based pastas around the world. 240 Ninth Avenue, Chelsea — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

Chili pork sausage skewer
Chili pork sausage skewer
Photo by Ian Stroud

Tetsu’s chili pork sausage skewer

I frankly will probably never return to Tetsu, the new more casual spot from notoriously pricey sushi chef Masa. The Tribeca restaurant is still expensive, the cocktails are just okay, and most of the dishes I tried missed the mark. The one exception was a the chili pork sausage skewer. The $7 little thing emanated just the right level of spice, and its texture was of a particularly juicy and soft dumpling filling. I like to think I would have loved it even if the rest of the meal hadn’t been so middling. 78 Leonard Street, Tribeca — Serena Dai

Madison Restaurant
Madison Restaurant’s hash browns
Daniela Galarza

Madison Restaurant’s hash browns

A funny discovery I’ve made this year is that more steakhouses in New York serve real hashed potatoes than NY diners. Both Greek and Jewish diners tend to serve home fry-style taters, or roasted wedges. But you’re guaranteed a full serving of real hash browns, as crispy as you’d like, at Madison Restaurant ($6.95 for a side). A few other diners downtown offer them too (Waverly Restaurant in the West Village is one of them), but Madison’s are my favorite. 965 First Avenue, Midtown East — Daniela Galarza, senior editor

Uncle Boons Sister’s beef and basil stir fry
Uncle Boons Sister’s beef and basil stir fry
Stefanie Tuder

Uncle Boons Sister’s beef and basil stir fry

Uncle Boons Sister doesn’t need another endorsement, but to be fair, the beef short rib and basil stir fry ($15) at this Nolita takeout joint was the best thing I ate this week. Appropriately spicy, salty, and savory with the perfumey punch of basil, I couldn’t stop eating this — way beyond the point of being comfortably full. 203 Mott Street, Nolita — Stefanie Tuder, senior editor

November 27

Hello Saigon’s bun bo Hue
Hello Saigon’s bun bo Hue
Robert Sietsema

Hello Saigon’s bun bo Hue

Everyone loves pho, but what about the myriad other soups of Vietnam? On a recent day — when the wind made it feel much colder than the thermometer indicated — I sat down to a steaming bowl of bun bo Hue ($10), a soup that hails from the central port city of Hue, once the capital of the country. Its signature soup features a spicy red broth spiked with fermented shrimp paste and lemongrass, and it’s furnished with an assortment of beef cuts and noodles substantially more wobbly than those found in pho. Get it at Bleecker Street newcomer Hello Saigon. 180 Bleecker Street , Greenwich Village — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Adrienne’s Pizzabar’s old-fashioned pie
Adrienne’s Pizzabar’s old-fashioned pie
Photo via Sara L./Yelp

Adrienne’s Pizzabar’s old-fashioned pie

I can't stop thinking about the old-fashioned pizza from Adrienne’s Pizzabar ($23). Here, a whole pie to yourself feels less like an indulgence and more like a perfectly acceptable and wholesome meal. The crust is chewy but crisp around the edges, the sauce is sweet and scented with basil, and the cheese is plentiful. Everyone gets the pepperoni — which curls up into little cups in the oven — but I love the sausage. It’s sweet Italian-style with plenty of fennel and oregano that has been fried in its casings separately, rendering out some of the fat, before being torn by hand atop the pizza just before it’s slid into the oven. This ensures that every fifth bite is a whole craggy piece of crispy, springy, porky sausage. There’s great balance here between the elements, but I often add onions and peppers to this pizza, which makes it taste like a Chicago-style Italian sausage sandwich. 54 Stone Street, Financial District — Daniela Galarza, senior editor

Xinjiang BBQ Cart’s cumin lamb skewers
Xinjiang BBQ Cart’s cumin lamb skewers
Serena Dai

Xinjiang BBQ Cart’s cumin lamb skewers

Nothing transports me back to my childhood visits to China like a really fantastic cumin lamb skewer from a street cart, and Xinjiang BBQ Cart in Flushing — the one right by the Chase Bank near the subway — puts out one of the best versions of it I’ve had stateside. The meat is tender with a little bit of a bite, and the spice blend coats the tongue and lips, warming the mouth on a chilly day. The edges of the lamb chunks also get a little bit burnt, making for tiny, chewy crispy bonuses on each $1.50 skewer. Medium-hot is just the right level of spice; order a couple as a little appetizer before warming up in one of Flushing’s other restaurants. 41st Avenue near Main Street, Flushing — Serena Dai, editor

Hot and sour soup at RedFarm
RedFarm’s hot and sour soup
RedFarm/Facebook

RedFarm’s hot and sour soup

Every year as the temperature drops, I eagerly await the return of RedFarm’s superior hot and sour soup. This generally gloppy dish is usually a throwaway for many Chinese restaurants around town, but at RedFarm the base is complex — flavored with smoked shrimp shells — and filled with several kinds of meaty mushrooms (predominately trumpet), lots of silky egg, tender tofu, fried leeks, and smoky grilled shrimp. At $19, it doesn’t come cheap, but it’s certainly enough for a hearty meal. 529 Hudson Street, West Village — Stefanie Tuder, senior editor

Umberto’s Sicilian slice
Umberto’s Sicilian slice
Ryan Sutton

Umberto’s Sicilian slice

I had 30 minutes to kill before my 20th high school reunion on Saturday, and I knew there'd be a touch of alcohol involved, so I decided to take precautionary measures and carbo-load beforehand. As luck would have it, the festivities were taking place reasonably close to Umberto’s, my local pizza joint growing up. I hadn’t been in about a decade — for my 10th reunion, incidentally — and I’m somewhat bummed to say this visit made me question why everyone loves the grandma slices. (The New York Giants famously had them sent to Indianapolis before their 2012 Super Bowl win.) That touted pizza was under-baked, with none of the bubbly, bread-making bliss found at, say, Mario’s of Oyster Bay. The better move here is the deep-dish Sicilian slice ($2.70). The red sauce is cloying, but that oversight is worth tolerating for the stretchy, milky mozz, the doughy upper-crust, and the golden, crunchy underskirt. 633 Jericho Turnpike, New Hyde Park — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

November 20

Ferris’ yuzu frozen yogurt
Ferris’ yuzu frozen yogurt
Serena Dai

Ferris’ yuzu frozen yogurt

Everything I tried at Ferris, the new hotel restaurant from former Le Turtle chef Greg Proechel, packed layers and layers of complex flavors together in a way made me want to go back, from the pork collar salad to a hearty roasted sunchoke entree. But probably the best part of the meal was dessert — two robust scoops of yuzu-flavored frozen yogurt ($11) topped with wakamomo, or baby green peaches from Japan. The olive-looking little things added the mouthfeel of a particularly delightful fruit cocktail, while the full citrus flavor of the yuzu perfectly complemented the tartness of the yogurt. It’s an ideal dessert both for people who swear they don’t love desserts and for those who wouldn’t end a meal without one. 44 West 29th Street, Flatiron — Serena Dai, editor

Two Toms’ baked manicotti
Two Toms’ baked manicotti
Ryan Sutton

Two Toms’ baked manicotti

Every year one of my buddies throws a big party at Two Toms, this old-school Italian-American joint in Gowanus that’s been around for over 60 years. It’s not much to look at; the wood panels and bright lighting recall a church rec room from the 1950s. But man, the food can be quite good. I could make a solid case for a lot of the dishes here — the slab bacon, the absolutely bonkers chicken parm — but on this most recent visit it was the “baked manigot” (AKA manicotti) that wowed me. The dish ($16) almost always ends up being baked mush in Long Island, but here, they gently torch the ricotta and mozzarella-stuffed noodles, imparting the pasta with much needed texture and flavor. Equally important, the manicotti aren’t swimming in a casserole of sauce. Instead, they’re distinct, like fish fillets, with just enough marinara (more sweet than acidic), to gently tame the cheese-y richness. 255 3rd Avenue, Gowanus — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

Greenwich Grille’s old-school chicken pot pie

Harold’s Meat + Three chef Harold Moore recently ventured northward to Greenwich Avenue’s former 33 Greenwich — now renamed Greenwich Grille — to formulate a new menu. His bill of fare hits on some of the themes of his earlier restaurant, highlighting American comfort food. One of the best things I tried on a first visit was a classic deep-dish chicken pot pie, $26, served in a skillet. The crust was thick and crumbly and the chicken chunky. It also contained a wealth of winter vegetables in a gravy that wasn’t too soupy, as it often is. The serving is so generous, you’ll be taking half it of home. 33 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich Village — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Legend’s Chengdu fish soup with pickled vegetables
Legend’s Chengdu fish soup with pickled vegetables
Photo via Legend/Yelp

Legend’s Chengdu fish soup with pickled vegetables

After watching Danny Bowien jaunt off to Chengdu, the capital of China’s Sichuan province, and cook a traditional fish soup with pickled vegetables in the latest episode of Mind of a Chef, I was dying to try the dish. Luckily, Legend, my neighborhood Chinese restaurant, specializes in spicy Sichuan fare, so I was able to have an order delivered to my door in under an hour (the very real joys of NYC). And I was not disappointed. This bracingly acidic soup ($20.95) is pure flavor overload, packed with astringent greens, tender fish, slippery glass noodles, and lots of heat. I had never tasted anything like it before, and I can’t wait to add it to my regular delivery rotation. 88 Seventh Avenue, Chelsea — Stefanie Tuder, senior editor

Jungsik’s NY-Seoul
Jungsik’s NY-Seoul
Daniela Galarza

Jungsik’s NY-Seoul in the dessert tasting menu

Eunji Lee is one of the most talented pastry chefs in New York City today. That she worked alongside international pastry star Cédric Grolet at Paris's acclaimed Le Meurice only adds to her cachet. Lee's five-course tasting ($55), only available at the bar at Tribeca’s two-Michelin-starred Jungsik, is a dream. The stand out for me was Lee’s NY-Seoul, a take on the French cream puff pastry known as the Paris-Brest, named for a bicycle race between those two French cities and shaped like a bicycle wheel. Her version pairs the flavors of toasted brown rice — in the cream puff and in a cream — with toasted pecans, vanilla caramel, and vanilla ice cream. 2 Harrison Street, Tribeca — Daniela Galarza, senior editor

November 13

VHH Foods’ curry hot dog
VHH Foods’ curry hot dog
Serena Dai

VHH Foods’ curry hot dog

Vinegar Hill House’s more casual, all-day sibling restaurant VHH Foods serves lots of lighter cafe fare like sandwiches and salads, but my recommendation is to opt for the very indulgent curry hot dog ($9). They nestle the dog — from the Meat Hook — in a fluffy, buttery bun that’s lined with curry ketchup. It’s then topped with red cabbage, cilantro, mint, and a ton of fried shallots, which spill over the edge in waves and add just the right amount of crunch to the mix. Hot dogs by nature are simple foods and are delicious without accoutrements — but, man, is this over-the-top version great. 55 Water Street, Dumbo — Serena Dai, editor

Gramercy Tavern’s hot chocolate
Gramercy Tavern’s hot chocolate
Daniela Galarza

Gramercy Tavern’s hot chocolate

There’s a wide array of hot chocolate in this town, from pale and watery (the instant kind your bodega might mix up in a hurry) to inexplicably thick sludge (City Bakery’s version). This season, don’t miss pastry chef Miro Uskokovic’s hot chocolate with cinnamon marshmallows ($7.50), now available at Gramercy Tavern. It has the viscosity of fresh cream and a deep chocolate scent made heady with woodsy cinnamon. As the marshmallows drown into the hot liquid, fluffy pearlescent bubbles crown the circumference of the cup and add notes of caramel and spice. It reminded me of the best versions I had in Mexico, whipped into a froth by hand. 42 East 20th Street, Gramercy — Daniela Galarza, senior editor

Momofuku Ssam Bar’s spicy porgy
Momofuku Ssam Bar’s spicy porgy
Ryan Sutton

Momofuku Ssäm Bar’s spicy porgy

At brunch, Momofuku Ssäm Bar is full of natural light and a ton quieter than during dinner service. But more to the point of things we ate: Brunch (or lunch) is the best time to order Ssäm Bar’s porgy. The large-format version of this dish costs $42 in the evenings. During the day, it’s a smaller portion for just $15. Rest assured, the cheaper version isn’t any less elegant. The kitchen lays the crispy-skinned filet over a mound of sushi rice and slathers the fish in spicy ginger scallion sauce. I typically supersize the experience with a chive pancake ($4 extra), which makes for a good ssam wrapping experience, though the bib lettuce (included in the price) gets that job done just as efficiently. Add on coffee and you have yourself a solid meal at a quintessential New York establishment for about $30. 207 Second Avenue, East Village — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

Mi-Ne Sushi Totoya’s yellowtail collar
Mi-Ne Sushi Totoya’s yellowtail collar
Robert Sietsema

Mi-Ne Sushi Totoya’s yellowtail collar

After most of the fish has been sliced into sushi and sashimi, what’s left of the yellowtail is the collar. And that’s a treat all in its own category. At Mi-Ne Sushi Totoya, a Japanese restaurant from a chain that sends out its own fishing fleet, the collar ($14) is broiled to a deep brown and presented with grated daikon and a lemon wedge. The flesh is creamy and richly flavored, and teasing out bites with your chopsticks is half the fun. 496 Sixth Avenue, Greenwich Village — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Blue Ribbon Brasserie
Blue Ribbon Brasserie
Photo via Blue Ribbon Brasserie/Yelp

Blue Ribbon Brasserie’s matzah ball soup

Twenty-five-year-old late night destination Blue Ribbon Brasserie is known for its steak tartare and decadent bone marrow, so it’s easy to overlook something as innocuous as matzah ball soup. But do yourself a favor and rather than choose something gut-busting, line your stomach with a bowl of matzah ball soup ($13.50). The broth is intensely perfumed with dill and the matzah balls exceptionally fluffy. Your body will thank you the next day. 97 Sullivan Street, Soho — Stefanie Tuder, senior editor

November 6

Claro’s dulce de calabaza
Claro’s dulce de calabaza
Robert Sietsema

Claro’s dulce de calabaza

I’m not one of those people who races through dinner in anticipation of dessert. That’s why my favorite dish of the week surprised me: the dulce de calabaza ($12) at Gowanus newcomer Claro. A pumpkin-like squash is slow-roasted, inundated in a dark syrup that’s barely sweet, then crowned with a cloud of thick and also unsweetened whipped cream. The effect is three subtle sweetnesses vying with each other and a rich earthiness that doesn’t make you feel sorry winter is on the way. 284 3rd Avenue, Gowanus — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Joseph Leonard’s romanesco cauliflower with gribiche
Joseph Leonard’s romanesco cauliflower with gribiche
Daniela Galarza

Joseph Leonard’s romanesco cauliflower with gribiche

I love spotting gribiche on restaurant menus. The versatile sauce pairs well with so many dishes, from fatty fried foods to hearty, meaty dishes to fresh or cooked vegetal sides. At Joseph Leonard, the mayonnaise-based sauce — with capers, herbs, and bits of hard-boiled egg, a close cousin of remoulade — is served with that angular, show-off cauliflower known as romanesco ($13). The chef roasts its conical florets and serves them atop shaved raw fennel and fresh parsley and tarragon. This would make a great side to roasted chicken or even a steak, but it works just as well as an appetizer, which is how it’s served inside one of the West Village's most charming dining rooms. 170 Waverly Place, West Village — Daniela Galarza, senior editor

Yakitori Totto’s raw octopus with wasabi
Yakitori Totto’s raw octopus with wasabi
Stefanie Tuder

Yakitori Totto’s raw octopus with wasabi

A meal at Yakitori Totto is all about the namesake grilled meat kebabs. But a recent dinner there for me started with the raw octopus with wasabi, which turned out to be a refreshingly bright way to begin. The bites of octopus were tender and sweet, but the real stars of the dish were the abundant chunks of energizing, fresh wasabi. Our chopsticks fought for the last addictive bites of the palate- and sinus-cleansing starter. 251 West 55th Street, Second Floor, Midtown West — Stefanie Tuder, senior editor

East Harbor Seafood Palace
East Harbor Seafood Palace’s pork spare ribs
Photo via Foursquare

East Harbor Seafood Palace’s pork spare ribs with black beans

Sunset Park’s East Harbor Seafood Palace probably has the most lit dining room in New York City on the weekends. The dim sum restaurant gets super lively with families, couples, and parties, all waiting for carts of some the freshest, plumpest dumplings and dim sum fare in town. Particularly great here — the pork spare ribs with black beans, little tender nuggets of savory goodness. They’re just a tiny bit sweet, with a fullness to the flavor that will call for picking up more than one order for the table. 714 65th Street, Sunset Park — Serena Dai, editor

October 30

Hanjan’s cured cod roe
Hanjan’s cured cod roe
Stefanie Tuder

Hanjan’s cured cod roe

Cured cod roe at Korean tavern Hanjan was not the easiest sell for my table, but everyone agreed it was the most delicious bite. Chef-owner Hooni Kim flies in the roe, already cured, from Korea and adds gochugaru (Korean red pepper flake) and white sesame oil. The resulting paste is creamy, sweet, salty, and savory, and it gets an extra umami punch from pureed seaweed underneath and toasted seaweed strips. It might not have the same menu appeal as, say, bibimbap, but it’s a definite sleeper hit. 36 West 26th Street, Flatiron — Stefanie Tuder, senior editor

Los Tacos No. 1’s breakfast burrito
Los Tacos No. 1’s breakfast burrito
Robert Sietsema

Los Tacos No. 1’s breakfast burrito

Sometimes the best thing one eats is the simplest. This last week it was a mini breakfast burrito sold from a pushcart rolled out into the common hallway of Chelsea Market from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. by Los Tacos No. 1. The burritos, only $4 each, have a rubbery skin and are filled with scrambled egg and either chorizo or machaca — a dried beef jerky found in Northern Mexican and in Mexican-American cooking from Texas to Arizona. The tiny breakfast burrito is a specialty of Baja, and it further comes alive when the accompanying salsa is heaped on. 75 Ninth Avenue, Chelsea — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Lilia’s bagna cauda
Lilia’s bagna cauda
Daniela Galarza

Lilia’s bagna cauda

Whenever I’m in Brooklyn (which is rare these days), I look for a stool at the bar at Lilia, chef Missy Robbins’ persistently packed Italian trattoria in Williamsburg. I always get the sheep's milk cheese-filled agnolotti, slippery with a sauce made of saffron, honey, and dried tomatoes, but this time I also got the bagna cauda ($16). Robbins serves hers, a muddy pool of anchovy and garlic, in a bowl over a candle to keep it warm and with a side of fresh and blanched vegetables, as well as a couple of slices of grilled country bread. According to a server, she soaks anchovies in milk before mashing them with roasted garlic; the dairy brings out the butteriness of the tender little fish while the garlic brings out their funk. I double-dipped romanesco, fennel, bright purple carrots, and bread into the salty sauce — and then spooned the last puddle of it directly into my mouth. 567 Union Avenue, Williamsburg — Daniela Galarza, senior editor

Corner Slice’s cinnamon roll
Corner Slice’s cinnamon roll
Ryan Sutton

Corner Slice’s cinnamon roll

Gotham West has been my morning office of sorts lately, a quiet-ish place to type away on my MacBook for a few hours before heading into the office. I wrote about the excellent pizza at Corner Slice back in the summer, but since there are no pies until 11:30 a.m. (bummer), I’ve began partaking in the cinnamon roll ($3.75) as of late. This has been a positive life development. It’s not as aromatic (or sugary) as anything at Cinnabon; the distinguishing characteristic here is that it’s made with semolina. Accordingly, the soft bun tastes like what would happen if Cream of Wheat transformed into a solid state dessert. It's drizzled with just enough icing to make you wish there was just a tiny bit more. 600 11th Avenue, Hell’s Kitchen — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

Parlay Malaysian curry
Malaysian chicken curry from Parlay
Serena Dai

Parlay’s Mum’s Malaysian curry chicken

This tiny Sunset Park cafe is completely random: Parlay’s menu is mostly filled with American brunch classics like omelettes and eggs benedict, but it also has a couple of wildcards, like a fried chicken sandwich with a delightful wasabi aioli. No dish seems as much of an outlier as the Malaysian curry chicken ($9.75), a spicy, stew-like concoction with chicken and potatoes. But it’s luscious — a total surprise for what otherwise looks like a slightly hipsterized cafe in Brooklyn. The chicken is tender and soaks up all that curry, and the buttery, flaky roti is a slightly sweet accompaniment that’s possibly one of the finer rotis in the city. Why would you order anything else? 4024 8th Avenue, Sunset Park — Serena Dai, editor

October 23

Caffe Marchio’s cookies
Caffe Marchio’s cookies
Daniela Galarza

Caffe Marchio’s cookies

I was delighted to discover that pastry chef Jessica Weiss is behind the cookies and cakes at Danny Meyer’s new coffee shop, Caffe Marchio. Weiss also runs the pastry programs at Maialino and Marta, so it’s no surprise that the sweet and savory pastries (up to $4) at Marchio are on point. Don’t miss Weiss’ delicate cookies (pictured), including the brutti ma buoni (ugly but good), a dark chocolate and hazelnut nugget that’s great with a latte; the crostatine, a tiny apricot jam pie that’s great with a cup of Earl Grey; the ciavattini marmellata, a sour cherry-filled mini turnover (perfect with a mocha); and my favorite, the ventaglio, a crisp puff pastry fan glazed with caramelized sugar that’s best consumed with or without coffee as often as possible. 30 East 30th Street, Midtown East — Daniela Galarza, senior editor

Oiji’s mushroom salad
Oiji’s mushroom salad
Serena Dai/Eater NY

Oiji’s mushroom salad

Nearly every dish at East Village restaurant Oiji balances intense Korean flavor with a delicate hand, but the mushroom salad ($15) in particular is one option that always stands out. A variety of thinly cut mushrooms get a crisp, non-greasy fry — it’s an addicting preparation of fungi that feels entirely unique. The pile of romaine underneath is also perfectly and evenly dressed, and despite the fried items in the salad, it still feels light and precise. It doesn’t sound like much on the menu, but it may rank as one of the city’s best salads.

Hanoi House’s lobster pho
Hanoi House’s lobster pho
Stefanie Tuder

Hanoi House’s lobster pho

I had a delightful dinner at the Vietnamese Hanoi House, with service infused with a lot of care, capped by a special for the night: lobster pho. It was a glorious dedication to the sweet shellfish, with lobster broth, minced shrimp, a half-lobster, rice noodles, and herbs for $28. I’ve never encountered a seafood pho broth before, and I can only imagine how many lobsters gave their life to create a stock so intensely flavorful. As soon as we finished, I wanted another. 119 Saint Marks Place, East Village — Stefanie Tuder, senior editor

Jeju Noodle Bar’s so ramyun
Jeju Noodle Bar’s so ramyun
Robert Sietsema

Jeju Noodle Bar’s so ramyun

There are no dearth of ramen parlors that serve an authoritative tonkotsu broth, made with gluey pork bones boiled to death. Well, sometimes a variation is needed to perk up the taste buds and I had it last week at Korean newcomer Jeju Noodle Bar. The “so ramyun” ($17.50) features a broth made with veal instead of pork, refreshingly light and beefy. And the meat dropped therein, instead of the usual pork belly, consists of slices of well-done brisket and raw marbled steak that cooks in the hot broth in the same way it does in Vietnamese pho. Call it a bowl of Japanese ramen with Korean and Vietnamese influences. 679 Greenwich Street, West Village — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Dirty French’s cod Basquaise

Before I published my review of The Pool, I swung by Dirty French because — and I’ll be blunt here — I remember chef Rich Torrisi’s cooking being a heck of a lot more interesting here. That’s still more or less the case, at least based on a few dishes. The mushroom mille feuille that I and other critics raved about was seriously underseasoned — that problem was fixed with a touch of salt — but, man, the Basquaise fish preparation made me very happy. It was simple and powerful: cod with merguez and harissa ($32). The fish was exceedingly neutral, so it acted as a gorgeous flavor conduit for the headiness of the lamb sausage. It made me wish I could have something as strongly seasoned at The Pool. 180 Ludlow Street, Lower East Side — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

October 16

Momo Ramen’s vegetarian then-thuk
Momo Ramen’s vegetarian then-thuk
Pema T./Yelp

Momo Ramen’s vegetarian then-thuk

I used to live down the block from Ivan Ramen on the Lower East Side, and since I moved to Brooklyn I've been trying hard to find a good delivery spot for spicy noodle soup. But recently, I tried Momo Ramen’s vegetarian then-thuk ($11), a soup with fresh vegetables and hand-pulled noodles. What I love the most about it is the broth: spicy and heavier than a normal vegetarian broth. It’s so good that I ordered it twice this week. 78 5th Avenue, Park Slope — Sonia Chopra, managing editor

Georgian Dream’s khatchapuri
Georgian Dream’s khatchapuri
Robert Sietsema

Georgian Dream’s khatchapuri

At Bay Ridge youngster Georgian Dream, I was blown away by its take on the Caucasus classic khatchapuri, Adjarian style ($13), the cheese-stuffed boat New Yorkers have been obsessed with over the last year. Out of the 10 or so I’ve enjoyed over that time period, it was the best — not only because the bread was perfectly baked and there was plenty of cheese, but also because a generous pat of butter had been flung on top, so that when the cheese and egg yolk are roughly mixed before eating, they become wildly buttery tasting, too. If you try it, sit in the relaxing backyard. 8309 3rd Avenue, Bay Ridge — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Daddy-O’s fully loaded tater tots
Daddy-O’s fully loaded tater tots
Stefanie Tuder

Daddy-O’s fully loaded tater tots

It’s peak football season, which means every weekend has the glorious capacity for loads of wings and beer. At Daddy-O, a small neighborhood bar in the West Village, the fully loaded tots ($13.75) are a spectator’s must-order. They come crispy and topped with a slightly sharp cheddar cheese fondue, bacon, and fresh jalapeño, and are a stellar way to put a smile on your face — even as the Giants continue to suck. 44 Bedford Street, West Village — Stefanie Tuder, senior editor

Fuku’s Extremely Spicy Chicken Sandwich
Ryan Sutton

Fuku’s extremely spicy sandwich

The Eater offices are a few blocks away from Fuku FiDi, and so every other week or so when I’m tired of my poke bowls or Greek yogurt, I swing by for a fried chicken treat. As luck would have it, this particular Fuku offers an even spicier version of its already spicy sandwich, renowned for its crispy, chewy, fatty thigh meat. David Chang slathers the chicken in what I believe is a fruity habanero sauce (or perhaps it’s sambal?) and tops it with pepper jack cheese. It is hot. Very hot enough to cause noticeable pain by the time you’re halfway finished, but not earth shatteringly spicy enough to prevent you from finishing it. It left a nice warm feeling inside my belly on a cold day. 100 Wall Street, Financial District — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

Mission Chinese Food’s Chongqing chicken wings
Mission Chinese Food’s Chongqing chicken wings
Stefanie Tuder/Eater

Mission Chinese Food’s Chongqing chicken wings

The wings at Mission Chinese are an oldie but still most definitely a goodie. They’re fried to a perfect level of non-greasy crisp, spicy up top and a little sweet toward the middle. The tingle that runs throughout will do a full-mouth linger for several minutes, leaving a sensation that’s more about a feeling than a flavor. They’re addicting despite the simmering pain, and it’s one of the dishes at Mission that shows why they’re still packed on the regular. 171 East Broadway, ChinatownSerena Dai, editor

October 9

Victor’s Cafe’s ropa vieja

I was mostly skeptical before dining at Victor’s Cafe, jaded by previous attempts to find Cuban food in NYC as good as that in Miami, but I was blown away during a visit this week – particularly by the ropa vieja ($26), one of Cuba’s national dishes and the dish that Victor’s touts as its speciality. The beautiful mess of shredded, simmered, and very tender beef is almost sweet, but mostly packing in notes of cumin and garlic. It’s outstanding and served with life-affirming black beans. 236 West 52 Street, Midtown — Patty Diez, editorial coordinator

Bluestone Lane’s turmeric latte
Bluestone Lane’s turmeric latte
Bluestone Lane [Official Photo]

Bluestone Lane’s turmeric latte

I spend a lot of time actively rolling my eyes at turmeric-as-a-food-trend, because warm milk with turmeric was something I had to drink often as a child, and I always hated it. Now, it’s sold at coffee shops across the city. But last week, while battling a cold, all I wanted was something soothing, warm, and ostensibly good for me — and I found myself ordering turmeric lattes not just once but every single day. The best by far is at Bluestone Lane, where the spices come through and it’s not too sweet. It’s also $5 hot and $6 cold, but sometimes that’s just the price you have to pay for caving to an Instagram health trend that’s actually been around for thousands of years. Multiple locations — Sonia Chopra, managing editor

Selamat Pagi’s nasi goreng
Selamat Pagi’s nasi goreng
Photo via Selamat Pagi/Instagram

Selamat Pagi’s nasi goreng

Like a lot of other Australians, I have been to Bali many times. That means I’m a sucker for Indonesian food — there’s something about a big bowl of nasi goreng, or stir-fried rice that takes you straight back to Dreamland beach. So when I went looking for a new dinner spot to try in Greenpoint, Selamat Pagi (“good morning” in Indonesian) — a restaurant from the team behind Van Leeuwen Ice Cream — was an easy choice. We ordered the nasi goreng with shrimp ($21) and the market fish curry, a mix of coconut milk and turmeric broth. Both dishes were vegetable heavy, and I left feeling very satisfied and dreaming of my next vacation. 152 Driggs Avenue, Greenpoint — Milly McGuinness, data and social media manager

The Office’s ice cream sundae
The Office’s ice cream sundae
Alice Shearon

The Office’s ice cream sundae

There are many liquid delights to be had at speakeasy-style cocktail bar The Office in the Mandarin Oriental, but none may top the decadent, nostalgic, and overwhelming DIY ice cream sundae service ($35). Vanilla ice cream, creamy and pure, takes backseat to the smorgasbord of candy toppings presented alongside. Some are mini M&M’s, mini chocolate chips, pineapple, strawberries, Snickers, Reese’s Pieces, Reese’s peanut butter cups, hot fudge, caramel, and the pièce de résistance: Pliable, perfectly rowed gummy bears. Decency goes out the door when this lands on the table and everyone grabs for their favorite toppings. Don’t hesitate. 80 Columbus Circle, 35th Floor, Upper West Side — Stefanie Tuder, senior editor

Nargis Bar and Grill’s chebureki
Nargis Bar and Grill’s chebureki
Nargis Bar and Grill

Nargis Bar and Grill’s chebureki

New restaurants actually worth trying don’t open often in Park Slope (sorry, it’s true), so I was psyched when popular Sheepshead Bay restaurant Nargis Cafe opened an outpost in the neighborhood. Lots of the Uzbekian fare hits the spot, but the chebureki stuffed with ground lamb and beef was the most delightful of all. It’s a light, fried dough meat pie that resembles a giant dumpling and is surprisingly packed with flavor without dripping oil. My only regret is sharing it. 155 5th Avenue, Park Slope — Serena Dai, editor

October 2

Forbidden Donuts’ kimchi doughnut
Forbidden Donuts’ kimchi doughnut
Photo by Ellie Kirn

Forbidden Donuts’ kimchi doughnut

Petrossian executive chef Richard Farnabe is on a mission to recreate the entire concept of a doughnut through savory reinterpretations. In his Chelsea Market pop-up Forbidden Donuts, the menu rotates often, but last week there was a caviar doughnut with vodka jelly, a smoked salmon doughnut with cream fraiche glaze, and a foie gras masterpiece filled with mousse and dunked in dark chocolate. My favorite, however, was the kimchi doughnut ($5). It’s made with beet-infused dough, topped with housemade kimchi, and finished with a sweet and sour Sriracha glaze. Though the space is only open from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays and lines can go out the door, these savory bites are 100 percent worth the wait. 75 Ninth Avenue, Chelsea — Ellie Kirn, video producer/writer

Naoki’s beef teriyaki
Naoki’s beef teriyaki
Photo by Robert Sietsema

Naoki’s beef teriyaki

The best thing I ate was a beef teriyaki that was part of a six-course, $80 kaiseki meal at newcomer Naoki, a first New York branch of an 800-restaurant Japanese chain. But this wasn’t just any teriyaki: It was made with fatty, pink slices of wagyu beef, which became as soft as a baby’s blanket after grilling and saucing. A jiggly sous vide egg on the side provided dipping excitement. 311 West 17th Street, Chelsea — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Uncle Boons Sister’s rama cone
Uncle Boons Sister’s rama cone
Phota via Uncle Boons/Instagram

Uncle Boons Sister’s Rama cone

There are no flaws in the Rama cone ($7) at Uncle Boons Sister, a dessert that’s a play on a King Cone with the same components as the coconut ice cream sundae at Uncle Boons — a perfect dessert in its own right. In cone form, coconut ice cream is sheathed in a layer of white chocolate that’s covered in crushed candied peanuts and toasted coconut. Biting into the shell is like eating a Butterfinger that’s been sitting in the refrigerator for a few hours, made supremely better with subtle coconut ice cream. The cone itself is memorably soft and unlike most cones that crumble when you bite into them. And like any good King Cone, there is a bit of the peanut-coconut topping waiting inside the tip. 203 Mott Street, Nolita — Patty Diez, editorial coordinator

Ramen Lab’s niboshi tori paitan
Ramen Lab’s niboshi tori paitan
Photo by Ryan Sutton

Ramen Lab’s niboshi tori paitan

Sun Noodle’s standing-only test kitchen continues to be a gift to the city, acting as a pop-up space for a rotating series of ramen chefs from around the world. I waited outside for 40 minutes this past week for a hot bowl of chicken paitan during one of the final nights of a particularly intriguing visiting professorship: Mensho Ramen from San Francisco. I ate the niboshi tori paitan, which was half creamy chicken broth, half rich fish broth ($20, with an egg). The noodles were just a touch overcooked, but the soup itself was spectacular, exhibiting the soft mouthfeel of rendered chicken fat and the more powerful aromas of a heady French soup de poisson. Tori paitan has slowly been growing in popularity in NYC vis-a-vis its porky paitan counterpart, tonkotsu, and hopefully the lines at Ramen Lab this month (or the eternal lines at Totto) will encourage more local chefs to try their hand at this style. 70 Kenmare Street, Nolita — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

Xi’an Famous Foods lamb pao-mo soup
Xi’an Famous Foods’ lamb pao-mo soup
Photo via Xi’an Famous Foods

Xi’an Famous Foods’ lamb pao-mo soup

I regularly mourn the closure of Biang, which is where I went when I wanted to relax with the food from Xi’an Famous Foods. Luckily, the newish Chinatown location of the chain has plenty of seats that require little-to-no hovering to get — and dipping temperatures over the weekend meant it was ideal warm soup weather. Every time that happens, I seek out the lamb pao mo ($10.65) at Xi’an. It's one of the more underrated menu items. It uses that perfectly gamey lamb stew, and instead of noodles, it’s packed with little cut up pieces of mo, a bready and chewy Chinese pancake thing. Each one soaks up that lamb flavor and salty broth. It’s something my mom used to make for me on cool days, and with a dose of chili, Xi’an’s version always hits the spot. 45 Bayard Street, Chinatown — Serena Dai, news editor

September 25

Cosme’s fried soft-shell crab
Cosme’s fried soft-shell crab
Daniela Galarza

Cosme’s fried soft-shell crab

Chefs Enrique Olvera and Daniela Soto-Innes (who I affectionately refer to as “the other Daniela”) are serving some of the most romantic Mexican food in New York City at Cosme. Three years in, the place is still mobbed most nights, but a friend and I recently stopped by and grabbed a (very, very uncomfortable) table in the bar area near the entrance and feasted on cobia al pastor, fluke aguachile, and the duck carnitas. Everything was great, but the in-season soft shell crab — dredged in a corn tempura batter before it’s fried, then served half-drowned in a bowl of bright green shishito mole and blistered tomatoes — was spectacular. Made into tacos with Cosme’s perfect tortillas, the tomatoes bring out the sweetness of the crab meat, while a hit of lime and the mild, smoky heat of the mole offsets the crab’s fried shell. Every bite was perfect. 35 East 21st Street, Flatiron — Daniela Galarza, senior editor

Estela’s mussels escabeche toast
Estela’s mussels escabeche toast
Tuukka Koski

Estela’s mussels escabeche toast

This isn’t the first time the mussels escabeche toast at Estela has been the best thing I ate in a week. Each time I have the dish, I’m reminded of how incredibly simple yet graceful it is. Pickled-but-plump mussels sit on chargrilled bread and aioli, and each little square piece of toast tastes remarkably the same, but somehow better than the last. It’s light, refreshing, and just so dreamy. Ask for more bread to finish any cilantro jus that stayed behind. 47 East Houston Street, NoHo — Patty Diez, editorial coordinator

Ugly Baby’s pla tod kamin
Ugly Baby’s pla tod kamin
Robert Sietsema

Ugly Baby’s pla tod kamin

Out of the all the wonderful things I ate last week — and it was an exceptional week — I’d have to say the pla tod kamin at Ugly Baby was the best. Presented simply on a banana leaf with a very juicy lemon, it consisted of a tail section of pan-fried sea bream with a litter of fried garlic on top. But what provided the memorable flavor for this already tasty fish was turmeric, which gave the fish an earthy savor. 407 Smith Street, Carroll Gardens — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Sonic’s chili cheese tater tots
Sonic’s chili cheese tater tots
Ryan Sutton

Sonic’s chili cheese tater tots

For a variety of reasons that are too complicated to explain, I ended up at a Sonic in North Bergen in the early afternoon on Thursday. This was my first trip to a Sonic, and as fans know, it’s a drive-in-style fast food chain where you order outside, and waiters bring out your food on roller skates (!!). I was hungry and I ordered a lot, but the piece de resistance was the chili cheese tater tots — salty nuggets of crispy fried potatoes doused in a meaty, cumin-y beef ragu and topped with stretchy cheddar. It was precisely the type of dish I’d happily pay $12 for as a steakhouse side; here, I dispensed with all of $2 or thereabouts. This place is damn good. Let’s get one in Manhattan! 2819 Kennedy Boulevard, North Bergen, NJ — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

A piece of red sushi over rice is topped with green paste
Sushi Katsuei’s $60 omakase
Stefanie Tuder/Eater

Sushi Katsuei’s $60 omakase

There is no shortage of excellent nigiri in New York City, but it mostly comes at eye-opening, paycheck-stealing prices. That’s where Sushi Katsuei finds its niche: The minimally-designed restaurant doles out nine pieces of nigiri and a toro scallion hand roll for $60. There’s no time limit here, like at its similarly-priced peers, and you can settle in at a real table for salmon, sea urchin, mackerel, yellowtail, and more. The experience as a whole can feel a bit prescribed, but there were bites of pure bliss, like the fatty tuna belly that melted away in my mouth, tempered by a strong dose of wasabi. (Full disclosure: I did down a Shackburger and some cheese fries about an hour before this meal, but my companions seemed full enough.) 357 Sixth Avenue, West Village — Stefanie Tuder, reporter

September 18

Sakagura’s tempura vegetables
Sakagura’s tempura vegetables
Ryan Sutton

Sakagura’s tempura vegetables

I’ve frequented quite a few late night Japanese spots in Midtown over the past decade, but Sakagura, located in a somewhat anonymous office building across the street from Yasuda and next to Soba Totto, has always been a hole in my resume. No longer. I swung by last week and man, this is the type of place I could eat at every night, reading the New Yorker at the long blond bar while nibbling on excellent small plates, often for $14 or less. One of my favorite dishes was the tempura vegetables — starchy taro root, heady mushrooms, and soft eggplant — in a salty-sweet, soy-based broth ($9). No real culinary pyrotechnics here, just heartwarming, wake-up-your-palate nourishment, paired with an ice cold beer. 211 East 43rd Street, B1, Midtown East — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

DB Bistro Moderne’s blueberry pavlova
DB Bistro Moderne’s blueberry pavlova
Melissa McCart

DB Bistro Moderne’s blueberry pavlova

DB Bistro Moderne is home to the burger that Daniel Boulud says has been his best-selling dish. And while this is of course an option, consider lighter dishes that boast the dwindling summer bounty — and save room for dessert. Word has it that Boulud is a fan of meringue, and the blueberry pavlova with chantilly cream ($12) from pastry chef Daniel Kleinhandler is a knockout. 55 West 44th Street, Midtown West — Melissa McCart, ENY editor

Momofuku Ssam Bar’s spicy shell-on shrimp
Momofuku Ssam Bar’s spicy shell-on shrimp
Stefanie Tuder

Momofuku Ssam Bar’s spicy shell-on shrimp

With a new executive chef, now-NYC classic Ssam Bar has been pumping out some new dishes. Of the ones I tried, the spicy shell-on shrimp ($24) is the only one I’m still thinking about (the rest of the meal was truthfully sort of a hot mess). These tiny crustaceans are fried head-on, and come with a warning from the server for the squeamish. Put aside any reservations and crunch away happily on the addictively sauced — Sichuan garlic butter! — little buggers that contrast textures nicely with chewy rice cakes and soft potatoes. 207 Second Avenue, East Village — Stefanie Tuder, reporter

Bar Goto’s spicy miso chicken wings in a small white plate and sesame seeds sprinkled on top.
Bar Goto’s spicy miso chicken wings
Serena Dai/Eater

Bar Goto’s spicy miso chicken wings

I love chicken wings and have eaten many, many iterations of them, and let me tell you, the miso wings ($12) at Bar Goto blew my freaking mind. They’re fairly small, but they still have a solid amount of meat on them. More important, each bite is a revelation of a spicy, sweet, salty, umami flavor combo. No single aspect overpowers the other. The exterior is light and crunchy without being greasy, and it’s sauced up without being too wet. Everybody in my group was sure that this was the best wing we’d ever eaten in our lives. That the bar is also vibe-y and slings a great cocktail is just bonus. 245 Eldridge Street, Lower East Side — Serena Dai, news editor

A full Prune brunch spread
A full Prune brunch spread
Patty Diez

Prune’s eggs en cocotte

I finally made it to Prune for brunch, amazingly only waiting three minutes for a table. My friend and I decided to share three dishes: Dutch-style pancake, fresh ricotta with merveilles (think harder beignets), and eggs en cocotte ($15). The last one we almost didn’t order, and it ended up being the standout for me — it’s also the dish that prompted our server to say “that’s going to be too much food.” (Spoiler alert: It wasn’t.) Two eggs are baked in a petit ramekin with the most perfectly buttered roast chicken, which you then spoon onto a piece of just-as-buttery brioche toast. The fresh ricotta also doesn’t sound like much but with fresh figs (!), pine nuts, and the still-warm merveilles, it was the perfect break between bites of baked eggs. 54 East 1st Street # 1, East VillagePatty Diez, editorial coordinator

Claro’s pork rib memela
Claro’s pork rib memela
Robert Sietsema

Claro’s pork rib memela

Claro is a new Mexican barbecue restaurant in Gowanus that brings a dose of LA cool to Brooklyn. The focus of the fenced backyard — an exceedingly pleasant space under a trellis hung with grape vines — is a wood-burning hearth. That hearth is deployed smoking the pork ribs that are deboned, shredded, and heaped on a tortilla-like flatbread in one version of memela ($15), along with crumbled fresh cheese. The effect is smoky and stunning, with pungency provided by a chile de arbol salsa. I could eat these all day. 284 Third Avenue, Gowanus — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

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