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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

The interior at Gertie Alex Staniloff/Eater

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 find them, too.


August 19

Stewed lamb atop rice with peas, raisins, slivered almonds, and vermicelli
Lamb quzi at Iraqi House
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Lamb quzi at Iraqi House

Only open a week, Iraqi House has already made its mark among the myriad Middle Eastern restaurants of Bay Ridge by being the only one to specialize in the food of Iraq. The menu showcases quzi (pronounced “coo-zee”), considered a national dish, and its version is so good you won’t forget it. Rice studded with raisins, slivered almonds, and vegetables is scattered with vermicelli and topped with a mellow and pleasingly unctuous lamb rib stew. Chicken is also available and a bit cheaper, but I’d stick with the lamb ($18.99). One serving feeds two, especially if you also split a bowl of lentil soup or serving of hummus. 7215 Third Ave., between 72nd and 73rd streets, Bay Ridge — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Fish head, okra, red onions, and mint in an orange sour curry sauce
Fish head curry at Laut Singapura
Stefanie Tuder/Eater

Fish head curry at Laut Singapura

Some openings sound so enticing that I find myself doing whatever it takes to get to them. Last week that was Laut Singapura, the new Singaporean sibling restaurant to Laut in Gramercy. The menu had so many dishes that I had never tried before, and I rushed there with some friends. My favorite of the spread — which was all impressive considering the restaurant was four days old — was the fish head curry, consisting of an entire fish head with okra, red onion, and tomato ($28). I foolishly forgot to ask what kind of fish it was, but the meat around the head was flaky and oily and tons of fun to pick at. Paired with the sour curry broth, it was a very memorable dish. Now the restaurant just needs its liquor license to come through, and it’d be a regular in my rotation. 31 East 20th St., between Broadway and Park Avenue, Gramercy — Stefanie Tuder, senior editor

A white plate with potato chips and a bacon-lettuce-tomato sandwich, where the wheat bread is pinned down with two toothpicks
Gertie’s BLT
Serena Dai/Eater

BLT at Gertie

Gertie is just the kind of cafe I’d love to have around my home or office. It’s sunny, light, and easy, and everything on the menu is simple but done incredibly well. That’e exemplified with the BLT ($16), which essentially has all the ingredients of any BLT except better. The whole wheat bread is baked in-house and is spongey, slightly sweet, and chewy while still being hefty enough as a sandwich holder. The tomatoes were bright, and a highly acidic dressing on the lettuce balanced out the fat of the generous heaping of bacon well. The rye chocolate chip cookie, along with a cup of coffee, was a rustic yet easy dessert that topped the whole thing off. 58 Marcy Ave., at Grand Street, Williamsburg — Serena Dai, editor

Quenelles de brochet at Benoit

Chef Laëtitia Rouabah has been putting out some darn good Gallic fare for a few years now at Alain Ducasse’s Midtown bistro Benoit. I could go on at length about the meal, but a highlight was the very anti-summery quenelles de brochet ($28), a dish I’ve paid a heck of a lot more for at La Grenouille. Rouabah slathers pillowy masses of poached pike in a creamy lobster sauce. The preparation is all about soft textures, delicate flavors, and nuanced oceanic aromas. And tons of cream. Yes, the quenelles were rich, but if we can all wait in line for ramen in the dead of August, can’t we have these too? 60 West 55th St., between Fifth and Sixth avenues, Midtown West — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

A tiramisu dessert served in a teacup.
Tiramisu at Fiaschetteria Pistoia
Carla Vianna/reporter

Tiramisu at Fiaschetteria Pistoia

I stopped by Fiaschetteria Pistoia’s charming East Village restaurant for a comforting bowl of cacio e pepe the other night, and while I don’t usually order dessert (I prefer to order an extra savory item instead), I’m glad I was convinced to try the tiramisu. The silky dessert was served perfectly chilled — it was so refreshing after a plate of hot pasta and a glass of red wine under that late-summer humidity. I’m also not a big fan of tiramisu but this one was extra chocolatey and sweet, and more creamy than it was spongey. Served cold the way it was, it almost resembled a whipped bowl of chocolate mousse gelato. 647 East 11th St., between Avenues B and C — Carla Vianna, reporter

August 12

A metal pan filled with cockles in garlic sauce
Cockles in garlic sauce at Seabra’s
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Cockles in garlic sauce at Seabra’s Marisqueira

What is a cockle anyway? A ribbed bivalve of the family Cardiidae, not the same thing as a clam. The creatures are small and briny tasting. At Portuguese seafood specialist Seabra’s Marisqueira in Newark’s Ironbound section, cockles ($16.50) are steamed with olive oil and more crushed garlic than you can shake a stick at. It produces a powerful taste of the sea, and enough broth that you can dip roll after Portuguese roll, though picking the tiny creatures out of their shells is half the fun. 87 Madison St, between Ferry and Lafayette streets, Newark — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Tembleque at the Freakin Rican
Tembleque at the Freakin Rican
Ryan Sutton/Eater

Tembleque at the Freakin Rican

Last week I penned an ode to the excellent pasteles at the Freakin Rican in Astoria, a rare new-ish entry into the city’s dwindling community of Puerto Rican restaurants. Though really, I could have written as many words about one of chef Derick Lopez’s fine other dishes, from the sugary batidos — frothy milk shakes spun from fragrant guava or guanabana — to the jiggly coconut custard. I’ve been thinking a lot about that latter dish, which is known as tembleque, and which costs $4.50. I like to think of it as Puerto Rican panna cotta, made with cornstarch instead of gelatin. The pudding wobbles so intensely that it almost seems as if the coconut milk is about to spill out all over the plate, but it never does. The light dessert, which puts up only a touch more resistance than Jell-O, exudes a whiff of cinnamon and a nice punch of tropical fruit. 4306 34th Ave., near 43rd St., Astoria — Ryan Sutton chief critic

A plate of bucatini all’Amatriciana with cheese and guanciale at Maialino
Bucatini all’Amatriciana at Maialino
Stefanie Tuder/Eater

Bucatini all’Amatriciana at Maialino

All I could do while eating the bucatini all’Amatriciana at Danny Meyer’s Maialino was wonder at how this was the best pasta I’d had in a while. At nearly a decade old, Maialino is by no means new, and there’s no big-name chef heading up the kitchen. But the Italian restaurant still managed to serve me a plate of pasta that rose above many others I’ve had recently at newer, cooler, more acclaimed restaurants. The bucatini — on the menu since opening — was downright chewy, the tomato sauce was bright and jammy and clinging to each noodle. The guanciale was a revelation: It was both fatty and crispy at the same time, adding a porky punch to every bite. In retrospect, my one gripe is that the sauce was not even remotely spicy, but it didn’t matter to me in the moment. What made it all even better was that it was part of a two-course Restaurant Week menu that, because Maialino is tipping included, was $31 all-in. 2 Lexington Ave., at 21st Street, Gramercy — Stefanie Tuder, senior editor

A white plate with chunks of fried pork belly, on top of a blue-and-red floral table
Hug Esan’s crispy pork belly
Serena Dai/Eater

Crispy pork belly at Hug Esan

I went to go check out Hug Esan in Elmhurst on Friday with a friend, and we wanted to order everything on the menu. As critic Robert Sietsema wrote recently, it’s got a lot of options that aren’t spotted much elsewhere, all executed well. A raw blue crab papaya salad left a pleasant tingle of spice on my lips, and a toasted rice salad with sour sausage had combo of crisp edges and sour-salty chunks that made me keep going back for more. My favorite ended up being a dish that my friend ordered by first saying “it’s basic, but I want it”: a crispy pork belly, where pieces of pork are fried and come with a chile dipping sauce ($11). Not a spot of grease could be spotted on the crispy fried breading, which had a crackly texture similar to that of a basket of fish and chips. And though the chunks of pork were big, none of them suffered from a poor fry-to-meat ratio. Every bar in New York should serve this as a drinking snack. 77-16 Woodside Ave., between 77th and 78th streets, Elmhurst — Serena Dai, editor

Di Natale pizza at Razza with olives, basil, mozzarella, raisins
Di Natale pizza at Razza
Monica Burton/Eater

Di Natale pizza at Razza

Razza in Jersey City is hailed for having some of the best pizza in New York. Still, it wouldn’t have been my first instinct to order the Di Natale pizza ($18), a pie with a lot of things I like and regularly eat on pizza (tomato sauce, mozzarella, olives, pine nuts, basil, garlic, chile oil), plus raisins. But, unsurprising given Razza’s reputation, the combination worked, and the golden raisins provided a slightly sweet and entirely welcome counterpoint to the other super savory toppings. 275 Grove St., between Montgomery and Mercer streets, Jersey City — Monica Burton, associate restaurant editor

August 5

Panzanella salad at Pizza Moto
Panzanella salad at Pizza Moto
Monica Burton/Eater

Panzanella salad at Pizza Moto

In a weekend full of eating, the panzanella salad ($12) at Pizza Moto stood out as the best thing I ate, even if it was the least photogenic. With August-ripe tomatoes, pole beans, and capers, the dish had a delightful zingy acidity balanced out by crunch strips of fried bread. While it’s always worth going to Pizza Moto, it’s especially worth going now to get this salad while you can. 338 Hamilton Ave., between Mill and Centre streets, Red Hook — Monica Burton, associate restaurant editor

Chicken oysters at Torishin

I hadn’t returned to the Hell’s Kitchen yakitori spot, the subject of my three-star review in 2015, in about a year, so I figured it was time to see how things were holding up. Briefly: While the kitchen didn’t perform at the level of previous visits, dinner was still quite enjoyable, and a solid deal at $64 for 10 skewers. I could wax poetic about the springy tail bone meat (or gripe about the mealy, overcooked liver), but best of all were the famed chicken oysters. The prized cuts, encased in fat slices of crispy skin, managed to be as juicy as soup dumplings. They almost seemed to pop when chomped. I’ll be back to Torishin for these. 362 West 53rd St., near Ninth Avenue, Hell’s Kitchen — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

The cheeseburger at Red Hook Tavern
The cheeseburger at Red Hook Tavern
Stefanie Tuder/Eater

The cheeseburger at Red Hook Tavern

I made a point to hustle out to Red Hook to eat at Billy Durney’s new old-school-style tavern, an opening I’ve been personally tracking for a year now. It’s hard to walk into brand-new restaurants — or any restaurant, really — with high expectations, but Red Hook Tavern managed to exceed them. All of chef Allison Plumer’s food impressed me, from the garlicky clams to the decadent romaine bacon salad, but it was the burger ($22) that had me hooked. It was super simple, just supremely beefy dry-aged meat cooked to a red medium rare, salty American cheese, tangy raw white onion, and a hefty but not overwhelming bun that held it all together. The wedge fries on the side aren’t my favorite form of potato, but they did the job. 329 Van Brunt St., at Sullivan Street, Red Hook — Stefanie Tuder, senior editor

Chile crab at Yummy Tummy
Chile crab at Yummy Tummy
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Chile crab at Yummy Tummy

Yummy Tummy is a restaurant in the Murray Hill section of Flushing that specializes in Singaporean cooking, which has much in common with Malaysian, but is also a thing unto itself. Few dishes are as essential to these cuisines as chile crab ($28), which is also one of the messiest dishes on earth. Steamed blue crabs sprawl in its red expanse, and these must be methodically cracked and the meat extracted. But what to do with the extra sauce? Sop it up with the accompanying fried northern Chinese buns called mantou. 161-16 Northern Blvd., between 161st and 162nd streets, Flushing — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Green label at Mister Dips

My actual best dish of over the weekend was in Philly — bless the roasted peach white pizza at Pizzeria Beddia — but it’s time to give a summer shout out to the veggie burger at Mister Dips, the food truck at the William Vale Hotel. The green label ($8) is a hefty sandwich with a crisp exterior and a cheese that gets crunchy and slightly caramelized at the edges, still as good as when it first launched in Williamsburg. It’s a little sweet and fully satisfying, and it’s far more interesting than the beef burger that Mister Dips offers. The truck also does an Impossible version, but I like the idea that a blend of regular ol’ vegetables can still do the trick. 111 North 12th St., between Wythe Avenue and Berry Street, Williamsburg — Serena Dai, editor

July 29

A whole fish topped with papaya salad
Red snapper at Ayada
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Red snapper with papaya salad at Ayada

Elmhurst Thai restaurant Ayada just turned 10, and the food only gets better. Here, a whole red snapper ($30) is expertly fried, then heaped with a papaya salad laced with fish sauce, which produces a wonderful fish-on-fish bouquet. The fish has been slit before cooking so the flesh pulls easily away in chunks, and cashews round out the taste profile. Order a pork larb and a serving of drunken noodles, and you can have a meal that pleasingly feeds three or four. 77-08 Woodside Ave, between 77th and 78th streets, Elmhurst — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Stone fruit salad with peaches, nectarines, and plums
Stone fruit salad at Ardyn
Beth Landman/Eater

Stone fruit salad at Ardyn

It’s almost as pleasurable to sit at Ardyn’s chef’s counter and watch Ryan Lory orchestrate his kitchen and whip up Instagram-worthy creations, as it is to sample the dishes. Items are hyper seasonal, so just when you start jonesing for rhubarb granita, it morphs into shaved watermelon ice. A winner on the current menu is stone fruit salad ($17), a mix of drupes at their peak — ripe peaches, grilled nectarines, and sliced plums — tossed with frisee and micro arugula, and sitting on a bed of vanilla-scented sunchoke puree. The salad is sprinkled with sunflower seeds, and then drizzled with nectarine vinaigrette. It’s sweet, tangy, crisp, and it screams summer. 33 West 8th St., between Fifth and Sixth avenues, Greenwich Village — Beth Landman, contributing editor

Labne mousse at Miss Ada

Wow, it turns out I’ve absolutely been sleeping on Miss Ada, which has been open since 2017 in Fort Greene. It was one of the best meals I’ve had this year — all the produce involved tasted like the most ideal versions of themselves, and dishes were surprising and creative. A mango hummus special came topped with pieces of watermelon and feta, a combo that could have been too much happening but instead was a fruity, fresh start to the meal. A creamy, stretchy, and milky stracciatella came with bright slices of tomato. My favorite, though, was dessert: a labne mousse with mango granita ($8) that was like eating tart pieces of pillowy cloud. 184 Dekalb Ave., at Carlton Street, Fort Greene — Serena Dai, editor

Chicken Fingers at Mister Dips

It had been a while since I swung by Andrew Carmellini’s burger shack Mister Dips at the William Vale, that hotel that looks like it descended from outer space, so I paid a visit on Saturday. I ordered the “chixy dip,” ($7) which I assumed was a chicken sandwich since a regular “single dip” is a hamburger (love when menus speak in code). As it turns out, however, they were chicken fingers, albeit pretty great ones at that. One half of each tender was slicked in buffalo sauce. This constituted a smart middle ground between traditionally “dry” tenders that need to be dipped in comically small ramekins of ranch or honey mustard, and “wet” tenders that have been fully drenched in sauce, preventing the end user from eating them without getting their hands dirty. These particular fingers, as it happened, were firm, crunchy, spicy, and juicy. I washed them down with an ice cold cola. 111 North 12th St., between Wythe Avenue and Berry Street, Williamsburg — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

La Cubana
Vaca frita de cordero at La Cubana
Carla Vianna

Vaca frita de cordero at La Cubana

Being from Miami, I can never turn down a Cuban meal. On a recent Friday night I found myself at La Cubana, a new restaurant near Chelsea Market that serves traditional Cuban plates like beef empanadas, ropa vieja, and my favorite of the night, vaca frita. Except here the dish is made with fried lamb leg, rather than beef, which is shredded and generously placed atop perfectly cooked rice. I had never had such a well-spiced version — a tangy and salty mixture of shredded fried meat. Of course the dish came with a side of plantains, and of course I ordered a very necessary side of black beans. It was all the comfort food I needed. ($28) 408 West 15th St., near Ninth Avenue, Chelsea — Carla Vianna, reporter

July 22

An overflowing fried chicken plate with biscuits at the Commodore in Williamsburg
Fried chicken plate at the Commodore
Stefanie Tuder/Eater

Fried chicken plate at the Commodore

A dive bar with good food is extremely my shit, so I was delighted by the Commodore in Williamsburg. The bar is a step above a true dive, but the no-pretense, all-are-welcome vibes were still very much alive alongside stellar frozen mojitos and fried chicken plates. The latter, at just $13, is an overflowing plate of chicken thighs, miniature biscuits, two different hot sauces, and honey butter. The menu said it would be three thighs, but our plate had four of the shatteringly crisp and supremely juicy pieces of meat. The biscuits were flaky and the honey butter was the right ratio of rich and sweet. My only gripe was that the hot sauces weren’t all that hot, but the chicken was so good that it didn’t even matter. 366 Metropolitan Ave., at Havemeyer Street, Williamsburg — Stefanie Tuder, senior editor

Strawberry dessert with meringue and calamansi sorbet at Wayan
Strawberry dessert at Wayan
Monica Burton/Eater

Strawberry dessert at Wayan

It’s hard to choose just one best dish from Wayan, the Indonesian restaurant from Cédric and Ochi Vongerichten, but the dish I was thinking about most during this past weekend’s heatwave was unquestionably the strawberry dessert ($12). Sweet, crunchy meringue; a pile of strawberries; and a scoop of tart calamansi sorbet make up Wayan’s take on a pavlova. The dish was bright and balanced, and made for very easy eating at the end of an all around delightful meal. 20 Spring St., between Elizabeth and Mott streets, Nolita — Monica Burton, associate restaurant editor

Dropa khatsa, or cow tripe in chile oil, at Tibetan Japanese Restaurant in Jackson Heights
Dropa khatsa at Tibetan Japanese Restaurant
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Dropa khatsa at Tibetan Japanese Restaurant

Surprising as the combination might be, there have been several restaurants in Queens that specialize in both Japanese and Tibetan cuisines. The plainly named Tibetan Japanese Restaurant is one, and the food is good, whether you order a steamer full of momos or a lunchtime bento. At least one dish listed as a Tibetan appetizer is worth ordering: dropa khatsa ($6.99) is a serving of tender cow tripe slicked with chile oil, similar to the Sichuan dish, though with a certain Himalayan mellowness tossed in. And yes, there is a slight tingle of Sichuan peppercorns. 75-26 37th Ave., between 75th and 76th streets, Jackson Heights — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

A white plate with a stack of five lamb chops
Lamb chops at Smith & Wollensky
Eater

Lamb chops at Smith & Wollensky

I’m not much of a steakhouse enthusiast — eating one huge chunk of grilled meat always makes me feel imbalanced and greasy — but finally agreed to go check out classic Smith & Wollensky because everybody and their mom is obsessed with that prime rib. Alas, it did nothing to change my mind about prime rib (one or two wonderful bites aside, I had the unpleasant sensation of thinking that I could be biting into my own flesh). The lamb chops ($54), luckily, were a win — a tender, fruity, salty, peppery, sweet meat, cooked so that it had a toothy bite without being a chore to chew. A dirty martini ($18.50) helped cut through all the fat beautifully, and service was charming and old-school too, though generally for the cost, steakhouses like this are still at the bottom of my list. 797 Third Ave., at 49th Street, Midtown East — Serena Dai, editor

July 15

Clam pie at Lombardi’s
Clam pie at Lombardi’s
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Clam pie at Lombardi’s

There’s a case to be made for clams being the signature seafood of New York City, whether stuffed and baked, poured over pasta with red or white sauce, fried and served with fries, or eaten raw with just a squeeze of lemon. The $25 pie made by the Chelsea branch of the country’s potentially oldest pizzeria Lombardi’s is another case in point — carpeted with minced clams, crushed garlic, crumbled Romano cheese, and parsley. Compare one with the version at Pepe’s in New Haven or Nunzio’s of Staten Island any day of the week. 290 Eighth Ave, between 24th and 25th streets, Chelsea — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Chicken souvlaki platter at Chirping Chicken
Chicken souvlaki platter at Chirping Chicken
Stefanie Tuder/Eater

Chicken souvlaki platter at Chirping Chicken

People constantly ask Eater editors our “favorite restaurant.” A serious contender for mine — even though I kind of disagree with the premise of the question — is Chirping Chicken, a quick-serve Greek chicken joint on the Upper West Side that has no big-name chefs or Michelin stars anywhere remotely near its name. I lived a block away for years and was delighted to have the chance to return this past week, eagerly narrowing down what I would order. I settled on the chicken souvlaki platter, a mixture of Greek salad, yellow rice, and grilled chicken served with pita and tzatziki sauce, all available for $11.70. The chicken is always juicy, while the char adds depth. The rice is fluffy, and the salad acts as a nice, light foil to it all. It’s a perfectly square meal. 355 Amsterdam Ave., at 77th Street, Upper West Side — Stefanie Tuder, senior editor

Morgenstern’s Vietnamese coffee tiramisu
Morgenstern’s Vietnamese coffee tiramisu
Serena Dai/Eater

Vietnamese coffee tiramisu at Morgenstern’s

I’ve been thinking of going to the new Morgenstern’s cocktail counter since it opened in May — not for the drinks but for some appealing crafted desserts, including a tiramisu made with the parlor’s Vietnamese coffee ice cream ($15). The lady fingers get soaked in Vietnamese coffee, and both condensed milk and mascarpone cream appear in the concoction too. It was a deep, texturally interesting dessert that would fit right in at a fine dining restaurant. The ice cream, per usual, was creamy and an amplified version of its namesake, balancing the bitterness of coffee with the mouth-coating sweetness of condensed milk; the ladyfinger was spongey and pleasantly chewy; and hazelnuts on top added a hefty crunch. Despite all this, it was not a huge sugar bomb. The only issue is that it’s only available on Fridays and Saturdays. 88 W. Houston St., at LaGuardia Place, Greenwich Village — Serena Dai, editor

The Meal at Bunna Cafe

In the mood for something that skewed healthy on Sunday, I visited Bushwick go-to Bunna Cafe, where I tore into sheets of very slightly sour and super spongy injera that came with the Meal ($13). The filling dinner option lets diners select five dishes/stews; each hearty and packed with Ethiopian flavors. I went with all the hot options Bunna offers, including a mushroom stew with peppers and rosemary; and the spicy, berbere-packed red lentils. They’re also vegan. I should have ordered the Feast option that comes with seven dishes. 1084 Flushing Ave., between Knickerbocker and Irving avenues, Bushwick — Patty Diez, editorial assistant

July 8

Bakalario at Loukoumi Taverna
Bakalario at Loukoumi Taverna
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Bakalario at Loukoumi Taverna

Somewhat miraculously, Astoria is still teeming with Greek restaurants, even though the Greek population of the area is much depleted. One elegant place you perhaps haven’t tried is Loukoumi Taverna, only because it’s a decade old and located on the eastern end of the Ditmars strip. One the best choices here is bakalario ($23) — several planks of fresh cod lightly battered and fried, and served with a mountain of skordalia, the dip of whipped potatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, and enough garlic to leave your lips burning. Much better than fish and chips, using some of the same ingredients. 45-07 Ditmars Blvd, between 45th and 46th streets, Astoria — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Wedge salad at Ssäm Bar
Wedge salad at Ssäm Bar
Ryan Sutton/Eater

Wedge salad at Ssäm Bar

On a particularly muggy Saturday, when the entire city felt like the inside of a Russian banya, my friend and I dropped by Momofuku Ssäm Bar for a bit of brunch, coffee, and air conditioning. Honestly, it was so hot the kitchen could’ve served me a solid block of ice with maple syrup and I would’ve paid $20, but this being one of the city’s more reliable venues we lucked out with an iceberg wedge with green goddess dressing ($12). It was everything it should’ve been: crunchy, creamy, near-frigid, and with a nice dice of smoked onions, as if to mimic the traditional slab bacon in this type of salad. It successfully brought our core temperatures down a few degrees. 207 Second Ave, at 13th Street, East Village — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

Fried chicken sandwich at the Frying Pan
Fried chicken sandwich at the Frying Pan
Stefanie Tuder/Eater

Fried chicken sandwich at the Frying Pan

After a check-in last month that revealed the Frying Pan is better than ever, I returned with friends to the Hudson River barge bar to wind down on a Friday night. The eclectic crowd, available seating, and friendly staff is only bested by the view, which is ideally enjoyed at sunset. For dinner I got the fried chicken sandwich and Old Bay fries, which were well-executed summer classics. The chicken was juicy and crisp and the fries were unbelievably addictive. Be prepared to bat away wandering hands, or better yet, get a second order for the table so you don’t have to share. Wash it all down with a Sol. 207 12th Ave., at Pier 66, Chelsea — Stefanie Tuder, senior editor

Tuna tiradito at Mission Ceviche
Tuna tiradito at Mission Ceviche
Carla Vianna/Eater

Tuna tiradito at Mission Ceviche

Fortunately for me, my neighborhood recently gained a Peruvian ceviche-focused restaurant and so far, the team at Mission Ceviche is doing the raw fish dish justice. Aside from the classic lemony ceviche and the mixed seafood one — both of which were fresh, juicy, and perfectly chilled — the tuna tartare-like tuna tiradito was my ultimate favorite. Delicate chunks of fish were placed on top of a sweet, citrusy passion fruit sauce, and it was all topped with a crunchy praline crumble and herbs. I could’ve ordered it three times over. 1400 Second Ave., between 72nd and 73rd streets, Upper East Side — Carla Vianna, reporter

Peri Peri Grill House
Peri Peri Grill House
Serena Dai/Eater

Wings at Peri Peri Grill House

After hearing that there’s a solid restaurant taking a page out of the Nando’s book, I pretty much made plans immediately to go try it out. Though Peri Peri Grill House didn’t quite match my memory of Nando’s, it shined in its own wonderful way. The lamb chops came cooked an ideal medium rare, juicy and flavorful without venturing into overly gamey territory, while the wings sported an even char, providing a crisp texture and smoky flavor. The “hot” designation didn’t quite reach its name in spice level, but they were among the best wings I’ve had in New York anyway. 235 Malcolm X Blvd., between Hancock and Halsey streets, Bed-Stuy — Serena Dai, editor

July 1

Clam bread at the Queensboro
Clam bread at the Queensboro
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Clam bread at the Queensboro

A shotgun wedding between a New Haven clam pie and common pizzeria garlic bread has produced this result. The clam bread appetizer at the Queensboro — the first modern American bistro to hit Jackson Heights — is a hank of toasted baguette dripping with oil and carpeted with garlic and fried clams. Cut into strips and well-browned, it makes a briny shared starter ($8), as the sun sets over the Manhattan skyline at the western end of Northern Boulevard. 80-02 Northern Blvd., at 80th Street, Jackson Heights — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Ginger French 75 cocktail at Maison Yaki

Olmsted is fairly casual, but the team’s follow-up Maison Yaki is far more the kind of place that you can just drop by for a snack — a welcome addition that’s more neighborhood than destination dining. I enjoyed options like the chawanmushi and the salmon tartare, but the thing I will dream of returning for is the ginger French 75, a $9 cocktail on tap. The drink was unnervingly smooth, with an almost creamy texture in part due to the addition of a honey and vanilla syrup. Not too sweet and entirely drinkable, I consumed two without blinking an eye. 626 Vanderbilt Ave., near Prospect Place, Prospect Heights — Serena Dai, editor

Chicken bone broth at Toriko
Chicken bone broth at Toriko
Ryan Sutton/Eater

Chicken bone broth at Toriko

A good yakitori spot always makes me very happy. I’m lucky enough to live around the block from Totto and Tori Shin, but I figured I’d try out Toriko in the West Village, by the folks behind the extraordinarily expensive Sushi Amane in Midtown. No surprise here: It was quite good, though the service is a different story. I could go on about the skewers, but the best dish by far was the chicken bone broth that kicks off the meal. It was just a small cup of soup packing the milky richness of a high-quality tori paitan ramen. The tiny portion — boasting an intense poultry tang, black pepper warmth, and restorative saltiness — was a nice way to prime the palate before a longer $65 tasting of skewers. 76 Carmine St., near Seventh Avenue, West Village — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

Sesame feta at Kyma

One quick way to awaken your taste buds on multi-fronts is to order Kyma’s sesame feta ($20), a sublime combo of salty, sweet, and tangy sensations. The cheese, imported from Arahova, is made from sheep’s milk and aged for months in a wooden barrel, which gives it a rich creaminess, and not the hyper-saline experience some fetas deliver. Black and white sesame seeds coat the chunk, which is then seared to a crisp, served warm and topped with a decadently sweet mix of dried Kalamata figs, preserved cherries, and aromatic Attica honey, made from wildflowers, herbs, and thyme. 15 West 18th St., between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, Flatiron — Beth Landman, contributing editor

Chicken and cheese tapioca crepe from Tap NYC
Chicken and cheese tapioca crepe from Tap NYC
Carla Vianna/Eater

Chicken and cheese tapioca crepe from Tap NYC

Tap NYC is a counter-service Brazilian spot devoted to all-things made from tapioca. Here, they use tapioca flour to create quesadilla-like crepes and burritos stuffed with a range of ingredients from chicken and cheese to roasted zucchini and tomatoes. I went straight for the chicken option, where juicy, garlic-spiced pulled chicken was topped with a hearty portion of melted cheese and sliced tomatoes. It was all stuffed in the undeniably crisp tapioca crepe — which, unlike a traditional crepe or quesadilla, was crunchy with every bite. Aside from being the kind of savory dish I can (and wish to) consume at all hours of the day, the tapioca crepe also fits the dietary needs of pretty much anyone: It’s gluten-free, sodium-free, fat-free, and cholesterol-free ($13.80). 267 Columbus Ave., near West 72nd Street, Upper West Side — Carla Vianna, reporter

June 24

Three types of homemade noodles at Auntie Guan’s Kitchen
Three types of homemade noodles at Auntie Guan’s Kitchen
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Three types of homemade noodles at Auntie Guan’s Kitchen

If you’re a fan of northern Chinese food, you’re undoubtedly familiar with the palatial Auntie Guan’s on 14th Street in Greenwich Village. But you should also check out its tiny precursor on 23rd Street, crammed into a narrow space, but with a jam-packed menu that’s a bit cheaper. One dish I fell in love with goes by the tedious name of “three types of homemade noodles mixed with cucumber, cilantro, fried soybeans, and sesame paste” ($8.99). The noodles mentioned include Lanzhou hand-pulled noodles and dao xiao mian, or ragged swatches of noodle cut with a knife. Cubes of gluten dubiously represent the third type of noodle. Served cold in a bracing gingery broth, there’s nothing better for a light summer meal. 219 East 23rd St., between Second and Third avenues, Gramercy — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Ratchaburi noodles at Pure Thai Cookhouse
Ratchaburi noodles at Pure Thai Cookhouse
Ryan Sutton/Eater

Ratchaburi noodles at Pure Thai Cookhouse

Last week I published a short review of the excellent Taladwat in Hell’s Kitchen, where chef David Bank sells an affordable two-course menu for $20. As part of the research eating for that writeup I swung by Pure Thai Cookshop, the chef’s older and more heralded venue down the block. No surprise here: The place was packed. It was 10 p.m. on an otherwise sleepy weeknight and I snagged the last seat in the house. A few minutes later, the waiter ferried over a style of egg noodles famous in the Western Thai city of Ratchaburi, from where Bank hails. The firm noodles, served brothless and barely warm, were slicked in a sweet-funky fish sauce of sorts that gave a little extra oomph to slices of roast pork and crab. Definitely going to spend more time here. 766 Ninth Ave., near West 51st Street, Hell’s Kitchen — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

Cabbage shank at Lamalo
Cabbage shank at Lamalo
Beth Landman/Eater

Cabbage shank at Lamalo

We’ve gotten used to oversized produce — a massive head of cauliflower or clustered hen of the woods taking up an entire plate — but even the most jaded diner will marvel at the cabbage “shank’’ ($26) being offered as an entree at new modern Middle Eastern restaurant Lamalo. To begin with, it’s visually striking: deep scarlet, seared on the outside, nearly the size of a volleyball, and pierced with a knife meant to resemble a bone. The cabbage itself rests on red juices and vinaigrette studded with pomegranate and poppy seeds. It’s more than a pretty picture, though, getting an overnight braise in aromatic liquid made from Verjus, onion stock, chamomile tea, herbs, and pomegranate, which makes it incredibly soft and flavorful, while caramelizing with date syrup adds sweetness and char. 11 East 31st St., between Madison and Fifth avenues, Murray Hill — Beth Landman, contributing editor

Soft egg scramble at Frenchette
Soft egg scramble at Frenchette
Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya/Eater

Soft egg scramble at Frenchette

Frenchette’s decadent dish of scrambled eggs with escargot ($26) is almost too good to be true. Sure, it’s just a soft egg scramble, but there are little, chewy Peconic escargot swimming in the middle, and the texture of the eggs is so smooth and rich that it’s almost more like a porridge. Spoon it onto some crusty bread or just eat it on its own. It’s the right amount of salty, buttery, and has a hint of garlic. 241 West Broadway, between White and Walker streets, Tribeca — Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya, associate reporter

Cafe Mogador
Eggs and hummus breakfast at Cafe Mogador
Carla Vianna/Eater

Eggs and hummus breakfast at Cafe Mogador

I’ve never realized how much I enjoy the combo of a light salad, fluffy scramble eggs, and hummus for breakfast until having just that this past weekend at Cafe Mogador. Called “Middle Eastern eggs,” the dish comes with eggs, on-point tabouli, a cucumber and tomato salad tossed in vinegar, and the most delicious pita bread to scoop it all up. The pita was the best I’ve had in a while — fluffy, warm, and lightly salted. The cafe has a lovely sidewalk patio, ideal for a sunny weekend morning. Don’t skip the mint tea. ($14) 101 St Marks Place, between Avenue A and First Avenue, East Village — Carla Vianna, reporter

June 17

Cadillac burger at P.J. Clarke’s
Cadillac burger at P.J. Clarke’s
Ryan Sutton/Eater

Cadillac burger at P.J. Clarke’s

Saturday was one of those nights. I got stuck at a cocktail party until 11:30 p.m. and still needed to eat. As luck would have it the festivities took place right by P.J. Clarke’s on the Upper West Side, which meant that dinner would be an easy decision: burgers. The Cadillac burger is the right call here, a $20 affair anointed with lettuce, onion, and a generous supply of bacon. Everything worked in synchrony; not even the heady pork belly overwhelmed the subtle overtones of the beefy patty. Also worth noting is the fact that the price included an order of fries, an option that’s increasingly an la carte add-on elsewhere. 44 West 63rd St, near Columbus Ave., Upper West Side — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

Brisket, ribs, and sausage at Mothership Meat Company
Brisket, ribs, and sausage at Mothership Meat Company
Stefanie Tuder/Eater

Ribs at Mothership Meat Company

On a recent warm evening, I sat in the lovely backyard at new Long Island City barbecue restaurant Mothership Meat Company and loved me some ribs. The spare ribs ($24) were fatty, meaty, and nicely chewy, with a strong smoke taste. I liked that they were dry on the outside rather than slicked in sauce; it not only made eating easier but also allowed the taste of the meat to shine. The other meats we tried — brisket and sausage — were good, too, but it was the ribs that I’m still thinking about. 27-20 40th Ave., at 28th Street, Long Island City — Stefanie Tuder, senior editor

Terre’s orecchiette special
Orecchiette with pancetta and fava bean
Serena Dai/Eater

Orecchiette with pancetta and fava bean at Terre

I hadn’t returned to my neighborhood Italian restaurant Terre in a while and was delighted to find that the menu had gone through adjustments since last time I went. There was also a specials board that I hadn’t previously encountered, with three pastas made in-house, including an orecchiette with pancetta and fava bean ($28). The pasta was pleasingly chewy and tacky, the beans added some creaminess, and a layer of pecorino intensified the salt level. The dish could have done with a little bit less saltiness, but I still happily consumed the big portion. The meal overall was more than I usually spend when dining in the neighborhood, but with pastas made by hand, a charming backyard, and an orange wine-by-the-glass list that’s 23 options deep, Terre is the kind of place I want to survive in the area. 341 Fifth Ave., between 4th and 5th streets, Park Slope — Serena Dai, editor

White asparagus at Bella Blu
White asparagus at Bella Blu
Beth Landman/Eater

White asparagus at Bella Blu

Beginning in April, white asparagus have become ubiquitous on menus this year. Grown underground and kept from the green glow of chlorophyll by being deprived of sunlight — which sounds as dastardly as the making of foie gras, but less guilt-inducing unless you read The Secret Life of Plants — they are firmer, sweeter, and available only for another couple of weeks. The Fulton pairs them with their green siblings, and serves them with avocado, grated organic egg and grainy mustard vinaigrette, Frenchette accompanies them with sorrel and mushrooms, and Bella Blu has one of the most enticing plates around: particularly plump spears given a luxurious hit of butter from grass-fed cows, baked with parmesan, and topped with little pearls of Sardinian bottarga ($25). 967 Lexington Ave., between 70 and 71st streets, Upper East Side — Beth Landman, contributing editor

June 10

Pistachio cocktail at Bar Pisellino
Pistachio cocktail at Bar Pisellino
Monica Burton/Eater

Pistachio cocktail at Bar Pisellino

I’ve been eager to go to Bar Pisellino practically since Jody Williams and Rita Sodi announced that they were opening it more than a year ago. I at long last made it in on a recent sunny afternoon. The triangular space, full of dark wood accented with white marble, is picture perfect — only the appearance of cell phones mars the impression that you’ve maybe stepped back in time. And the pistachio cocktail — gin, genepy, pistachio-green-cardamom orgeat, bitters, and lime juice, served in a glass ringed with crushed pistachios ($15) — is a true delight. I’ll be going back soon for another, and to try the bombolini that was unfortunately unavailable on my first visit. 52 Grove St., at Seventh Avenue, West Village — Monica Burton, associate restaurant editor

Beef empanada at Sophie’s Cuban

After pulling an all-nighter to finish up a big work project of sorts, I found myself a touch peckish, which is why I’m glad my colleague Stefanie Tuder had an excellent suggestion: Sophie’s Cuban. I’ve historically avoided the mini-chain because of my allegiance to Guantanamera in Hell’s Kitchen, but in the Financial District where we work, there’s only Sophie’s. And damn, it hit the spot. The Cuban sandwich was good, although the pulled pork didn’t quite display the charred succulence it should have. The empanadas, by contrast, showed off a touch more rustic elegance. The bronzed pastries contained generous pockets of juicy ground beef, and, for an extra saline kick, sliced olives. It was a classic combination, executed brilliantly. 73 New St, near Beaver Street, FiDi — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

Corned beef hash at City Limits Diner
Corned beef hash at City Limits Diner
Stefanie Tuder/Eater

Corned beef hash at City Limits Diner

One of my absolute favorite dining situations is a group of friends at a diner for breakfast the morning after a big party. That’s the situation I found myself in recently up in Westchester, where my friends and I gathered at City Limits Diner in White Plains. If a diner makes its own corned beef, then I always go for the corned beef hash. City Limits’ version ($12.95) was super meaty with both crispy and tender potato bits, sauced by runny eggs and the inspired addition of chive hollandaise. We also shared an order of table pancakes, which rounded out my meal and is my strongest possible diner recommendation. I was delighted that this restaurant was celebrating its 25th anniversary during our visit, which warmed my cynical restaurant-reporter heart. 200 Central Ave., at Tarrytown Road, White Plains, Westchester — Stefanie Tuder, senior editor

Snow pea and strawberry salad at Queensyard
Snow pea and strawberry salad at Queensyard
Beth Landman

Snow pea and strawberry salad at Queensyard

Take one bite of the sublimely crunchy snow pea and wild strawberry salad ($21) at Queensyard, and suddenly even the crispest Caesar seems dull. The toss here is textured and bursting with flavor; julienned snap peas that taste like they were picked hours earlier share a bowl with favas, English peas, and fragrant fraises des bois. Shaved ricotta salata adds a hint of salt and creaminess, while sliced pickled green strawberries and buttermilk dressing bring zest to the mix. Edible flowers strewn on top make it a work of art. 20 Hudson Yards, Fourth Floor, Hudson Yards — Beth Landman, contributor

Tom yum soup Maison Bangkok
Tom yum at Maison Bangkok
Carla Vianna

Tom yum noodle soup at Maison Bangkok

I’ve passed by this quirky little restaurant a few times and was always curious about it — the decor itself is quite silly, with string lights and lace white curtains hanging from the doorway, colorful (and random) furniture thrown about, and a series of portraits on the walls. On Friday evening, I was in the mood for Thai food, the perfect opportunity to finally check Maison Bangkok out. I went straight for the seafoody tom yum soup, which was quite mellow and comforting, in a lemongrass-and-garlic-oil kind of way. The shrimp was cooked to perfection, and the rice noodles were as chewy as they should be. It was a hearty portion and I couldn’t finish it all, though that’s probably because I was making room for the deliciously sweet mango and sticky rice I’d order for dessert. ($16) 355 East 78th St., between First and Second avenues, Upper East Side — Carla Vianna, reporter

Dun Huang beef noodles
Dun Huang’s signature Lanzhou beef noodles
Serena Dai/Eater

Lanzhou beef noodles at Dun Huang East Village

Nearly everything was satisfying at Dun Huang, a Lanzhou-style hand-pulled noodle chain that has expanded to the East Village. The cold eggplant salad with massive amounts of sharp garlic, the cumin-dusted crispy flatbread, and the crisp potato stick salad were all worth ordering — but the flagship item, the beef noodle soup, is what I’ll be returning to eat. My table ordered our noodles thick, and they were chewy and tacky, picking up the beefy flavor of the soup without soaking it up too much. The soup was flavor-packed without being heavy or overly salty, a trap that many noodle soups fall into, and a chile oil layered on top added depth without overwhelming the sense with spice. Kind of shocking that it’s only $9. 300 East 12th St. near Second Avenue, East Village — Serena Dai, editor

June 3

Cavatelli with hot sausage at Franks Wine Bar

The first time I went to Frankies 457, a man at my communal table was there with his 8-year-old son and was thrilled to sing the praises. He recommended a ton of stuff, and in particular called out the famed cavatelli with hot sausage and browned butter ($22) as his kid’s all-time favorite pasta. It is indeed fantastic, and now, I always want it, even though I always think about how my food tastes are on par with an 8-year-old, albeit a very fancy Brooklyn one. On Friday, after a couple of rough days, I got a bar seat for one at Franks Wine Bar to eat it, and it holds up. The cavatelli is chewy, the sausage just a tad spicy, all together a comforting, satisfying plate of meat-and-carbs. The glass of skin contact wine I had along with it made it feel more of a grown-up meal, my one-up from fancy Brooklyn kids. 465 Court St., on Luquer Street, Carroll Gardens — Serena Dai, editor

Cafe Altro Paradiso
Fried cod sandwich at Cafe Altro Paradiso
Carla Vianna

Fried cod sandwich at Cafe Altro Paradiso

I normally wouldn’t order a fried fish sandwich at brunch — I’m a big fan of all-things eggs for breakfast — but the dish appeared on so many tables around me that I was convinced. The plump sandwich ($18) was perfect. The cod was salty and flaky, breaking apart easily despite its crispy outer shell. The fluffy brioche bun was better than most, and the fish came topped with garlicky mayo that mixed in with the vinegary greens and capers, adding even more flavor to the ideal brunch dish I never knew I needed. Also, the restaurant is absolutely beautiful. 234 Spring St., on Sixth Avenue, Soho — Carla Vianna, reporter

Luke’s Lobster
Jumbo lobster roll at Luke’s Lobster
Ryan Sutton

Lobster roll at Luke’s Lobster

I knew it was going to be a late night at the office on Friday. Translation: desk dinner. But while my colleagues went out for bowls, I went out for lobster. The venue in question was Luke’s Lobster, located just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Vox Media headquarters in Lower Manhattan. Lobster rolls can easily command $30 in New York; the Luke chain has always been a touch more affordable, with the chief offering priced at $17, or $23 for a “jumbo” option with 50 percent more meat (zomg). Guess what? I got the jumbo! The great thing about Luke’s is that they only use claw, knuckle, and leg meat, resulting in a roll that’s more tender and flavorful than those using flesh from the tail. And the mayo levels rarely rise above a “slick.” I even gave a co-worker a bite, in a noted effort to disrupt the bowl economy going forward. 26 South William St., near Broad St., Financial District — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

Breakfast sandwich at Estela

Estela is one of my favorite restaurants in the city and reliably has space for walk-ins during brunch hours. (Side-note, super trendy restaurants are easier to get into during brunch.) They also have a very Estela take on a breakfast sandwich ($18): with pancetta, avocado, and a whole lot of acidity, on a Bien Cuit poppyseed bun. Be warned, just like everything else at this restaurant, the dish hits the table and you may say “Where is the filling; where are my $18 worth of ingredients!?” But of course, they are hidden inside the vessel, to follow the chefs’ strict doctrine of starkness and humility. I can’t think of a more ideal companion for a classy hangover. 47 East Houston St., between Mulberry and Mott streets, Nolita — Daniel Geneen, co-host of Eater Upsell