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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

A calzone topped with parmesan cheese on a metal tray with a side of tomato sauce
An Ops calzone
Bill Addison/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.


October 7

A calzone with parmesan cheese on top and a side of tomato sauce
Calzone at Ops
Serena Dai/Eater

Calzone at Ops

If going to Ops in Bushwick, the move is still absolutely to order whatever calzone ($18) is available for the day, just as former Eater critic Bill Addison suggested. The chewy, slightly charred dough that goes toward the pizza is used here, folded into a crescent-shaped pizza pocket. When I went, every neat slice was filled with roasted red pepper, salami, and cheese. Each element sung on its own and together, from that bouncy dough to the soft give of the slightly sweet pepper to the salt bomb of the meat. 346 Himrod Street, between Irving and Wyckoff avenues, Bushwick — Serena Dai, editor

A square slice of pizza topped with pears
Poached pear slice at Mama’s Too
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Poached pear slice at Mama’s Too

When Mama’s Too opened two years ago on the Upper West Side, it caused a sensation. Instead of round, the pies were square, with a thick crust, crunchy from plenty of grease. They owed more to Detroit than Sicily, and the toppings were wild, too. A favorite among pizza pilgrims who visit from all over the city is the slice featuring poached pear and plenty of gorgonzola cheese ($4.50). The combination of sweet and savory flavors is compelling, and the slice so rich that one makes a fine meal, but one that lies somewhere in the uncharted territory between entrée and dessert. 2750 Broadway, between 105th and 106th streets, Upper West Side — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Black label burger at Minetta Tavern

Last week I published my take on the Peter Luger-like burger at Red Hook Tavern. Verdict: It is a stupendously delicious creation but the wait is insane. So I dropped by Minetta Tavern to see whether things were more bearable there. They were. Keith McNally’s chophouse, once impossible to get into, was relatively empty around 10 p.m. on a Monday. I snagged a seat at the bar and went for the famed black label burger ($33). It didn’t flaunt the same salty char as at Red Hook, and it didn’t boast that same silky, ruby red interior. But the loosely-bound patty still crumbled with ease, with the medium-rare meat packing some of the most powerfully dry-aged notes in the city — imagine Gorgonzola but less sweet. It’s still a heck of a burger. 113 Macdougal Street, at Minetta Lane, Greenwich Village — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

Half of a sandwich with tofu skin and broccoli rabe
Yuba verde at Superiority Burger
Stefanie Tuder/Eater

Yuba verde at Superiority Burger

I was in the middle of ordering the new creation sandwich at Superiority Burger when owner Brooks Headley interrupted me to recommend trying an off-menu sandwich: the yuba verde ($9). I’m so glad he did as I think it’s my favorite offering and new staple order at the tiny East Village vegetarian fast-food restaurant. Griddled tofu skin and broccoli rabe co-mingle with balsamic vinegar in a sandwich with a sesame bun, making for a variety of chewy textures and flavors from the mild yuba, bitter broccoli rabe, and sweet balsamic vinegar. Grab extra napkins when eating this one. 430 East Ninth Street, between First Avenue and Avenue A, East Village — Stefanie Tuder, senior editor

Steak rodizio at Churrascaria Plataforma

It’s been a while since I’ve dined at a traditional Brazilian churrascaria, an all-you-can-eat affair where servers bring around endless skewers of meat that are sliced directly at your table. Rightfully so, the meal starts with warm and gooey pão de queijo cheese balls and a spread of sides including al dente rice, garlicky black beans, fried polenta, farofa (toasted corn flour with spices), and cubes of crispy fried banana. There’s also an entire salad bar included in the set price ($48.95 during lunch on weekends) with favorites like creamy potato salad available. It’s all meant to accompany the several cuts of steak and other grilled proteins — my favorites are the salted picanha (sirloin cap) and the bright pink pork sausage. 316 West 49th Street, between Eighth and Ninth avenues — Carla Vianna, reporter

September 30

Chicken liver crostini at Fedora

Years ago, Fedora was an old men’s gay bar, but modern usage has turned it into an expensive bistro with a louche interior that preserves many of the charming original details. While the entrees are more expensive than they need to be — a $38 pork chop, for example — bargains are to be found among bar snacks. The collection of four crostini smeared with a very smooth chicken liver paste ($7), smooth on the tongue and surmounted by pickled onions and mustard seeds, makes for a delightful little culinary diversion from a cocktail or glass of wine at the bar. 229 W. 4th St, between West 10th and Charles streets, West Village — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Pork trotter, egg, and cheese in a scallion pancake wrap on a metal tray
Pork trotter, egg, and cheese at Win Son Bakery
Stefanie Tuder/Eater

Pork trotter, egg, and cheese at Win Son Bakery

I walked into Win Son Bakery with high expectations, which I’ve learned is not a good way to approach new restaurants. But luckily, the new Taiwanese-ish bakery in Williamsburg totally met them. The pineapple bun was croissant-like with an added sugary crunch, and the pork trotter, egg, and cheese wrap in a scallion pancake was squishy and crunchy and entirely satisfying. The pork trotter was gelatinous and high in pork flavor, while the cheese added salt and the egg a fluffiness. The scallion pancake was flaky and greasy in a good way. High marks all around. 164 Graham Avenue, at Montrose Avenue, Williamsburg — Stefanie Tuder, senior editor

Tataki al pastor at Cosme

I was excited to visit Cosme last week because the only time I had been was the week they opened, and I only remember having the corn meringue. This time around, the second most memorable dish — because that husk dessert forever slaps — was the tataki al pastor ($30). It’s the restaurant’s twist on al pastor tacos, except they use marinated fish where diners might expect pork. What made it for me was the pineapple puree that gets heaped on top; and the tortillas at Cosme remain what all tortillas should strive for. And shoutout to one of my sisters who picked Cosme for her birthday dinner last week, a multiple dollar sign dinner she wouldn’t have to pay for. 35 E. 21st St., between Broadway and Park Avenue S, Flatiron — Patty Diez, editorial coordinator

A black platter holds a big bowl of buckwheat noodles, a small cup for dipping broth, and a small platter with green onions
Cold soba at Sobaya
Ryan Sutton/Eater

Cold soba at Sobaya

Slurping cold buckwheat noodles on a hot day is a fine way to spend ten bucks in Manhattan, which is why I was stoked to pen a few good words about Soba Azuma in Midtown West last week. As part of my research eating for that missive, however, I returned to Sobaya in the East Village, and was happy to find out it’s still a great place for the titular specialty. The tempura shrimp didn’t pack the same sweetness as at Azuma, and the dipping broth, or tsuyu, didn’t shine with the same dashi-forward punch. But the noodles themselves ($9.75 to $14.50) were quite nice; they were a bit firmer than at Azuma, with a cleaner cut and an aftertaste that exhibited just a touch more buckwheat nuttiness. I’ll be back here more often. 229 East Ninth St., near 2nd Avenue, East Village — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

September 23

A plate of rice and goat meat topped with a spiraled slice of onion
Goat biryani at Pariwaar Delights
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Goat biryani at Pariwaar Delights

There’s a new kid on block at Jersey City’s India Square. Pariwaar Delights specializes in southern Indian food with an emphasis on the city of Hyderabad. One of several great dishes some friends and I tried on a first visit was the classic Hyderabadi dum biryani made with goat ($14.95). The hump of basmati concealed lots of spicy dark meat; garnishes included purple onions, lemon, and fresh cilantro; and the usual pair of spoon-on sauces were provided: tart yogurt raita and a light peanut sauce called sala. 827 Newark Avenue, near Tonnele Avenue, Jersey City — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

A trey of golden-glazed fried chicken
Korean fried chicken at Pelicana Chicken
Carla Vianna/Eater

Fried chicken at Pelicana Chicken

When a heaping pile of juicy fried chicken arrived at my table at Pelicana Chicken, my first reaction was, “There’s no way we’ll finish this.” And while our table of two didn’t quite wipe the tray of chicken clean, we came pretty darn close. That’s because the pieces of boneless chicken have crispy skins glazed in tangy Pelicana sauce, a compelling mixture of Korean spices like garlic, onion, and gochujang that’s so appealing, you keep coming back even after you’re full. We also ordered half the tray with honey garlic sauce, which was equally as good as the original. I’m still not sure which I preferred, and I’d most definitely order both again. ($24, plus $2 to $3 for sauces) Multiple locations, including 52 East Eighth Street, between Mercer and Greene streets — Carla Vianna, reporter

Lobster and fries on a white plate
Lobster frites at Pastis
Serena Dai/Eater

Lobster frites at Pastis

New Yorkers don’t go to Pastis just for the food — people go for the feeling of being alive in the city, and maybe to spot some A-List celebrities. Indeed, on my visit, the restaurant made New York feel open, awake, and full of possibility, and I got my very good celebrity sighting. The food thankfully complemented the positive energy. Buttery escargot and a tart late summer tomato salad accompanied each other well, but the meal culminated in a lobster frites ($59), big enough for two. It was coated with a rich garlic and butter sauce, and even though a similar flavor came with the escargot, the meat was cooked to just the right oomph for it to not matter. 52 Gansevoort St., between Washington and Greenwich streets, Meatpacking District — Serena Dai, editor

A pair of gelato sundaes topped with pecans
Gelato sundaes at Red Hook Tavern
Monica Burton/Eater

Gelato sundaes at Red Hook Tavern

It feels like food media has appropriately sung the praises of the burger at Red Hook Tavern. The chicken, nicely crisp with a side of comforting gravy-topped mashed potatoes, has also gotten its due. But, the best thing I ate at Red Hook Tavern was the dessert. There are two options for gelato sundaes ($9 each). In one, fior di latte gelato comes drizzled with hot fudge and crunchy pecans. In the other, the richness of a dark chocolate gelato is cut with luxardo cherries and, again, topped with candied pecans. Really, you should get both. 329 Van Brunt Street, on Sullivan Street — Monica Burton, associate restaurant editor

September 16

A bowl full of crab and crawfish with corn, rice cakes, and potatoes in a spicy Sichuan sauce
Crab and crawfish pot at Le Sia
Stefanie Tuder/Eater

Crab and crawfish pot at Le Sia

It’s been a while since I’ve been back to East Village Chinese seafood spot Le Sia, and it was every bit as good as I remember. This time, I opted for snow crab legs and crawfish with rice cakes in numbing and spicy sauce ($43), and boy was it hot. Each ingredient soaked up that umami-laden sauce, and eating became a push and pull between wanting to suck out more crawfish and crab meat and needing a break to let my mouth cool down. I think I’ve determined I’m indifferent about crawfish, but the crab meat was so tender and sweet. My favorite thing about Le Sia is how messy it is to eat there. No matter who you’re dining with, wearing a bib and gloves and getting sauce all over your face will break down barriers. 11 E. Seventh Street, near Third Avenue, East Village — Stefanie Tuder, senior editor

Margherita pizza with pepperoni and basil
Margherita pizza at Sullivan Street Bakery
Ryan Sutton/Eater

Margherita pizza at Sullivan Street Bakery

Last week I raved about Rick Easton’s Bread & Salt in the Jersey City Heights, but it’s far from the only place making great new pizzas in the tri-state area. I visited Sullivan Street Bakery in Chelsea recently for a taste of Jim Sullivan’s Neapolitan-ish pies, which I hadn’t sampled since the early days of his groundbreaking (and now closed) Co. No surprise: My single margherita ($16) was damn fine, with a puffy rim, fresh basil, creamy mozz, and spicy pepperoni (a $5 add on). Of course, one could dive way deeper into the nuances of the pizzas here, but really, I just wanted a delicious and affordable pie that night, and that’s why I’m happy. 236 Ninth Avenue, near 24th Street, Chelsea — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

A bowl of beef pho
Signature combination beef pho at Just Pho
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Signature combination beef pho at Just Pho

Believe it or not, the best Hanoi-style pho is found not in the East Village or Chinatown, but across the street from Penn Station. Just Pho is a modest new place that makes only two things: a crab-stuffed spring roll, and an amazing (and amazingly spare) version of Hanoi classic pho, with the only meat option being whether the sliced beef is thrown in raw or already cooked (or both, $13). No sprouts, no basil. Scallions, cilantro, charred onions, and ginger propel the broth, which has been boiled 14 hours, and the noodles are particularly chunky and flavorful. A homemade nuoc cham, or dipping fish sauce, to season the soup or dip the meat in is provided. 252 W. 31st Street, between Seventh and Eighth avenues, Midtown West — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Blue drink at Yafa Cafe

I’ve been spending my Sundays at Yafa Cafe, a new coffee shop in Sunset Park, and it already seems like everybody knows each other in the quiet, relaxed space. Food’s coming later, but for now, the owners are doing pastries and drinks, including one with the very literal name of blue drink ($4). It is indeed a pale, cotton candy-esque blue, made that way with butterfly pea flower. Here, the herbal tea gets mixed with milk and jasmine syrup — resulting in an earthy, only slightly sweet iced drink that tastes luxurious. The caffeine-free concoction was an ideal follow-up to the two coffees I’d already had that day. 4415 Fourth Avenue, between 44th and 45th streets, Sunset Park — Serena Dai, editor

A paper bag of apple cider doughnuts and two cups of light yellow cider on a wooden table
Apple cider doughnuts at Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard
Carla Vianna/Eater

Apple cider doughnuts at Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard

I personally declared fall this weekend with a visit to Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard in Croton Falls, where apple picking, hard cider, and a pumpkin patch are the main attractions. It was a fantastic day trip from the city, reachable on the Metro-North in under two hours. Here I found the best apple cider doughnuts I’ve had so far, served hot and fresh with a heavy coating of white sugar from a red food truck on the farm. Paired with a tall cup of cool hard cider, I stopped caring that summer is on its way out. ($5 for 6) 130 Hardscrabble Road, Croton Falls, North Salem — Carla Vianna, reporter

September 9

Cecina, cactus, and lime on a white plate
Cecina at Atla
Ryan Sutton/Eater

Cecina at Atla

I was cycling in Denver for much of last week, where I sampled an impressive variety of modern Latin food. But before I left New York, I had a more traditional dish that I’m still thinking about: The cecina at Atla. It’s a staple Spanish and Mexican dish — not often seen in high-minded establishments — of salted and dried beef. Here, it was executed brilliantly, with the grilled cecina boasting an aggressive salinity and a savory meatiness. A side of cactus helped tone down the seasoning, as did a pile of warm, heady tortillas for DIY taco-making. It was an excellent meal overall, notwithstanding a terrible, watery frozen margarita. But really, that cecina was dope. 372 Lafayette St., at Great Jones, Noho — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

Steamed rice rolls stuffed with fried dough, dried shrimp, and dried scallop on a white plate
Dried scallop with dried shrimp fried rice roll at Green Garden Village
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Dried scallop with dried shrimp fried rice roll at Green Garden Village

The made-to-order steamed rice rolls called chee cheong fun have become more of a thing in Chinatown lately, and few places make them as well as Cantonese newcomer Green Garden Village. Many of the 10 versions offered contain little tweaks, and the roll filled with the fried baton of dough known as youtiao has been modified with dried shrimp and dried scallop, adding a delightful and nuanced fishy flavor, brought to the forefront by a drizzle of exceptional soy sauce ($3.50). 216 Grand St, between Mott and Elizabeth streets, Chinatown — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Bread, vegetable and noodle soup, and beef with celery and rice in takeout containers on a wooden table
Ash reshteh at Taste of Persia
Stefanie Tuder/Eater

Ash reshteh at Taste of Persia

I’m lucky to live nearby Taste of Persia, a Persian restaurant of sorts that’s really just a man selling Persian food inside one corner of a pizzeria. I opted for some ash reshteh, or Persian vegetable and noodle soup, on Friday’s rainy night, and I was not disappointed. Owner Saeed Pourkay told me that the soup takes him about 20 ingredients and eight hours to make, and it sure tasted that way. Chickpeas, white beans, and lentils were super creamy, while spinach and various herbs made the stew bright green and alive. Pourkay topped the soup with kashk, a tangy white yogurt sauce, fried onions, and dried mint for extra flavor. It’s also exceedingly affordable: The soup, along with a beef, celery, and artichoke stew with rice and bread was $12. 12 West 18th St., between Fifth and Sixth avenues, Chelsea — Stefanie Tuder, senior editor

Thin, crunchy bread topped with salt and rosemary
Pane carasau at Dopo La Spiaggia
Beth Landman/Eater

Pane carasau at Dopo La Spiaggia

If there is one menu item that became a Hamptons obsession this summer, it’s the pane carasau served at Dopo La Spiaggia in Sag Harbor. A traditional Sardinian staple, it is simply made of flour and water, but the dough is kneaded extensively, baked until it bubbles, removed from the oven, sliced in half horizontally so it becomes super thin, and baked again. When the $16 dish arrives at the table, in seared sheets both flat and curled, it is such a showstopper that newcomers inevitably grill waitstaff and order it themselves. The bread is wafer thin, piping hot, drizzled with a luscious green olive oil and sprinkled with salt and rosemary sprigs. The crunch it makes is enormously satisfying, and the crispness and hit of salt make it the ideal accompaniment to a glass of wine or cocktail at the start of a meal. 6 Bay St., between Rector and Division streets, Sag Harbor — Beth Landman, contributing editor

A fried chicken sandwich being held up at a baseball field
Hot fried chicken sandwich from Lil Sweet Chick
Carla Vianna/Eater

Hot fried chicken sandwich at Citi Field’s Lil’ Sweet Chick

With so many worthy food options at Citi Field, home of the Mets, I may just become a baseball fan. At a recent game I spent nearly an hour perusing all the stalls, which range from Fuku and Emmy Squared to a cheesesteak stand and Lil Sweet Chick, an offshoot of fried chicken gem Sweet Chick. I finally settled on the Nashville hot fried chicken sandwich ($13) from Lil Sweet Chick. Though it didn’t pack much heat, the bird was crispy, juicy, and came packed between soft potato buns and topped with tangy pickles. It was the perfect ball game snack. 123-01 Roosevelt Avenue, Willet Points — Carla Vianna, reporter

September 3

Thinly sliced plums with pistachios and beans on a white plate
Summer beans with pistachio and plum at Crown Shy
Stefanie Tuder/Eater

Summer beans with pistachio and plum at Crown Shy

Lunch at FiDi’s elegant New American restaurant Crown Shy was incredibly civilized. I’m used to heating up leftovers or staring at my phone in a long line for mediocre salad, so sitting down for the three-course, $45 prix fixe in the high-ceilinged room was a treat. I chose summer beans with pistachio and plum as my first course. Various in-season green and yellow beans got a jolt from sweet, thinly sliced plums and nutty chopped pistachios, dressed in an acidic sauce that had me spooning up every last morsel. 70 Pine Street, between Pearl and William streets, Financial District — Stefanie Tuder, senior editor

A black bowl filled with noodles, with three big shrimps sitting on opposite sides of the bowl
Tet noodles at Madame Vo
Carla Vianna/Eater

Tet noodles at Madame Vo

The absolute best thing I’ve eaten all week (and possibly the best dish I’ve had over the past month) was the tet noodles at Madame Vo ($28), a sweet and savory combination of egg noodles stir fried with garlic butter fish sauce, crab meat, and shrimp. The creamy butter-based sauce was almost too sweet, though a generous helping of black pepper balanced out the rich flavors. To top it all off, the noodles came dressed with fluffy crab meat and big, juicy prawns. 212 East 10th Street, between First and Second avenues, East Village — Carla Vianna, reporter

A tamale sitting in an open corn husk topped with dark red sauce and green cilantro
Chicken tamale at Coche Comedor
Beth Landman/Eater

Chicken tamale at Coche Comedor

I’ve found comfort food with a kick — the tamale at Coche Comedor, a new Mexican restaurant opened by the team behind famed East Hampton restaurant Nick and Toni’s. Encased in a traditional corn husk, the tamale contains shredded rotisserie organic chicken tucked inside soft corn meal mixed with duck fat, olive, and canola oils, plus chicken stock flavored with cinnamon, cloves, peanuts, and sesame seeds. The tamale gets heat from a sauce of pureed arbol peppers with dried chiles, an herbaceous snap from micro-cilantro, and a hint of salt and creaminess from queso fresco. ($13) 74A Montauk Highway, Amagansett, East Hampton — Beth Landman, contributing editor

A yellow, triangular slice of heirloom tomato galette
Heirloom tomato galette at Der Pioneer
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Heirloom tomato galette at Der Pioneer

Few things say “late summer” as well as ripe heirloom tomatoes. Yes, you can use them in salads, or eat them plain with a shake of salt, but Der Pioneer, a maverick German-French-Viennese bakery on the western edge of Flatbush uses them in a scrumptious galette. The sweetness of the tomatoes concentrates through baking, and a shard of garlic on top adds extra oomph. A wedge costs $4.75, making it only slightly more expensive than a slice of neighborhood pizza. 737 Church Avenue, between East Seventh and East Eighth streets, Prospect Park South — Robert Sietsema, senior critic