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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 vegan hot dog topped with mustard, onions, and other accoutrements Robert Sietsema/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.


November 11

Cubes of beef tongue on a skewer
Beef tongue yaki at Būmu
Serena Dai/Eater

Beef tongue yaki at Būmu

I never made it out to Teo in its short Bushwick tenure, and luckily, Joaquin (Quino) Baca’s newer izakaya-style restaurant Būmu is far more convenient for me. There was plenty to love at the restaurant — for one, the crispy pig tails, which were meatier than I anticipated — but the stand-out was the beef tongue yaki ($9). Two hulking portions of beef arrived on a stick with thinly sliced cucumber and a spicy mustard. The meat had a lovely crisp on the outside and soft yet chewy interior, packed with rich beef flavor. The slightly spicy sauce added the right amount of acid to the whole thing. 61 West Eighth Street, near Sixth Avenue, Greenwich Village — Serena Dai, editor

Shoyu ramen at Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop

New Yorkers are coming to grips with the fact that autumn might have lasted just a week and that winter has begun in earnest. My plan of relief, during a rainy night last week, was to warm up with a bowl of ramen at Ivan Orkin’s Slurp Shop at Gotham West. Verdict: This place still puts out some of the city’s best soups, particularly the shoyu (soy sauce) ramen ($14). Could the noodles have been a touch firmer? Yes, but the broth was unparalleled, exhibiting a color so dark it was almost inky. The flavor was deep, rich, round, and maybe a touch malty. I might need to revitalize my spirits with this ramen quite often during the next six months of winter. 600 11th Avenue, near 44th Street, Hell’s Kitchen — Ryan Sutton, senior critic

A vegan hot dog topped with mustard, onions, and other accoutrements
Chicago dog at Rip’s Malt Shop
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Chicago dog at Rip’s Malt Shop

Recreating the vaunted Chicago-style hot dog has been a challenge for New York City. Famously, Shake Shack offers a version that falls short. Now newly opened Rip’s Malt Shop in Greenwich Village has assembled a rendition ($8) that’s accurate in nearly every detail, being topped with a dill pickle spear, tomato, neon relish, celery salt, raw onion, sport peppers, and yellow mustard. What might be a flaw is actually a plus: a vegan frank that manages to taste good on its own. The chocolate malt, made with Van Leeuwen’s vegan ice cream and oat milk, is also worth sampling. 48 Greenwich Avenue, between Charles and Perry streets, Greenwich Village — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

A fish head wrapped in grape leaves with its filets in the background
Salt-baked red snapper at Loi Estiatorio
Stefanie Tuder/Eater

Salt-baked red snapper at Loi Estiatorio

Yes, this photo is highly unattractive, but is it possible to take a good photo of a leaf-wrapped fish head? I promise the salt-baked red snapper for two ($83) at Midtown Greek restaurant Loi Estiatorio tasted much better than it looks, with tender and not-overcooked flesh flavored simply with lemon and pungent olive oil that was grassy and not in any way bitter. The best part was digging into the head for the cheek meat, which, after being wrapped in grape leaves and baked inside salt, was ultra-moist and soft. The horta that comes on the side — bitter chicory and black-eyed peas — was a strong accompaniment to the subtle fish. 132 West 58th Street, between Sixth and Seventh avenues, Midtown West — Stefanie Tuder, senior editor

November 4

Fried head-on shrimp on a white plate with a blue border
Spicy shrimp at Momofuku Noodle Bar
Ryan Sutton/Eater

Spicy shrimp at Momofuku Noodle Columbus Circle

At 9:30 p.m. on Friday, David Chang’s Midtown West noodle shop was the only sign of life on the third floor of the Time Warner Center. The wait? About 45 minutes for two. A lot of the specials were sold out by then, but we managed to get the last order of spicy baby shrimp ($12). If this were any other mall restaurant that preparation would involve tender little popcorn shrimp in spicy aioli. But since this is a Chang spot, the dish translates as head-on, shell-on, the-eyes-are-still-looking-at-you crustaceans, each one barely bigger than a whole boiled peanut. The result is a product that’s more spicy and shrimpy than soft or tender. Squirt with lemon and pair with beer. 10 Columbus Circle, near 59th Street, Upper West Side — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

Spicy rice cake with fried squid at Soju Haus

Koreatown on a Friday night is teeming with people, and it seems like many of them are beelining for Soju Haus, a raucous restaurant that lies hidden on the second floor of an office building. Everything we ate Friday night was super tasty — kimchi pancake, sizzling bulgogi — but my favorite was the spicy rice cakes with fried squid ($12.95). The rice cakes come in the classic red gochujang sauce, but Soju Haus’s version was less sweet than others, which I appreciated. On top are well-fried circles of squid, which makes the dish equally about contrasting textures — squishy rice cakes, crunchy and chewy squid — as it is about the spicy and seafoody flavors. 315 Fifth Avenue, Floor 2, at 32nd Street, Koreatown — Stefanie Tuder, senior editor

Fried calamari with red sauce and mozzarella cheese on a hero
Calamari parm hero at John’s Deli
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Calamari parm hero at John’s Deli

Located on Stillwell Avenue on the way to Coney Island beaches, John’s Deli was founded in 1968, and produces all of the Brooklyn’s iconic Italian-American heroes. One of the lesser known ones is the calamari parm hero, made famous by the now defunct Catene Deli just off the Slope. And what could be better than dumping a fistful of just-fried squid rings on a baguette, melting freshly made mozzarella on top, and then sluicing the cheesy crustaceans with a sharp marinara, as it’s still done at John’s? You won’t be able to stop munching on this baby ($12.50), all too rare in the borough today. 2033 Stillwell Avenue, between Avenue T and 86th Street, Gravesend — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

A white ceramic bowl filled with thick chitarra noodles and mushrooms, topped with a round egg yolk
Whole wheat chitarra at Fausto
Serena Dai/Eater

Whole wheat chitarra at Fausto

All of the pastas at Fausto hit the spot when craving a toothy, salty bowl of noodles, but for cooler temps, the whole wheat chitarra with mushrooms and eggs ($22) is the thing to get. It’s an earthy mix of mushrooms and cheese, with a perfectly round orange yolk in the middle to mix into everything else. It’s the kind of simple, rustic dish that I imagine making at home, though I know I could never do it as well as Erin Shambura does it. 348 Flatbush Avenue, St. Johns and Sterling places, Park Slope — Serena Dai, editor

Silvanas at Tsismis

Even though we were pretty full after a dinner at Lower East Side Filipino restaurant Tsismis, I’m glad our server insisted we not leave without silvanas ($6). Chef Jappy Afzelius’s version of these classic Pinoy cookies — buttercream between two cashew meringue wafers, with a cookie nut crumble on the outside — ended the meal on a light, sweet, and cold note: They’re frozen, the better for that buttercream to melt in your mouth. 143 Orchard Street, between Rivington and Delancey streets, Lower East Side — Caleb Pershan, contributing reporter

October 28

Mixed sour and spicy fern root noodle on a yellow plate at Yu Kitchen
Mixed sour and spicy fern root noodle at Yu Kitchen
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Mixed sour and spicy fern root noodle at Yu Kitchen

Among the Chinese culinary riches of the Upper West Side, Yu Kitchen stands foremost. It mounts a long menu that is relentlessly amazing, and the fern root noodles ($9.95) is one piece of proof. “The fern root spoken of is something like a fiddlehead, only smaller,” said a friend lately returned from China. The noodles are almost black, with an elusive woodsy flavor. The broth is pungent with garlic and pickled chiles; the peanuts provide crunch; and a sour flavor suffuses this delightful bowl of cold noodles, perfect any season. 2656 Broadway, between 100th and 101st streets, Upper West Side — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Chikara at Raku
Chikara at Raku
Monica Burton/Eater

Chikara at Raku

The intermittently rainy weather these past couple weeks put me squarely in the mood for udon. My go-to is Raku in Soho, and there, my udon of choice is always the chikara ($15) which comes with chicken, negi, and the highlight for me, large rectangles of mochi. The combination of soothing broth, udon noodles, and wonderfully chewy mochi is unbeatable for rainy-day comfort, and while the udon menu at Raku is long, I’ve rarely felt the desire to order any other bowl. 48 Macdougal Street, between King and Prince streets, Soho — Monica Burton, associate restaurant editor

Tagliatelle at Via Carota

I usually don’t order tagliatelle at restaurants. At most places, it tends to arrive too soft and too thin for my tastes; I prefer a pasta shape with a lot more heft. It’s why I had not ordered the famed tagliatelle with prosciutto at Via Carota ($25), but, man, did it subvert my expectations. The version here has far more bite than other ones I’ve tried, and the creaminess of the sauce plus the light, airy saltiness of the prosciutto balanced each other out. I didn’t need both this pasta and the cacio e pepe, but I was happy to have both at the table anyway. 51 Grove Street, between Seventh Avenue and Bleecker Street, West Village — Serena Dai, editor

Hot pot at HaiDiLao
Hot pot at HaiDiLao
Stefanie Tuder/Eater

Hot pot at HaiDiLao

Welp, I may have found my most perfect restaurant in NYC. Hot pot at new Flushing Chinese chain HaiDiLao was a true delight, with such pleasures as massage chairs and board games as you wait, all-you-can-eat sauce and soft serve bars, robot servers, and hand-pulled noodles made by dancing men. Then there was the hot pot itself — with four more deeply flavored broths than I’ve previously encountered, of which my favorite was a dried chile-filled Sichuan variety. Pork dumplings squirted juice, the vegetables were very fresh, and the flounder was extra tender. Plus, service was exceedingly pleasant. I can’t wait to return. 138-23 39th Avenue, between Union and 138th streets, Flushing — Stefanie Tuder, senior editor

October 21

A cheeseburger with onions and fries on a white plate
Cheeseburger at Joe Junior
Stefanie Tuder/Eater

Cheeseburger at Joe Junior

My former colleague Nick Solares has long waxed poetic about the cheeseburger at Joe Junior, a tiny, old-school diner in Gramercy. I’ve been meaning to try it for years, and the occasion finally presented itself on Saturday, when I found out what Nick’s been talking about all this time. I’m not sure I would say it’s my best burger in NYC, but it’s certainly the best diner burger I’ve ever had: The beef is loosely packed with a char that can only come from a decades-old griddle, and it drips fatty, meaty juices as I eat it. After a day of drinking and with old friends, it’s the best meal I can think of. ($12.20) 167 Third Avenue, at 16th Street, Gramercy — Stefanie Tuder, senior editor

Tuna conserva at Cervo’s

When Eater LA’s editor Matthew Kang came into town last week and asked me to pick a restaurant, I knew I wanted to do Cervo’s. It’s one of those newer New York restaurants that feels inexplicably downtown, and the menu of Spanish and Portuguese seafood is all simple but incredibly well-executed. Plus, it’s got a killer natural wine list; I always try something there that I haven’t had before. I loved everything we had but was most surprised by how much I enjoyed the tuna conserva with pistachio, cucumber, and green chile ($15). The dish was a highly acidic, slightly spicy fancy tuna salad that mellowed out with the layer of thick-cut cucumbers on top. I sopped up the juices with a piece of bouncy sourdough. 43 Canal Street, between Ludlow and Orchard streets, Lower East Side — Serena Dai, editor

A basket of pão de queijo, or rolled cheese balls
Pão de queijo at Berimbau do Brasil
Carla Vianna/reporter

Pão de queijo at Berimbau do Brasil

As I slowly but surely make my way to all the Brazilian restaurants in the New York area, I sometimes come across a place that excels in a particular staple. Here at Berimbau, that staple is the pão de queijo ($7.95), or baked cheese bread rolled into a ball. The warm rolls were chewy and moist on the inside, yet perfectly crisp on the outside — I was dining with a co-worker who marveled at the cheesy interior, only to come to the conclusion that the consistency was due to the tapioca flour the cheese bread is made with. It’s an appetizer that should prelude any homey Brazilian meal in the U.S., which pairs nicely with a caipirinha or tall glass of sweet and fizzy guarana. 43 Carmine Street, near Bedford Street, Greenwich Village — Carla Vianna, reporter

Sanchen-spiced chicken at Hutong

I finally had the chance to swing by the New York debut of the well-regarded Hong Kong restaurant, which specializes in Northern Chinese fare. Robert Sietsema had some wonderful things to say about Hutong, particularly the dim sum, so it was really no surprise that my meal was quite lovely. I could go on about that portion of the meal, but I was particularly taken by the Sanchen chicken too, wherein fried nuggets of poultry were buried in hundreds of dried chiles. The cumin-laced bird flaunted a nice punch of heat, followed by a numbing buzz that, while distinct, never quite overwhelmed the palate. At $29 — enough for two — it’s also one of the better deals here. 731 Lexington Avenue, accessible via courtyard near Third Avenue — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

A breaded pork loin cutlet paired with shredded cabbage on a white plate
Kurobuta pork loin at Katsu-Hama
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Kurobuta pork loin at Katsu-Hama

In the 1980s, there were dozens of narrowly focused specialty Japanese restaurants between Grand Central and Times Square offering things like eel, okonomiyaki, four-course blowfish meals, and sushi. Katsu-Hama was one of these, specializing in fatty Kurobuta pork loin cutlets, carefully weighed, breaded, and fried. The result is the world’s tastiest schnitzel, perfectly cooked and seemingly greaseless. Over the years, chicken and shrimp were added to the menu, but still go for the pork, available in 150 or 200 gram servings, alongside a haystack of shredded cabbage and sesame dressing, a bowl of miso soup, and small scoop of potato salad. The larger cutlet with fixin’s is $26, which is a bargain in Midtown for meat of this quality. The serpentine layout of the dining rooms, and quietude of the rear rooms, make it a perfect date spot. 11 East 47th Street, between Fifth and Madison avenues, Midtown — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

October 14

Multi-layered lasagna topped with cheese
Lasagna carciofi at I Sodi
Monica Burton/Eater

Lasagna carciofi at I Sodi

I (along with seemingly everyone else) have long loved Via Carota, the West Village Italian restaurant from Jody Williams and Rita Sodi. But until recently I had never made it to Sodi’s first Tuscan restaurant I Sodi a block away. There, the lasagna carciofi ($27) was everything I hoped it would be. Somehow, the creamy artichokes sandwiched between two dozen soft lasagna noodles was comforting without being overwhelmingly rich. Still, the hefty slice is more than two can (comfortably) finish while saving room for the rest of the menu. 105 Christopher Street, between Hudson and Bleecker streets, West Village — Monica Burton, associate restaurant editor

Mac and cheese waffle at Arrogant Swine

The mac and cheese waffle ($9) at Carolina barbecue spot Arrogant Swine looks and sounds like some sort of frankenfood created specifically for an Insider video, which made me suspicious of its taste. But it ended up being one of the favorites of the table. The edges were crispy and cheesy, and the macaroni in the middle had a healthy bite to them. The best part was the generous portion of creamy, spicy queso that came with it — an ideal dip for the waffle and for anything else we had on hand. 173 Morgan Avenue, at Scholes Street, East Williamsburg — Serena Dai, editor

A tomato pizza topped with pepperoni at Joe & Pat’s
Tomato pie with pepperoni at Joe & Pat’s
Stefanie Tuder/Eater

Tomato pie with pepperoni at Joe & Pat’s

When a friend suggested heading to Rubirosa without a reservation, I pivoted the conversation to Joe & Pat’s — a similarly thin-crust pizza-focused restaurant that actually comes from the same family. It’s been a Staten Island institution since 1960 and opened an East Village location last year. That’s where we headed, and my favorite dish of the evening was the classic tomato pie that we topped with pepperoni ($30). The ultra-trendy roni cups, which I like better, had good spice, while the pie was super saucy with acidic tomato sauce, held up by a strong, crunchy crust. The wait was still 45 minutes, though, and I was so hungry that I burnt my lip from gobbling down a slice as soon as it hit the table. 168 First Avenue, between 10th and 11th streets, East Village — Stefanie Tuder, senior editor

Steak on a tabletop grill at Cote
“Grand cru” galbi at Cote
Matthew Kang/Eater

“Grand cru” galbi at Cote

People often ask me if Cote is worth the hype. The short answer is yes, especially for the ways the restaurant is pushing the conversation forward for Korean barbecue. This latest cut, a special they’re calling “Grand cru” galbi, is their latest attempt to denote a special demarcation for the quality of marinated beef. Normally most of the steak-like pieces at Cote come without any marinade, with the restaurant hoping to show off various cuts and age statements on the meat. Using a wine term to show off the quality of this American Wagyu galbi reserved for only the best bottles could be seen as over the top, but I think any way to put on a stamp of quality is good for Korean cuisine. You might think it’s all hype to see Cote slapping on a fancy phrase to show how good something is, but it’s no different from other luxury ingredients like caviar. At the end of the day though, the beef has to be good, and this galbi is damn delicious. Cote proprietor Simon Kim says this galbi comes from the top 5 percent of the restaurant’s American wagyu flat chuck tails, which the butchers then slice into a diamond-shaped cut for a more refined cut. Since the piece is already so tender, the short marinade time just adds gentle soy sauce and sweet notes instead of softening the texture of the beef. 16 West 22nd Street, between Fifth and Sixth avenues, Flatiron — Matthew Kang, Eater LA editor

Fish in hot chili sauce topped with cilantro
Sea bass at Hot Space
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Sea bass at Hot Space

Hot Space’s specialty is whole fish braised in hot chile oil, and the fish is served in a shallow raised tray with a sterno flame underneath, with four other ingredients chosen to cook along with the fish as it bubbles away before you. The choice — in my case a sea bass, $45.95 — is checked off on the order form handed to the customer, and I picked crunchy lotus root, rubbery gluten, black fungus, and Chinese cabbage. One fish feeds two people generously, and other fish available include buffalo fish, barramundi, and big mouth bass. Accessory dishes in a barbecued brochette vein, and a series of Sichuan cold dishes are also available. It’s great fun for a group. 774 51st Street, between Seventh and Eighth avenues, Sunset Park — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

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

Disclosure: David Chang is producing shows for Hulu in partnership with Vox Media Studios, part of Eater’s parent company, Vox Media. No Eater staff member is involved in the production of those shows, and this does not impact coverage on Eater.