clock menu more-arrow no yes
The front of a restaurant with a striped awning, colorful flags, and a sign that reads “Maison Yaki”
Honey Bunny’s Chicken, which has been operating out of Maison Yaki for the last two weeks
Luke Fortney/Eater

Filed under:

The Best Dishes Eater Editors Ate This Week

Takeout and delivery gems in NYC, plus recipes and grocery items that are must-tries

Many NYC restaurants are now back for takeout and delivery — and thousands are offering outdoor dining as well. With the ongoing crisis, many are experimenting with new recipes at home too. In this feature, Eater NY staffers share their favorites each week — whether it’s a grocery item, a recipe, or a dish from a restaurant that’s reopened. Check back weekly.

August 3

Fried chicken on a brioche with spice dusted fries on the side.
Masala fried chicken sandwich at Rahi
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Masala fried chicken sandwich at Rahi

As part of its new Bombay Brunch menu, Rahi chef Chintan Pandya is offering an Indian take on today’s ubiquitous chicken sandwich. His masala fried chicken sandwich ($15) features a couple of pieces of chicken soaked in spices and breaded so that they produce a resounding crunch when bitten into. These are deposited on the puffy and eggy roll, slathered with mayo that’s flavored with pickles and mint, and topped with onions fried to a frizzle. This is a memorable sandwich, and the masala gives it a zest and a burn that you won’t encounter in other chicken sandwiches. 60 Greenwich Avenue, at Perry Street, Greenwich Village — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Dishes laid out on a wooden table with flowers in the background
Spicy rice cake jeongol and a kimchi pancake with a poached egg, fried chicken, and a crispy corn pancake
Erika Adams/Eater

Spicy rice cake jeongol and more from Hand Hospitality

Korean restaurant star Hand Hospitality — the group behind NYC heavyweights like Her Name Is Han and Take 31 — was offering a popup curbside pickup spot in Sunset Park last night, so I hopped on it and ordered a mix-and-match feast for dinner: Spicy rice cake jeongol with clams, mussels, shrimp, and chewy rice cakes that came nearly-simmering and ready to eat immediately, plus two sides of Korean fried chicken and a kimchi pancake paired with a poached egg that came with the order ($55). And I couldn’t resist adding in one of my favorite Take 31 dishes, a crispy corn pancake ($15.95) that was just as crunchy and caramelized as I remembered from the restaurant. Check Instagram for Hand Hospitality’s latest curbside pickup locations. — Erika Adams, reporter

Fried chicken thighs and tater tots at FoodstruckNYC

Some magnificent things happen in the category of “drunk food,” the sort of bombastic, messy and deeply craveable food FoodstruckNYC specializes in. The late-night window has always been a takeout-only spot, so on Friday in the backyard of my favorite bar, I brought in an order of fried chicken thighs with soy-tamarind glaze and crispy garlic to satisfy the new directives about eating a sandwich-equivalent meal with my alcohol. The juicy thighs were perfectly sealed by the crispy brown crust on the chicken, with enough tangy glaze to get my fingers good and messy. Also, there were five of them for $7, which was just absurd. I rounded them out with the 50/50 rosemary fries and tater tots, perfect to pick at all night in our distanced corner. 3106 35th Street, near 31st Avenue Astoria — Jaya Saxena, staff writer

Pastrami fried rice at Fan Fried Rice Bar

This counter-service spot was a few doors down from an apartment I lived in two leases ago, and I still make a point of stopping by whenever I find myself in Bed-Stuy. The dish I dream of is pastrami fried rice ($12), a tingly, garlicky array that comes in a paper box. It’s generously portioned and doesn’t skimp on the pastrami, which is thick cut and wickedly salty. Also in the mix are peanuts and Sichuan pepper, making it a little drier and crunchier than the restaurant’s other fried rice dishes (the sesame oil chicken and mush-mame varieties are excellent too). I rounded it out with an Apple Sidra and a sweet green tea for the morning, and promised myself once again that I’d never forget this spot, no matter how far away I move. 525 Dekalb Avenue, near Bedford Avenue — Emma Alpern, senior copy editor

A hand grips a fried chicken biscuit partially wrapped in to-go paper
The chicken biscuit at Honey Bunny’s Chicken
Luke Fortney/Eater

Chicken biscuit at Honey Bunny’s Chicken

I managed to sneak in a chicken biscuit during the last lunch service at Honey Bunny’s Chicken, a Maryland-style pop-up that’s been operating out of Maison Yaki in Prospect Heights for the last two weeks. The restaurant’s popular chicken biscuits are lovingly stuffed with fried chicken, dill pickles, tabasco, and bechamel sauce, a flaky-creamy twang that manages to hold up in even 90-degree heat. Credit is due at least in part to chef Jared Howard’s buttermilk biscuits, which are brushed with garlic oil, dusted in Old Bay, and formidable enough to hold all of the aforementioned toppings together without crumbling. Follow Honey Bunny’s Chicken on Instagram for the latest word on the restaurant’s next pop-up. 626 Vanderbilt Avenue, near Prospect Place, Prospect Heights — Luke Fortney, reporter


July 27

Crunchy vegetables including long red radishes and white fennel fanned around a small dish of brown dip.
Summer vegetable crudite with tuna dip at Anton’s
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Summer vegetable crudite with tuna dip at Anton’s

Nick Anderer’s newly reopened Anton’s on hopping Hudson Street in the West Village offers a host of cooling selections that go well with a cocktail at its outdoor dining area. The first item on the menu is this lovely assortment of crunchy seasonal veggies fanned-out around a firkin of brown dip. The creamy tuna dip is doubtlessly inspired by the Milanese tonnato sauce often used on sliced, cold veal, one of Italy’s many summery dishes. 570 Hudson Street, between Perry and 11th streets, West Village — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

A cucumber lime frozen popsicle is covered in hot sauce and chile lime seasoning. In the background, a crosswalk is visible.
A cucumber lime paleta from La Newyorkina
Luke Fortney/Eater

Cucumber-lime paleta at La Newyorkina

It’s summer in NYC, meaning one of the city’s greatest joys — big bowls of mango, watermelon, and other in-season fruits — are once again available. If fresh fruit isn’t on the menu, though, I’m convinced that the most reliable substitution is a paleta from Fany Gerson’s Mexican ice cream shop, La Newyorkina. Here, popular Mexican dishes like arroz con leche, horchata, and chile-covered fruit are packed into popsicles and scoops of ice cream. Like their fresh fruit cousins, the paletas at La Newyorkina are best when doused in Chamoy hot sauce and Tajin chile powder, both of which are available as toppings at the ice cream shop. 240 Sullivan Street, near West Third Street — Luke Fortney, reporter

Three dishes set on a counter
Yara Herrera’s friends and family meal
Erika Adams/Eater

Yara Herrera’s friends and family meal at Winner Cafe and Bakery

Winner Cafe and Bakery in Park Slope has been churning out a stellar lineup of weekly takeout dinners in collaboration with a rotating cast of different guest chefs. It’s a project that owner Daniel Eddy has been running alongside Winner’s daily bread, pastry, and sandwich menu since the bakery opened this past spring. Last week, chef Yara Herrera whipped up a menu designed for sweltering summer eating ($17), including an aguachile made with bass, a potato taquito with a chile de arbol salsa — I wished for five more as I was eating it — and a peach and tomato salad lightly tossed with shredded basil. The meal went down easy on a 90-plus degree night, and I’ll definitely be remaking the peach and tomato salad on my own as best I can this month. 367 7th Avenue, at 11th Street, Park Slope — Erika Adams, reporter

Two plastic containers with food, one black container is up front with pieces of sliced meat and some boiled eggs
Clay pot fried rice (left) at Bua Thai Ramen and Robata Grill
Tanay Warerkar/Eater

Clay pot fried rice at Bua Thai Ramen & Robata Grill

Fried rice delivery can often end up tasting dry, but that’s not the case for the clay pot fried rice ($23) at Upper East Side’s Bua Thai. This buttery, garlicky rice is packed with different flavors and textures including the thinly sliced pork belly, a creamy hard-boiled egg, crunchy cucumber slices, spring onions, and tender pieces of crab meat. I could easily have finished this rice without any additions, but I added some sweet chili sauce to bring some extra heat to the dish. 1611 Second Avenue, between East 83rd and East 84th Streets, Upper East Side — Tanay Warerkar, reporter

Pretzel scone at MeMe’s Diner

Libby Willis and Bill Clark’s nostalgic little Prospect Heights diner has reopened on a limited basis for brunch only, which afforded me the opportunity to try out one of those pretzel scones that folks have been talking about. The format is takeout only, with a few outdoor tables if you want to seat yourself while eating — a much fairer and safer alternative to wait service. As for the pretzel scone, it was predictably fantastic, loose and crumbly with a salty-malty-savory flavor that recalled, well, a pretzel! Whipped cream helped soften the saline blow. Am definitely stoked to return for another brunch — Ryan Sutton, chief critic. 657 Washington Avenue, near St. Mark’s Avenue


July 20

A white paper plate placed on a wooden bench with a dosa on it, a green cilantro sauce, a samosa, and a red sauce in a plastic cup
Masala dosa and samosas at NY Dosas cart
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Masala dosa and samosa at NY Dosas cart

After an absence of nearly four months, Thiru Kumar, the dosa guy, has returned to Washington Square. He makes dosas ($8) to order on his cart-mounted tawa, adds a potato filling, then sides it with coconut and mint chutneys, and a small cup of the vegetable-loaded soup called sambar. The dosa can be customized a number of ways, including putting salad inside (Pondicherry dosa), or sprinkling “gunpowder,” a fiery dry condiment. While the masala dosa is easily enough food for a meal, you’ll probably want to get a samosa ($3) on the side. Find Kumar there most weekdays and Saturdays from midmorning to midafternoon. Washington Square South and Sullivan Street, Greenwich Village — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Pernil tamal at Dame Summer Club
Luke Fortney/Eater

Pernil tamal at Dame Summer Club

We went to Dame Summer Club in search of the West Village pop-up’s famed fish and chips, which are made by chef Ed Szymanski, formerly of the Michelin-starred Cherry Point, in Greenpoint. When we arrived, though, we discovered that Dame’s menu of summery English food had been replaced with tamales, barbacoa tacos, and sipping mezcals as part of its ongoing Sunday series. Tamales aren’t typically what I crave in 90-degree weather, but paired with a Tecate michelada, anything is possible. My favorite was the version made with pernil and wrapped in banana leaves, which comes from chef Tio Rey, formerly of Cherry Point. The tamal was moist and flavorful enough to eat on its own, but it benefitted from a splash of fiery salsa roja. 85 MacDougal Street, between Bleecker and West Houston Streets, West Village — Luke Fortney, reporter

A gray plate with a half moon-shaped bread, a white bowl with a meat dish, and three small plastic cups with sauces in them
Goat curry at Clove
Tanay Warerkar/Eater

Goat curry at Clove

Following Eater critic Robert Sietsema’s glowing review of Harlem’s Clove from earlier this year, I had been excited to try this restaurant for some time now. I finally did this past weekend, and went with the goat curry ($14). The rich, spicy curry comes with tiny, succulent chunks of goat meat that fall right off the bone. And if you, like me, enjoy the meat from the bone marrow, then this dish won’t disappoint. I mopped it up with some garlic naan, and dipped the bread into the sweet-ish cilantro chutney to offset the heat of the curry. 1592 Amsterdam Avenue, near West 139th Street, Harlem — Tanay Warerkar, reporter

A foil takeout container with rice, chicken, curry, and a cabbage slaw inside
Chicken katsu curry at Suki
Erika Adams/Eater

Chicken katsu curry at Suki

I detoured here for a second lunch while in the middle of walking off a crispy, juicy fried chicken sandwich from Bobwhite on Avenue C, and I’m so glad that I did. I didn’t have the joy of experiencing Japanese curry shop Suki while it was a six-seat nook of a restaurant in its first iteration, but it’s not hard to imagine how chef Kelly Cho is going to pack out Suki’s new, much larger space once allowed. Even eaten on the ground at Tompkins Square Park from a takeout container, the chicken katsu curry was a phenomenal dish of layered, sweet and spicy flavors paired with a mound of fat, creamy rice that I consumed in awed silence. It earns every bit of acclaim that it has been awarded. 111 First Avenue, at East 7th Street, East Village — Erika Adams, reporter

The whipped ricotta at Miss Ada
Jennifer Rubin

Whipped ricotta at Miss Ada

Fort Greene’s cherished Mediterranean restaurant Miss Ada recently reopened for outdoor dining on its sidewalk and in its backyard garden. It’s one of the most popular restaurants in the city for reservations right now, according to a spokesperson for Resy, but we were able to sit down and order a few dips in-between seatings. My favorite, now and forever, is the restaurant’s whipped ricotta ($11), a must-order appetizer that’s worth the inevitable repercussions as a lactose intolerant. It comes served with a well of honey, brown butter, and sage in the middle and is topped with lots of cracked pepper. If you hear “oohs” and “ahhs” emanating from nearby tables, this dish might be responsible. 184 Dekalb Avenue, near Carlton Avenue, Fort Greene — Luke Fortney, reporter


July 13

Two square slices of pizza on a paper plate topped with greens, mozzarella cheese.
Emiliana at Pizza Collective
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Emiliana at Pizza Collective

Two months ago Pizza Collective, a new Roman pizza joint, appeared near the Upper West Side’s busiest crossroads, right around the corner from another recent Roman pizza purveyor, My Pie Pizzeria Romana. The newest pies are sold by the rectangle, and might be mistaken for focaccia, but with a pleasingly eclectic mix of toppings, some a bit crazy. My love for mortadella moved me to order the Emiliana ($5.50) topped with mozzarella, the pink luncheon meat, and extra crushed pistachios, in addition to those in the mortadella. The picture is completed with like mounds of whipped ricotta applied with a piping bag, like frosting. Strange and delicious! 2020 Broadway, between West 70th and 71st Streets, Upper West Side — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Six empanadas cut in half and displayed on a white plate with green designs on the edge. A person is holding one empanada up to the camera
Empanadas from Empanada Loca
Erika Adams/Eater

Empanadas from Empanada Loca

It is a travesty that I did not walk over to this place earlier while the city has been shut down. The restaurant is a gold mine of crunchy, crispy wheat or corn empanadas that are packed with a slew of savory and sweet fillings ($3.50 to $3.75 each). It’ll be hard to go wrong with any order, but please do not miss the Andes wheat empanada, stuffed with spicy chorizo and gooey mozzarella cheese. The empanadas could easily stand on their own, but each order comes with three complimentary dipping sauces, including a creamy jalapeño-cilantro sauce that I ended up smothering on nearly each bite. 606 Fifth Avenue, between 17th Street and Prospect Avenue, Park Slope — Erika Adams, reporter

An overhead photo of to-go containers of chips, tacos, lime, radish, and summer vegetables, all of which rest on a wooden picnic table
Two taco boxes from Tacoway Beach
Luke Fortney/Eater

Fish taco box at Tacoway Beach

This outdoor taco and beer spot is housed in the Rockaway Beach Surf Club, a summer-only venue that resembles an actual club only insofar as it had a bouncer manning its doors on Sunday evening. When we arrived for dinner shortly after 5 p.m., we were told that the outdoor area was at-capacity and to come back in 30 minutes — when we did, though, we were quoted another 30 minutes. While standing outside puzzling what to do, a few folks happened to walk out of the venue and the bouncer quietly waived us indoors. (Timing appears to be everything at Tacoaway Beach, and us visiting on the first suitable beach day after a long week of rain probably didn’t help.) Once inside, the food is served in takeout “taco boxes” ($15) — which consist of two grilled fish, chorizo, or tofu tacos accompanied by chips, salsa, and a bowl of mango salad — all of which are well worth the wait. If you’re dining with someone in your quarantine pod, split two of the taco boxes and try one taco from each. 302 Beach 87th Street, at Rockaway Freeway — Luke Fortney, reporter

A hand holding a slice of pepperoni pizza placed in a gray plate
Patsy’s Pizza Special at Patsy’s Pizzeria
Tanay Warerkar/Eater

Patsy’s Pizza Special at Patsy’s Pizzeria

The original location of Patsy’s is probably one of the most iconic spots in my neighborhood, but I had resisted going until this past weekend. I was a bit disappointed that my first visit had to be takeout, but the taste of thin, coal oven-fired pizza was still worth it. Our pie came topped with smoky slices of pepperoni, gooey mozzarella, shreds of earthy basil, and some garlic, that gave it all just a tiny kick. I upped the heat factor with some chile flakes at home. 2289 First Avenue, at East 118th Street, East Harlem — Tanay Warerkar, reporter


July 6

A hand holding up a pita sandwich with fries, onion, and tomato peeking out
The bifteki pita from Souvlaki GR
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Bifteki pita from Souvlaki GR

This mini-Greek chain offers a menu that includes sandwiches rolled inside a warm pita. I was knocked out when I retried the bifteki pita ($8.25), a cylindrical Greek burger grilled and tucked inside the flatbread with tomato, onion, and, for lubrication, a variation on tzatziki that features feta cheese and dill, boosting the taste of the beef. Oh, and french fries are also put inside, and what sandwich wouldn’t be improved by putting fries inside, ramping up the squish factor? 116 Stanton Street, at Essex Street, Lower East Side — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Bo luc lac and cha gio from Di An Di
Luke Fortney/Eater

Bo luc lac and cha gio at Di An Di

If the occasion calls for a casual weeknight dinner outdoors, consider Greenpoint’s beloved Vietnamese restaurant and bar Di An Di. Perched at one of the restaurant’s several outdoor dining tables, I dined on a memorable — and probably ambitious — dinner, given the bike ride home to Crown Heights that followed. The meal consisted of seared “shaking beef” sirloin ($25), fried pork and shrimp imperial rolls ($10), and, sitting just off-screen, a deceptively strong mezcal and Thai chile takeout cocktail ($16). Like any restaurant that’s pivoted to takeout service, Di An Di’s food is best eaten immediately — however, walking to nearby WNYC Transmitter Park, one of the borough’s best spots for a socially-distant sunset, is a close second. 68 Greenpoint Avenue, between Franklin and West Streets, Greenpoint — Luke Fortney, reporter

A hand holding a sandwich with crispy pieces of chicken jutting out along with pieces of avocado and gooey cheese
Cemita milanesa de pollo at Taco Mix
Tanay Warerkar/Eater

Cemita milanesa de pollo at Taco Mix

For a lunch sandwich that makes for excellent dinner leftovers, look no further than this crispy chicken sandwich ($9.50) at East Harlem’s Taco Mix. The breaded and fried slices of chicken and sesame seed-studded bun, paired with the gooey Oaxacan cheese, and the tender-firm chunks of avocado, offer a wonderful textural play in this Pueblan-style sandwich. The creamy chipotle hot sauce provided on the side gave it the spicy kick I needed to complete this meal. Taco Mix, 234 East 116th Street, between Second and Third Avenues, East Harlem — Tanay Warerkar, reporter

A sample plate of food from the Saint Supper Collective
Luke Fortney/Eater

Vegetable sandwich, wings, and pasta salad at the Saint Supper Collective

This unassuming plate of honey-glazed wings and chile-spiced watermelon was packed with flavor, in part because it came from the Saint Supper Collective, a new group that serves free food donated by professional and amateur chefs. The group is the work of Lucy Saintcyr, a local organizer who previously worked in NYC’s hospitality industry and has been serving food to low-income and unhoused individuals, along with protesters, at City Hall Park in Lower Manhattan. As the group scales back its resources from the Occupy City Hall movement, expect to see its tents set-up at more protests in Brooklyn. Prospect Park, Park Slope — Luke Fortney, reporter

A wooden box of food held up to the camera with a second box of food in the background
A four-course takeout tasting menu from Honey Badger
Erika Adams/Eater

Squid, octopus, scallops, and more from Honey Badger

I treated myself to a tasting menu takeout box ($54) from Honey Badger in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens late last week. At first glance, I was underwhelmed by the size of the four-course meal — everything fit perfectly inside a small wooden box, as opposed to some fancy restaurants where the takeout meal comes in seemingly dozens of plastic cups and containers. But the box was full of surprises. Honey Badger focuses on well-sourced, foraged fare and the menu changes daily. When I picked up my meal, the co-owner texted me the accompanying menu: Squid stuffed with scallops cooked in soured goat milk and charcoal-brushed baby octopus on the side, a scallop crudo served in a hollowed-out passion fruit, blue fin tuna seared in duck fat and laid over an algae aioli, and a panna cotta made with saskatoon juneberries. Banana leaves insulated the box and kept the courses separate. For the most part, everything held up, and it felt fun to explore each surprising component of the four courses. To note, the panna cotta wasn’t quite intact by the time I unpacked it, but I had a ton of forgiveness for it after a thirty-minute bike ride back from the restaurant in the late-day summer heat. 67 Fenimore Street, near Flatbush Avenue, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens — Erika Adams, reporter

Soft beef tacos and a crispy steak taco from Taco Dive Bar sit in takeout containers on the Peekskill waterfront
Beef tacos and crispy steak tacos from Taco Dive Bar on the Peekskill waterfront
Ryan Sutton/Eater NY

Crispy steak taco at Taco Dive Bar

I wasn’t planning on having dinner in Peekskill on the Fourth of July, but so it goes that I missed my train after cycling up to Bear Mountain, and had a solid hour to kill before the next Hudson line service back to the city. There’s indoor dining in this part of New York, but Taco Dive Bar keeps things al fresco, and I’m still doing takeout-only. A host took my order at the door, and brought everything outside within five minutes or so. Then I sauntered over to the town’s ample waterfront and ate a darn good steak taco. There’s nothing revolutionary here, just tender, well-seasoned beef chunks in a crispy shell with sweet onions, mild sauteed jalapeños, and avocado salsa. I paired it with a cold pilsner in a plastic cup and devoured it while watching the sunset over the Hudson. 55 Hudson Avenue, at Railroad Avenue, PeekskillRyan Sutton, chief critic


June 29

A gooey crepe inside a plastic container with lid open.
Grill Chilled Noodle Wrap at Public Village
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Grill chilled noodle wrap at Public Village

New York is no stranger to the bing, a form of street food popular in Beijing that’s something like a crunchy crepe with an egg inside. At Sichuan newcomer Public Village, the snack is updated for the city’s tastes. I’d had hot dogs in bings before (the menu here styles it a “chicken sausage”), but there’s also gooey white cheese inside and a Sichuan aioli on top that one-ups chipotle mayo. This delicious cold bing ($10) is so messy, it must be eaten with a fork or chopsticks rather than with your hands. 23 Essex Street, between Hester and Canal streets, Lower East Side. — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Fried calamari at Platia

As a Long Islander I’m almost required by law to eat calamari at least once a week. Like, if a local church switched from wafers to fried squid for Holy Communion, I wouldn’t be surprised. Scores of local steakhouses and pizzerias do a respectable enough job, but after thirty years of consuming this silky cephalopod, I can confirm that no one comes close to Platia in Syosset for the fried version ($15). There’s nothing complicated to the preparation; it’s all about execution. The lightly dusted rings exhibit a whisper of crunch, then give way to a softness that’s closer in texture to a firm pudding than the chewy, rubber band-like affair that calamari can be. I pair them with a side of house made Calabrian chile mayo for a proper kick. 4 Jackson Avenue, Syosset, Long Island — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

Vegan sampler at Ras Plant Based

My roommates officially returned from their respective out-of-state quarantines this week, an occasion that called for a big-group dinner indoors. As big fans of Awash Ethiopian Restaurant in Cobble Hill, we were excited by the opening of Crown Heights newcomer Ras Plant Based, a vegan spot from the same team. At Awash, family-style platters are the star of the show, and we opted for Ras’ vegan sampler ($19), a greatest-hits spread that comes with braised collard greens, fiery lentil stew, creamy ground chickpeas, and lots of injera. The platter technically serves one, so we added on an order of the restaurant’s tibs, which is made here with mushrooms and jalapenos ($15) in a zippy berbere sauce. There’s no liquor license for now, but a bottled calamansi juice is a worthy addition to any order. 739 Franklin Avenue, at Sterling Place, Crown Heights — Luke Fortney, reporter

A black plastic container with shreds of food in it including vegetables, and pieces of meat
Duck salad at Mai Thai
Erika Adams/Eater

Duck salad at Mai Thai

Spurred by the restaurant suggestions in the Sunset Park section of our guide to streets that would be ideal for outdoor dining, I decided to re-visit Mai Thai on a hot Tuesday night. The restaurant is firmly sticking to takeout or delivery for now, but the whole menu is up for grabs — including a killer lineup of Thai salads. I went for the duck salad and received a hefty takeout tray with copious amounts of sliced, roasted duck piled on top of raw strips of green and red peppers, red onion, carrots, and cabbage. The salad was finished off with hunks of cooling pineapple and a sprinkling of cashew nuts. It was a lovely dinner for a sweaty summer night. 4618 Eighth Avenue, between 46th and 47th Streets, Sunset Park — Erika Adams, reporter


June 22

A takeaway container with a colorful seafood dish composed of mussels, noodles, pink radishes, and green bok choy
Seafood pepper bomb at Noona Noodles
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Seafood pepper bomb at Noona Noodles

This stall in Koreatown’s Food Gallery 52 food court specializes in a broad range of Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese noodles. Seafood pepper bomb falls in the first category though the noodles are udon, laved in a red Korean sauce containing a good measure of gochujang, with as much heat as the “pepper bomb” implies. But even more notable, aside from a faint sweetness, is the wealth of seafood found therein, including shrimp, squid, octopus, clams, and mussels, the latter two in shell. A cup of pickled daikon adds a welcome element of crunch to this pleasing assemblage ($12.99), especially when strewn across the top. 11 W. 32nd Street, between Broadway and Fifth Avenue, Koreatown — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

A hot sauce-covered shrimp patty in a bun, wrapped in foil.
Krupa’s shrimp burger
Serena Dai/Eater

Nashville Hot Shrimp Burger from Krupa Grocery

One of my favorite Park Slope bars, the Commissioner, has been hosting food pop-ups, and most recently, a few standout items from Windsor Terrace neighborhood American restaurant Krupa Grocery have been available. There was a period where everyone and their mom was trying to make Nashville-style hot sauce dishes to middling success, but thankfully, this shrimp burger ($14) followed through on taste. The panko-fried shrimp patty was crisp, and the hot sauce slathered on top managed to be rich, buttery, and acidic all at once. The squishy bun held it together well in a neat bundle, ideal for wolfing down in the park without getting too messy. The Commissioner, 247 Fifth Avenue, between Carroll Street and Garfield Place, Park Slope; Krupa Grocery, 231 Prospect Park West, near Windsor Place, Windsor Terrace — Serena Dai, editor

Braised short rib at Market Bistro

Socially distanced tables were almost entirely filled outside this heralded American brasserie in Jericho on Saturday evening, well over a week into Long Island’s experiment into al fresco dining. And yet my family and I ordered takeout, as we exclusively do, out of an abundance of caution — and given reports of surging infection rates in Florida and elsewhere. Market Bistro’s takeout fare, handed to me by a manager in a mask, was as stellar as anything during dine-in service. The short rib ($26) stood out, as it usually does, with the tender meat exuding an aggressive punch of beefiness. Soft spaetzle underneath sopped up all the wonderfully fatty juices. 519 North Broadway, Jericho, Long Island — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

Cups of rice, chaat, goat nehari, and chicken dum biryani on a gray blanket set in the grass
Takeout from Jalsa Grill & Gravy
Erika Adams/Eater

Chicken dum biryani from Jalsa Grill & Gravy

Jalsa’s northern Indian food has been on my takeout-to-try list ever since I learned that the restaurant was still open amid the pandemic months ago. I followed Robert’s guidance from last year and went for several dishes including a vegetarian eggplant chaat ($7), a tender, slow-cooked goat nehari ($15) with shahi yellow rice cooked in chicken broth ($3), and the chicken dum biryani ($10). It’s the dum biryani that I can’t stop thinking about five days later — it was only mildly spicy, but incredibly well-balanced in its flavors, and the chicken fell off the bone with the tiniest nudge from a fork. 964 Coney Island Avenue, between Newkirk and Webster Avenues, Ditmas Park — Erika Adams, reporter

Trieste sandwich on a semolina roll from Pisillo

Last Sunday, I saw my sister for the first time since March. On the drive to her neighborhood, I stopped by Pisillo, a tiny Italian spot in the Financial District, to pick up a couple of massive sandwiches. The menu mixes and matches the same 20 or so ingredients, like porchetta, olive paste, and sopressata, to create 35 items. For myself, I ordered a Trieste — prosciutto di parma, fresh mozzarella, balsamic dressing, and arugula — on a semolina roll, which comes speckled with sesame seeds. The bread is chewy but firm, the mozzarella is gloriously soft, and the prosciutto (there’s plenty of it) is salty and intense. Eaten six feet apart in the sun, it was immensely satisfying. 97 Nassau Street, between Ann and Fulton streets, Financial District — Emma Alpern, senior copy editor

Vegitalian sandwich from Court Street Grocers

This weekend I walked to Court Street Grocers in Carroll Gardens and picked up a Vegitalian sandwich, which is, in my mind, the platonic ideal of a sandwich. It has roasted squash, arugula, three cheeses, and hoagie spread, and I am not joking when I say I used to eat it every single weekend before the shop closed down earlier this spring due to the pandemic. When I found out, by scrolling through Instagram, that they had reopened, I rearranged plans (by which I mean a handful of social Zooms) to go immediately. It was worth it. Note the stores entrance is boarded up for now; they’re handing over takeout orders through a cut-out window and are also open for delivery Wednesday through the weekend. 485 Court Street, near Nelson Street — Sonia Chopra, director of strategy


June 15

A cardboard bowl filled with rice, suya, and vegetables
Suya bowl
Erika Adams/Eater

Suya bowl at Brooklyn Suya

There was a lot to appreciate about the brimming bowl of suya, rice, and veggies ($10) that I recently picked up from Brooklyn Suya, a tiny, casual restaurant in Crown Heights that highlights the popular Nigerian street food. It was a filling, enjoyable summer meal fit for park-bench eating: Strips of thinly cut steak rested on heaps of rice, kale, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers, with hunks of grilled plantain distributed throughout the bowl. The suya spice mix — in this case, a 16-ingredient special blend that the shop owners keep closely protected — coated every component of the bowl, rounding out each bite with a pleasant zing. 717 Franklin Avenue, at the corner of Park Place, Crown Heights — Erika Adams, reporter

a close up of a white bowl with pieces of tomato, lime, beef, and green shoots
Tum kor moo yang at Somtum Der
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Tum kor moo yang at Somtum Der

Eight versions of the famous Thai green papaya salad are available to Somtum Der, an Isan restaurant with branches in the East Village and Red Hook that specializes in it. There are sweet and tart versions, most dressed with fish sauce for added umami, one without for vegetarians. Tiny raw crabs dot another, but my favorite features grilled pork neck, small morsels of chewy and slightly sweet meat that turn the salad into a fulsome meal ($12). Request a level of heat, from mild to fiery. 85 Avenue A, between 5th and 6th streets, East Village — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

A large round pizza in a cardboard box, topped with sausage and sage
Sausage, sage, and browned butter pizza from F&F
Eater

Sausage and sage pizza from F&F Pizzeria

I thought I knew what a good sausage pizza tasted like, and then I had the version from F&F. The humongous sausage, sage, and browned butter pizza is a riff on one of the most popular pastas from Frankies 457, and it’s worth every penny of its $35 price tag. The sausage is crumbly, and the sage makes the whole thing aromatic without overwhelming the palate. It’s rich — one of the oversized slices might be enough — and it changes the game on what a sausage pizza can be. Order one, and save a bunch for later. 457 Court Street, between 4th Place and Luquer Street, Carroll Gardens — Serena Dai, editor

Tacos at Lourdes Mexican Grill

Oyster Bay, like the rest of Long Island, opened for outdoor dining last week. Many places have been packed, but I’m still not sure it’s safe or fair to bring employees back to work just yet. Accordingly, I’m sticking to takeout for now. I was particularly jazzed about the tacos I tried recently at Lourdes Mexican Grill, a no-frills bodega located on our town’s main drag. Owners Maria Lopez and Maria Novo keep things pretty simple; they adorn corn tortillas with hefty mounds of crimson chorizo, or fatty, smoky, adobada pork. The garnishes are what you might expect: A few raw onions, some salsa, and a scattering of cilantro. I devoured the nourishing, affordable fare with an ice cold beer. 98 South Street, near Main Street, Oyster Bay, Long Island — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

An assortment of tacos and tamales from Lourdes Mexican Grill and Taco Bay sit on a decorative blue and white tablecloth
An assortment of tacos and tamales from Lourdes Mexican Grill and Taco Bay
Ryan Sutton/Eater

Chicken shawarma wrap at Falafel Tarboosh

Don’t let the wrap part in this spicy, saucy dish fool you; be prepared to eat this on a plate and with plenty of napkins. Falafel Tarboosh, in Hamilton Heights, serves thinly sliced, tender chicken in different wraps — plain, spinach, etc. — depending on the day, and on a recent trip, I got mine in a spinach wrap. The chicken is soused in a creamy, mayo-like sauce that’s spiked with a fiery hot sauce that gives the chicken a deep red glow. Crunchy bits of lettuce, and juicy chunks of tomato balance out some of the spicier elements of this dish, making the wrap an ideal lunch pick-me-up. 1701 Amsterdam Ave., at the corner of West 144th Street, Hamilton Heights — Tanay Warerkar, reporter


May 26

A plastic bowl with noodles and brisket.
Spicy brisket hui mei from Spicy Village
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Spicy brisket hui mei at Spicy Village

Sure one can order the famous big tray chicken at the newly reopened Spicy Village, but to fully enjoy it, a group of diners must be assembled — it’s really a communal dish. If by oneself, one of the dishes labeled dry hui mei is advisable: broad, handmade wheat noodles with plenty of tooth to soak up sauces. Of the two dozen variations available, my favorite, and the one I went for on a first revisit, features chewy chunks of brisket — already spicy but made gloriously spicier if the accompanying thimble of chile oile is added ($9.25). 68 Forsyth Street, between Hester and Grand streets, Lower East Side — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

A pressed Cuban sandwich from Guantanamera sits on a patterned tablecloth next to a beer and a takeout tin with scattered plantain chips
A pressed Cuban sandwich from Guantanamera
Ryan Sutton/Eater

Cubano sandwich at Guantanamera

On a typical weeknight in the Before Times, I’d drop by Guantanamera in Hell’s Kitchen around 11 p.m., usually for a quick snack, a mojito or two, and some live Cuban music. It goes without saying that such activities are largely impossible in pandemic-stricken New York, though at least the restaurant is open for takeout. On Sunday, I dropped by for two Cuban sandwiches and a giant pile of fried plantain chips; one order usually does the trick, but I needed nutrition badly after a 56-mile bike ride to Nyack, a cute little town along the Hudson. The pressed sandwiches were as stellar as I remembered them: chock full of salty ham, tart pickles, stretchy cheese, and garlicky pulled pork replete with crisp burnt ends. I consumed the meal quickly, with an ice cold Peroni. 939 Eighth Avenue, near 55th Street, Hell’s Kitchen — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

Mapo tofu from Chuan Tian Xia

I think I might have cried when I found out that Sunset Park Sichuan restaurant Chuan Tian Xia had closed when I tried to order them earlier in the pandemic, and since then, I have hopefully called them every time I’m debating what to eat. Finally, last week, my calls were answered, and I ignored everything I had in my fridge to do a huge order. I then almost cried of joy when I ate it: Chengdu dragon reading hands (which are wontons in chile oil), Chongqing spicy chicken, griddled cauliflower, and mapo tofu all hit the spot. The most comforting of all was the mapo tofu ($14.99), where the tofu appeared sturdy but fell apart quickly in a soft mess of salty, spicy, garlicky goodness on top of white rice. I ate it for several more meals last week. Call to order if in Sunset Park, though Uber Eats has a wider delivery zone. 5502 7th Avenue, near 55th Street, Sunset Park — Serena Dai, editor

A spread of dips, chips, pita breads, filo pies, and grilled vegetables laid out on a wooden table
Za’atar pita chips, grilled artichokes, curried couscous salad, baba ganoush, hummus, filo pies, and more from Sahadi’s
Erika Adams/Eater

Snacks and dips from Sahadi’s

I took a spin through Middle Eastern grocer Sahadi’s Mercato page early last week and, within about ten minutes, constructed a feast of dips, spreads, and za’atar-laden breads to last our two-person home for days. The highlights: Both the sun-dried tomato and feta and mushroom and leek filo pies, reheated in the oven for a couple minutes, disappeared instantly. We also kept grabbing for the pita chips showered in a za’atar spice blend, using the sturdy, crunchy bits as a vessel to scrape out pillowy scoops of tangy lebany, smooth hummus, and baba ganoush from every inch of the dipping bowls.

A note of caution: Follow the instructions on Sahadi’s website and order from the Industry City store versus the original Atlantic Avenue location if you can; Mercato had plenty of delivery slots open from that store, and I didn’t have any trouble getting all of the groceries on time. — Erika Adams, reporter

A dish composed of beans, cheese, and tomato paste in a cast iron skillet
Cheesy, spicy black bean bake by Ali Slagle for the New York Times
Tanay Warerkar/Eater

Cheesy, spicy bean bake by Ali Slagle

For a meatless alternative to chili, this Ali Slagle recipe in the New York Times comes together in a pinch, and it really does take less than 30 minutes to put together. With just a handful of ingredients — including canned black beans, tomato paste, chile flakes, garlic, and cheddar cheese — this dish relies entirely on pantry staples. I took up Slagle’s suggestion to make it extra spicy and added some Kashmiri chile powder in addition to the paprika and chile flakes that are already in there. The gooey sharpness of the cheddar — which is all bubbly and slightly charred after 10 minutes in the oven — balances the spicyness that’s in here, and the mushy beans add a nice textural element. I mopped it all up with some toasted crusty bread. — Tanay Warerkar, reporter

May 18

A roasted piece of chicken with brown and orange bits with some green herbs sprinkled on top and a plate of french fries placed on the side
Chicken piri piri from Leitao served at Upright Brew House
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Chicken piri piri at Upright Brew House

A few days ago, I noticed that a signboard had appeared in front of a newly reopened coffee and beer bar, Upright Brew House. The sign advertised a collaboration with Williamsburg Portuguese restaurant and Smorgasburg veteran Leitao, offering a modest menu of main courses, sandwiches, and snacks. I immediately ordered a serving of chicken piri piri, a dish that originated in the colony of Angola, but has become a Portuguese classic. The half bird arrives nicely browned and paved with so much garlic that one’s mouth is set on fire, even before the chiles and vinegary gravy kick in. The fries are every bit as good as the chicken ($22), and the dish easily feeds two. 547 Hudson St., between Charles and Perry Streets, West Village — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Nasi goreng from RecipeTin Eats

For me, nasi goreng is just as much about the sticky sweetness and spicyness of the rice as it is about the variety of toppings that complete the dish. This recipe for the Indonesian fried rice includes just seven ingredients, including cold leftover rice. I didn’t have shrimp paste on hand, but the rice worked without it. Don’t skip out on the kecap manis though — the sticky sweet soy sauce helps caramelize the rice, chicken pieces, and chiles in this dish and balances the hit from the chiles. I topped off my plate with chopped tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, and a crispy, sunny side up egg. The creamy yolk oozing into the rice along with the crunchy vegetables really completes this dish. If you want to add in another flavor element, a little tart lime juice goes a long way, but the dish can easily do without it as well. — Tanay Warerkar, reporter

A bowl of tteokboki with a poached egg, scallions, and kimchi sitting on a wooden table
Tteokboki kit from Mokbar
Erika Adams/Eater

Tteokboki kit from Mokbar

I have inexplicably never wanted to cook less than when I’ve been stuck at home over the past two months. But these at-home restaurant kits that have been popping up everywhere? That’s the kind of cooking that I can get behind — pre-portioned ingredients ready to go, minimal prep time, and a funny follow-along cooking video on Instagram. I tried out Mokbar’s at-home tteokboki kit ($35) last week and ended up with four meals worth of the spicy, comforting rice cakes layered with white kimchi, scallions, nori, sesame seeds, and pre-poached eggs to top it off. The subsequent days of reheats were just as good as the first night — and I’ve still got a bit of kimchi and leftover gochujang sauce to use this week. — Erika Adams, reporter

A cardboard box with salad in it.
Spicy shrimp mango salad from Rangoon
Serena Dai/Eater

Spicy shrimp mango salad from Rangoon

It’s a shame that Burmese pop-up Rangoon didn’t have time to open as a full restaurant before the crisis hit — Myo Moe’s food is a delightful add to New York’s dining scene. My favorite from her selection of delivery and takeout options was the spicy shrimp mango salad ($12), a crisp and citrusy dish where the burn hit late and lasted long. With chewy mango and sweet shrimp, it’s an ideal order as temperatures rise. 500 Prospect Place, at Classon Avenue, Crown Heights — Serena Dai, editor

Three hard shell corn tacos from Taco Bay sit in a white takeout container
Hard shell tacos from Taco Bay
Ryan Sutton/Eater

Carne asada tacos at Taco Bay

I needed a quick bit of nourishment on Sunday after a hard bike ride in Oyster Bay, Long Island, so I decided to sample the wares at Taco Bay. Chef Peter Van Der Mije, who runs the estimable Osteria Leana nearby, recently reopened the takeout spot, which also sells burritos and pupusas. The hard shell corn tacos ($3.50) were solid: gently greasy from a trip to the fryer, ultra-crunchy, and packed with pleasantly chewy beef. The kitchen garnished the tacos with pepitas and pumpkin seed salsa, imparting the meat with a profound nuttiness. I’ll definitely return to check out the pupusas. 80 South Street, near Audrey Avenue, Oyster BayRyan Sutton, chief critic


May 11

The middle of a fried chicken sandwich, on a white plate with a blue edge.
Saigon Social’s fried chicken sandwich
Serena Dai/Eater

Spicy chicken sandwich at Saigon Social

Full disclosure: I didn’t eat Helen Nguyen’s sandwich this week, but I’ve been thinking about it since my friend and colleague Dan Geneen sent it to me as part of a birthday dinner a couple weeks ago. Fatigue over new spicy chicken sandwiches is real, and yet, Saigon Social’s flavor bomb version is a strikingly unique option. It’s got a tart edge from flavors like lime leaf aioli and lemongrass, and the light, airy, and crisp fry on the chicken thigh holds up well, even though I’ve found that most fried foods struggle with the delivery time. It convinced me that had Nguyen been able to open her restaurant as planned before the crisis, Saigon Social would have been a paradise of well-executed drunk food. Bonus: The $10 price tag comes with tater tots. Order delivery through Caviar, or takeout by calling 646-609-3202 172 Orchard Street, at Stanton Street, Lower East Side — Serena Dai, editor

A hand holding a pastry filled with yellow cream in the center along with some raspberries
Napoleon at La Bergamote
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Napoleon at La Bergamote

Chelsea French pastry shop La Bergamote on Ninth Avenue has stayed the course during the epidemic, continuing to turn out picture perfect versions of classic French pastries for carryout. One of the best is the Napoleon, invented in 18th century France, where it is known as the mille-feuille, but paradoxically more popular in Russia and Italy. Layers of flaky pastry are filled with a yolk-rich pastry cream, which is studded with brandied cherries, in this memorable rendition. And the frosting on top adds just the right amount of sweetness ($8.50). 177 Ninth Avenue, at West 20th Street, Chelsea — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Roasted butternut squash pasta from Epicurious

With half a butternut squash to spare from earlier in the week, I decided to make a quick pasta dish. All the butternut squash recipes I found called for boiling the squash first, which I just couldn’t get behind; I’ve found that boiling makes the squash too bland and mushy for my taste. I finally found this recipe which calls for the squash to be roasted with olive oil. Half of the roasted squash is then pureed and added to cooked pasta — I didn’t have penne so I opted for macaroni. The sweetness of the squash and onion is cut by the mild bitterness of the chopped parsley and the salty parmesan cheese. Topped with a generous spoonful of chile flakes, the pasta came out with the hint of spiciness I was craving to complete this dish. And the best part is that it all came together in less than hour. — Tanay Warerkar, reporter

Zooba’s baked rice pudding
Erika Adams/Eater

Baked rice pudding from Zooba

Egyptian street food hotspot Zooba reopened for delivery and takeout last Friday, and I immediately added the restaurant to my weekend eating plan after seeing what it added to the menu in anticipation of the relaunch: A baked rice pudding topped with angel hair halva, crushed pistachios, and orange-zested blue agave ($4.50). The generous heaping of halva was my favorite part of the dish; it provided a delicious, nutty counterpoint to balance the overall sweetness of the dessert, and there was enough to mix into each bite. Order online from Zooba’s website for takeout or delivery. 100 Kenmare Street at Cleveland Place, Nolita — Erika Adams, reporter

CJ sweet and spicy bibim udon noodles sit in a bowl over a green blanket
CJ sweet and spicy bibim udon noodles
Ryan Sutton/Eater

CJ sweet and spicy bibim udon noodles from H Mart

I was in desperate need of a late night snack — and a beer — while watching Joy Ride with Steve Zahn and Paul Walker on Saturday, so I opened up my fridge and found these noodles. They took about five minutes to prepare. Everything was pretty simple: I ripped open the packet of fresh udon, tossed them in boiling water for two minutes, threw the noodles in a bowl with gochujang-style red chile paste, and finished everything off with roasted sesame and seaweed flakes. The noodles were faintly firm, almost as slippery as Chinese-style liangfen, and yet nicely chewy. On a scale of one to 10, I’d call the sweetness level a three and the heat level a solid seven. I quelled the pain with a Peroni. Will definitely pick these up again from my local H Mart. Cost: $8.99 for two servings. — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

NYC Restaurant Openings

West Coast Burgers From the Contra Team Find a Home at the Market Line — and More Openings

A.M. Intel

By Chloe’s Founder Takes Jab at Vegan Chain’s Rebrand to Beatnic

NYC Restaurant Openings

At the Heart of Brooklyn’s Newest Taqueria, a Massive Vat of Stewed Meats

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater New York newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world