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The Best Dishes Eater Editors Ate This Week

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

Light wicker chairs and wooden tables with green palm plants in between set up on the sidewalk alongside the exterior of the restaurant
The outdoor seating area at the Tyger
Clay Williams/Eater

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.

September 28

The seafood salad at Ortobello
Amanda Kludt/Eater

The seafood salad at Ortobello

I went into Ortobello, a simple red sauce Italian restaurant in Bensonhurst, with a set of expectations: that the portions would be big, the dishes cheesy, and that the meal would scratch a certain itch I had for homey, no-nonsense comfort food. I was right to expect those things. What I didn’t expect was that the restaurant would serve a mind-bogglingly excellent seafood salad, a sizable pile of clams, mussels, calamari and shrimp, doused in vibrant lime juice, and studded with garlic. It was unnervingly delicious and refreshing, even on a night with a chill in the air out on the restaurant’s makeshift patio. — 6401 Bay Parkway, at 64th Street, Mapleton — Amanda Kludt, editor in chief

A mound of tater tots balances next to a brioche bun, jalapeno, cabbage, shredded carrot, and other toppings in a takeout container
The spicy chicken sandwich at Saigon Social
Tanay Warerkar/Eater

Spicy chicken sandwich at Saigon Social

Come famished because this monster of a meal at Saigon Social is going to leave little room to eat anything else. And when you bite into that crispy, juicy hunk of chicken with lovely, earthy hits of lemongrass coming with every bite, you certainly won’t be wanting for anything else. The tater tots are a nice, mellow balance to the flavor-packed chicken sandwich ($16), but to be honest, I could really just eat the chicken all on its own. Everything else in the box is a distraction, albeit a pleasant one. 172 Orchard Street, at Stanton Street, Lower East Side — Tanay Warerkar, reporter

A bowl of soup with dumplings greens and yellowish curvy noodles.
Wonton noodle soup at Mee Sum Cafe
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Wonton noodle soup at Mee Sum Cafe

Mee Sum is one of the few Cantonese coffee shops left in Chinatown, serving dim sum, soups, toasts, congee, and charcuterie in an antique setting, its lunch counter and twirling stools still visible through the open door. Now tables have meandered out onto closed off Pell Street, and one can enjoy the wonton noodle soup ($6), a Chinatown classic, in the open air. The chicken and pork broth is pallid, while the thin skinned dumplings nearly burst open with filling. Plenty of greens enliven the soup, while the wavy noodles might remind you of ramen. There’s enough going on in this bowl to be an entire meal. 26 Pell Street between Doyers and Mott streets, Chinatown — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

A hand partially off-screen hoists a strand of thick noodles into the air
House made egg noodles at the Tyger
Andrew Lam/The Tyger

House made egg noodles at the Tyger

There’s lots to love at the Tyger in Soho, the newly opened second act from the team behind Chinese Tuxedo. Like its predecessor, the new pan-Asian restaurant is quite buzzy — there were more than 200 people on the restaurant’s waitlist when we dined there on Friday night — and the hype is well deserved. During our visit we sampled more than a half-dozen dishes, all of them quite good, but the restaurant’s bowl of housemade egg noodles ($22) is the one I woke up thinking about the next morning. The noodles come served with oyster mushrooms, lemon, and katsuobushi, an electric combination of flavors that someone at our table likened to cacio e pepe, only much, much better. This dish wasn’t on all of the restaurant’s tables, but it should have been. 1 Howard Street, at the corner of Centre Street, Soho — Luke Fortney, reporter

A bread roll split in half with a hand holding both halves, Inside, the bread is stuffed with strips of ham.
Cachitos from Liebre Cafe
Erika Adams/Eater

Cachitos at Liebre Cafe

This little Sunset Park coffee shop switched ownership last fall and the Venezuelan brother-and-sister team who took it over have been adding some new, top-notch treats to the pastry case to serve alongside the duo’s stellar coffee program. The cachitos ($5) are handed over the counter piping hot and chock full of ham and cheese for a delicious to-go breakfast or afternoon treat. And if you happen to see sweet guava and cheese empanadas ($5) in the case when you swing by, grab as many as possible. The shop just started selling them in the past couple of weeks, and they are just as good as they sound. 4017 7th Avenue, at the corner of 41st Street, Sunset Park — Erika Adams, reporter

September 21

Hero sandwich in cross section showing beef, onions, green peppers, and french fries.
Philly cheesesteak hero with french fries at John’s Luncheonette
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Philly cheesesteak hero with french fries at Johny’s Luncheonette

Once, mercantile areas of New York City were littered with narrow luncheonettes with formica counters and twirling stools peddling soups, grilled sandwiches, hamburgers, and heroes. Founded in 1994, Johny’s is now taking that experience outdoors with several sidewalk tables. This Philly cheesesteak hero ($10, with french fries inside) is not exactly authentic — one Twitter commenter called it a “Pittsburgh cheesesteak” — but it is delicious. The peppers and onions remain lightly cooked, and the french fries add immeasurably to the enjoyment of the sandwich. 124 West 25th Street, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, Chelsea — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

A hand holds a double cheeseburger overflowing with melty American cheese, scraps of lettuce, pickles, and tomato against a background of grass
The Bernie’s cheeseburger at Frankel’s Delicatessen and Appetizing
Luke Fortney/Eater

Bernie’s cheeseburger at Frankel’s Delicatessen and Appetizing

Don’t let this nighttime flash photography fool you: Pictured here is one of Brooklyn’s most sought-after sandwiches, an unfussy double cheeseburger topped with American cheese, pickles, lettuce, and tomato. Over the weekend, Frankel’s Delicatessen and Appetizing in Greenpoint served the popular burger from its sibling restaurant, Bernie’s, which plans to reopen but has been temporarily closed for the last six months. While few things beat eating a meal at one of the cozy vinyl booths in the Bernie’s dining room, shivering under McCarren Park floodlights will do if it means getting to taste the restaurant’s burger one more time. 631 Manhattan Avenue, at Bedford Avenue, Greenpoint — Luke Fortney, reporter

Bahamian coconut shrimp bao at the Bun Hut

Lower East Side’s relatively new the Bun Hut serves baos that are deceptively filling. On a recent trip to the Caribbean-Asian restaurant, I got an order of the coconut shrimp bao ($12 for two) fully expecting I would need to get at least another order. The crispy shrimp is deep fried to perfection here and could be easily consumed on its own, but all the accoutrements including the pillowy soft buns, the sweet and spicy mango chutney, and the tangy slaw really elevate this sandwich, and provide a hearty meal for one. I recommend washing it all down with one of the juices on the menu. The creamy cassava punch was a favorite. 178 Stanton Street, between Clinton and Attorney Streets, Lower East Side — Tanay Warerkar, reporter

White cheung fun noodles sit in a black plastic takeout container
Cheung fun at Tonii’s Fresh Rice Noodle
Ryan Sutton/Eater NY

Cheung fun at Tonii’s Fresh Rice Noodle

I swung by this Bayard street spot — it opened August 2019 — to give the Guangdong-style noodles a test run and they turned out quite impressively. After a five minute wait the counter worker delivered a container of bouncy cheung fun studded with bits of dried shrimp, pork, and chicken. Every ingredient fulfilled its role. The pork and chicken added a nice bite; the dried shrimp imparted a clean maritime funk; the noodles themselves nourished with their qq-stretchiness. Cost: Less than $5. Yi Ji Shi Mo remains my personal favorite amid the city’s booming rice noodle scene, but Tonii’s without question serves as an estimable and affordable entry. 83 Bayard Street, near Mulberry, Chinatown — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

Shiro at Ras Plant Based

In search of standout delivery in my new neighborhood, I ordered the Piassa platter at Ras Plant Based, a vegetarian Ethiopian restaurant in Crown Heights that opened in March. But I was especially smitten by the shiro ($15), which came separately (it can also be acquired as part of the Mercato platter, advertised as “complex and savory for the more daring palate”). It’s made with ground chickpeas and a secret spice blend that eludes interpretation, although cardamom and ginger feature prominently. Injera or turmeric rice come alongside — I ordered both, and loved the springy, sour injera. 739 Franklin Avenue, near Sterling Place, Crown Heights — Emma Alpern, senior copy editor

September 14

A craggy brown fish filet with rectangular fries log piled underneath on a round metal tray with little cups of ketchup and tartar sauce.
Fish & chips at Dame Summer Club
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Fish & chips at Dame Summer Club

Plenty of bars and fish stores sell a delectable version of fried fish filet and french fries, but it isn’t English fish and chips. This Greenwich Village pop up from chef Ed Szymanski makes a fairly accurate version of the dish ($20), and a delicious one, as the centerpiece of its menu. The fish is beer battered and the crust delivers a resounding crunch, while the chips are a little too perfectly formed, but exceedingly tasty and brown as a nut. Wash it down with a Pimm’s Cup cocktail, which the menu refers to as “English sangria.” 85 MacDougal Street, between Houston and Bleecker streets, Greenwich Village — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

A bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich on a toasted everything bagel with red pepper flakes sits in a cardboard white takeout container Luke Fortney/Eater

BEC&L at Edith’s

When it comes to things like waking up at 8 a.m. to stand in half-hour lines, or paying $10 for a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich, I try to ask myself — was it worth it? — and at Edith’s, the answer is a resounding yes. The Jewish-American pop-up has been operating out of Paulie Gee’s in Greenpoint for the past month and regularly sees hour-long lines. We first waited for the hype to die down, and when that didn’t happen, we did the next best thing: wake up at 8 a.m. to beat the crowds. On our visit, we tried the BEC&L — a sandwich consisting of bacon, egg, cheddar, and a thick-cut slab of latke — which is something to write home about, especially when served on Edith’s Chicago bagel. The bagel has all the standard trappings of an everything bagel, only it’s also been rolled in red pepper flakes. The result is a deep, lovable heat that makes you wonder why more of the city’s bagels aren’t covered in red chile. Orders come out quick, but the line moves slow, so get there early, or show up late and bring a friend. 60 Greenpoint Avenue, between Franklin and West Streets — Luke Fortney, Eater

A teal bowl filled with red bean stew next to a white plate with an assortment of fermented vegetables arranged on it.
Lobio with fermented vegetables at Chama Mama
Erika Adams/Eater NY

Lobio with fermented vegetables at Chama Mama

I stopped by Chama Mama with the intent to dine outdoors in the restaurant’s spacious backyard, but quickly discovered that reservations are needed far in advance for that. I ended up ordering a couple different entrees to-go, including the adjaruli, the open-faced, cheesy khachapuri that’s really best when it lands hot and bubbling on the table at the restaurant. But the lobio, on the other hand, was a stellar option for takeout. The red bean stew is made with onions, garlic, and a blend of Georgian spices that mellows out the strong bean flavors. The dish comes with a side of cornbread for dunking — baked more like a biscuit than bread — and an assortment of fermented vegetables that work just as well as side bites or squeezed into each spoonful of stew. 149 West 14th Street, between 6th Avenue and 7th Avenue, Chelsea — Erika Adams, reporter

A sandwich cut in half placed on a paper plate with a napkin underneath. A yellow cheesy omelet and browish sausage can be seen peeking out of the sandwich.
Egg sandwich at Thai Diner
Tanay Warerkar/Eater

Egg Sandwich at Thai Diner

I finally made it out to Thai Diner this past week after months of dreaming about the visit. I was always planning to get the egg sandwich ($11) as soon as I managed to, and it more than lived up my expectations. The eggs were somewhere in between a French omelet and creamy scrambled eggs, and paired perfectly with the salty, herby Thai sausage. The scallion cream cheese-like spread on top added a nice crunch, and it was enveloped in a beautiful flaky yet soft roti. I highly recommend drizzling the chile sauce on every bite. 186 Mott Street, at Kenmare Street, Nolita — Tanay Warerkar, reporter

An overhead photograph of two dishes. One consists of rice, mixed greens, shredded carrots, and an egg; the other appears to be made from grilled meat Amanda Kludt/Eater

Bulgogi at Haenyeo

The bulgogi at Haenyeo is excellent. Sweet and spicy and beefy and perfect with the provided banchan and lettuce wraps. But really everything was good — the rice cake fundido, the fluke sashimi, the cold dumpling. What I liked most about Haenyeo was not any one dish but how much care they put into the meal, the service, the setting. It felt refined and intentional at a time when dining out can feel chaotic and stressful. 239 Fifth Avenue, at Carroll Street, Park Slope — Amanda Kludt, editor in chief

September 8

An abstract painting of bright greens and purples explodes from the white plate.
Sauteed potatoes, green pepper, and eggplant at Golden Palace Gourmet
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Sauteed potatoes, green pepper, and eggplant at Golden Palace Gourmet

Flushing’s Golden Palace Gourmet, a few blocks south of downtown Flushing, mounts the city’s most complete Dongbei menu, representing the cuisine of China’s extreme northeast. This vegetarian stir fry of spud, green chiles, and eggplant ($9.99) comes in eye searing shades of purple and green, and the sauce is powerfully seasoned with soy, ginger, and garlic, making the vegetables glisten. Like most Dongbei dishes, it’s best eaten, not with rice, but with corn cake or sorghum. 140-09 Cherry Avenue, between Kissena Boulevard and Union Street — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Four cakes lined up in a row on a white plastic table
Original, coconut, green tea, and chocolate chip sponge cakes from Kam Hing
Erika Adams/Eater

Sponge cakes at Kam Hing Bakery

Longstanding Chinatown bakery Kam Hing’s legendary sponge cakes defied every sponge cake stereotype that I didn’t know was lurking in my subconscious. The miniature loaf-shaped cakes were light but not dry; airy but not crumbly. There’s a variety of flavors to choose from, but start first with the original ($1.25). The subtly sweet, faintly eggy flavor is a perfect foil to a warm cup of coffee or tea. I’m kicking myself now for not buying a second bag of the cakes to have around the apartment this week. (A logistics note for those who go: Kam Hing itself is still temporarily closed but the family who owns the bakery is selling the sponge cakes out of their nearby second restaurant, Tonii’s Fresh Rice Noodle.) 83 Bayard Street, between Mott and Mulberry Streets, Chinatown — Erika Adams, reporter

Two sushi rolls in a white platter held up by a hand against a red-brick background
Spicy crab and xo scallop rolls at Nami Nori
Tanay Warerkar/Eater

Spicy crab and xo scallop rolls at Nami Nori

During a recent walking food tour of Lower Manhattan, my husband and I decided to sample some of the hand rolls at West Village hot spot Nami Nori. Due to the fact that we were sampling small bites at different places throughout the area, we only opted for two rolls: the spicy crab and the scallops in xo sauce. The former had a fiery kick that was balanced by the creaminess of the crab, but the crunchy nori shell really elevated the roll to another level. The scallop roll also showed off this textural play of ingredients with the salty xo sauce being a particular standout element. Our only regret was that we didn’t sit down to eat more rolls. 33 Carmine Street, between Bleecker and Bedford Streets, West Village — Tanay Warerkar, reporter

Three stuffed tortillas, shaped into triangles, sit in a cardboard to-go box beside pools of green and dark red salsa
The tetela trio at For All Things Good
Luke Fortney/Eater

Tetela trio at For All Things Good

In my experience, everything’s been good at For All Things Good. The menu at this new Bed-Stuy newcomer is long enough that it will probably take a few separate trips to try everything, which you’ll definitely want to do. A good place to start might be the cafe’s trio of tetelas, griddled triangle-shaped tortillas that are stuffed with vegan and vegetarian fillings, like salty Chihuahua cheese and tart hibiscus flower with chipotle ($14). The new restaurant, which opened in July, is the second vegetarian Mexican spot to debut in the neighborhood this year, following Boca Santa, which spotlights cooking from San Miguel de Allende (and, yes, does occasionally serve chicharron). Here though, the focus is on traditional Oaxacan dishes like memelas and tlayudas, with a serious dedication to the tortillas they’re served on. If they’re to your liking, order a dozen of the yellow or blue variety for home consumption ($7). 343 Franklin Avenue, at Greene Avenue, Bed-Stuy — Luke Fortney, reporter