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The Best Dishes Eater Editors Ate This Week

Udon with heirloom tomatoes, big plate chicken, and more

A white facade with the name of the restaurant in black at the top.
Though tinier, Evil Katsu now has its own East Village storefront.

The amount of excellent food available in New York City is dizzying — even during a pandemic — 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, too.

July 26

Yellow, red, and green tomato wedges in a bowl on top of thick white noodles.
Udon with heirloom tomatoes at Evil Katsu
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Udon with heirloom tomatoes at Evil Katsu

Japanese sando parlor Evil Katsu recently relocated from a pop-up on the Lower East Side to a prime space a half block from Tompkins Square on what is currently the East Village’s most exciting food block. In addition to its previous menu of three sandos on crustless white bread, it now offers skewered bites and chilled dishes. Among the latter is a bowl, available in two sizes ($8 and $14), of udon and heirloom tomatoes. The tomatoes taste sweet and fresh, the udon has been oiled to go down easy, and shredded shiso adds a wealth of flavor. On a hot day, this is a dish that can’t be beat. 435 East Ninth Street, between First Avenue and Avenue A, East Village — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

An overhead photograph of a platter of Ethiopian sauces and dishes laid out over a bed of injera
Three meat and vegetarian combination platters at Haile
Luke Fortney/Eater

Meat and vegetarian combination at Haile

After trying unsuccessfully to snag a walk-in table at Sarashina Horii (the newly opened restaurant is currently booking two weeks out, we learned), our group gladly headed to Haile in the East Village. This Ethiopian mainstay has flown mostly under the radar, a friend in the neighborhood tells me, despite serving some of the best stewed meats and vegetables I’ve eaten during the pandemic. We shared three meat and vegetarian platters ($18.50 each), a heaping tray that comes with beets, collard greens, and tender string beans. Best of the bunch was the restaurant’s doro wot (center), made by by stewing bone-in chicken legs in onions and berbere seasoning. 182 Avenue B, between East 11th and 12th streets, East Village — Luke Fortney, reporter

Big plate chicken at Dunhuang

Dunhuang, the chain of Northwest Chinese spots with locations in Flushing, the Upper West Side, the East Village, Los Angeles, and elsewhere, now has an outpost in Syosset. This shouldn’t be a surprise to Long Islanders, who have witnessed the slow rise of regional Chinese cuisine across Nassau County and elsewhere. In the case of Dunhuang, the opening means a steady supply of Central Asian-leaning fare, including beefy soups with hand pulled noodles, cumin lamb burgers (like those at Xi’an Famous), and of course, the Xinjiang-style masterpiece that is da pan ji, or big plate chicken ($20), which I ordered twice in the past week. Fans of the Spicy Village version will find a lot to like here: Soft braised poultry on the bone in a spicy brown sauce heavily redolent of garlic and slowly cooked bell peppers. The kitchen also throws in a side of flat wide noodles to mop up all the aromatic sauce, which I did with gusto. I’ll be back here more often. 8 Cold Spring Road, near Whitney Avenue, Syosset — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

A white cardboard box filled with white bao buns, red meat, green lettuce, a cup of green pickles, and a small oval container of red sauce
Bulgogi barbecue brisket platter at Gentle Perch
Erika Adams/Eater

Bulgogi barbecue brisket platter at Gentle Perch

Korean-Southern restaurant Gentle Perch is a sunny little corner spot in East Williamsburg that serves loads of barbecue, bao, mac and cheese, and milkshakes — in other words, my kind of comfort food. Last week, on the hunt for a hefty, summertime spread, I ended up ordering a to-go bulgogi barbecue brisket platter ($24) with coleslaw and mac and cheese. The meal was fantastic: The brisket was juicy, tender, and easy to pull apart and stuff into each bao with crunchy lettuce, tangy pickles, a dollop of housemade smokey and slightly sweet barbecue sauce, and a couple extra forkfuls of the bright coleslaw. I only wish that I had added more bao to the order for an extra dollar to match the generous portions of meat and fixings. 112 Graham Avenue, near McKibben Street, East Williamsburg — Erika Adams, reporter

a bowl of fluke ceviche
Fluke ceviche at Madre
Bao Ong/Eater

Fluke ceviche at Madre

It’s hard not to order ceviche when it’s on the menu, especially in the middle of summer when many of us want something a little lighter and refreshing. The fluke ceviche ($21) at Madre, however, sets itself apart from other run-of-the-mill renditions in the city. A mound of the diced fish is surrounded by a generous serving of fragrant coconut leche de tigre, which reminded me of the other cold dish — gazpacho — so many love this time of year. A perfectly ripe avocado, thin shavings of purple onions, crushed peanuts, and crispy yuca chips make this dish taste and feel more like an entree than a small plate to share. By time I finished as much of the leche de tigre as I could without appearing like I’d never tasted ceviche before, I was left wondering: How many more times can I eat this dish before summer is over? 214 Franklin Street, between Green and Huron streets, Greenpoint — Bao Ong, editor

July 19

A bowl of kale and orange segments, a bowl of black beans, and a bowl of rice.
Tamborim’s Brazilian Feijoada
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Feijoada at Tamborim

New York City is generally regarded as deficient in Brazilian restaurants, though we have a few very good ones. Add to that collection the recently opened Tamborim in nearby Jersey City, right across the street from the Grove Street stop on the PATH. The front is open to the square, strong cocktails and beer are featured, and the menu showcases Brazilian classic dishes, with a partial emphasis on snacks and salads. From among the main courses comes the national dish of feijoada — not one dish, really, but a collection to be eaten any way you wish. The focus is an earthy midnight stew of black beans and pig parts, from which a friend and I discerned belly, ear, rump, and sausage. Sprinkle the toasted manioc meal called farofa over the top, and supplement bites of beans with rice, mandarin orange segments, and shredded kale, oiled and barely cooked. While the price may sound steep at $32, one serving easily satisfies two diners, and this rendition is one of the best. 130 Newark Avenue, between Grove and Barrow streets, Jersey City — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Five pieces of charred pineapple lined up on a white plate resting on a dark wood table. The pineapple pieces are topped with white crumbled cheese and garnished with a strip of a green herb on each one.
Tandoori pineapple at Gazab
Erika Adams/Eater NY

Tandoori pineapple at Gazab

Last week, I took a friend for a lowkey weeknight dinner at Gazab, a new Indian restaurant on the Lower East Side that has risen up in Masalawala’s old spot. The tandoori pineapple ($12) — one of many fun dishes on the menu — was a really entertaining introduction into the place. The roasted pineapple, seasoned with chaat masala, turns a bit creamier with the heat, and the blistered edges add an extra satisfying layer of texture to the dish. The resulting bite was a lively mix of savory, sweet, and slightly spicy flavors that stuck with me long after the plate was cleared. 179 Essex Street, near East Houston Street, Lower East Side — Erika Adams, reporter

Two skewers stacked with squid and green peppers and drizzled in green oil lay side by side on a white plate
Squid and shishito pepper skewers at Dame
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Squid and shishito pepper skewers at Dame

Reservations for Dame have been booked solid since the restaurant opened last month, and to snag this one — a Saturday night table at 8 p.m. — I had to bring an old pre-pandemic ritual out of retirement. On the advice of our friends at the Infatuation, I set an alarm for 11:59 a.m., a minute before the restaurant’s reservations refresh (three weeks in advance, of course), and to no one’s surprise, the wait was worth it. The fish and chips were as good as I remember, and the cucumbers with mussels and dill were everything co-owners Patricia Howard and Ed Szymanski said they would be. But best of all were the shishito pepper and squid skewers, a stellar, eat-with-your-hands appetizer that left us seriously questioning whether we made a mistake by not ordering two or three more. The skewers bring together blistered peppers with tender pieces of squid in a bright bath of parsley oil. It’s a pairing you want to taste every day, but would gladly settle on once every three weeks, too. 87 MacDougal Street, near Bleecker Street, Greenwich Village — Luke Fortney, reporter

a coup of chicken liver parfait with rhubarb and pistachio butter
Chicken liver parfait at Bar Bete
Bao Ong/Eater NY

Chicken liver parfait at Bar Bête

In a previous job, I had raved about Bar Bête just less than a month before the pandemic shut down NYC’s restaurants in March 2020. Luckily, this Carroll Gardens restaurant was able to remain open after a challenging year. Still, I was hesitant to go back: Would it be as good as remembered it? It was a resounding yes when a coup of chicken liver parfait ($15) landed on our table. The silky smooth pate spread like an airy mousse accompanied with some stewed rhubarb and pistachio butter. Its richness was offset by a tad of sweetness, and I was grateful more crusty bread arrived because it was the perfect welcome back to a personal favorite. I can’t wait to come back much sooner next time. 263 Smith Street, at Degraw Street, Carroll Gardens — Bao Ong, editor

July 12

A hot dog covered with toppings and bristling with potato sticks.
The Venezuelan dog at Dyckman Dogs
Robert Sietsema / Eater NY

Venezuelan hot dog at Dyckman Dogs

Summer is the time for intensive frankfurter sleuthing, and ever since the recent publication of 27 Superior Hot Dogs Around NYC, the momentum has continued unabated. Last week, I enjoyed my first visit to Inwood’s Dyckman Dogs, an offshoot of the nearby Venezuelan snack shop Cachapas y Mas, which also boasts a Ridgewood branch. Of a slew of geographically themed wieners (Dominican dog, Texas dog, Hawaiian dog) I picked the Venezuelan ($6). The sausage itself was of very high quality with a natural skin, and I was regaled with toppings that included cabbage, white onions, tomatoes, Venezuelan cheese (white and stringy), salsa verde, and potato sticks. An altogether wonderful combination, and slightly sweet. 105-A Dyckman Street, between Sherman and Nagle avenues, Inwood — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

A hand holds a crumbly, layered biscuit whose light brown top is coated in sugar
Buckwheat biscuit at KIT
Luke Fortney / Eater NY

Buckwheat biscuit at KIT

From the crumbs of MeMe’s Diner in Prospect Heights, this new business — part pop-up incubator, part neighborhood cafe — has opened its doors. The cakes and pastries of the former restaurant were sorely missed after its closing last November, but thankfully former MeMe’s co-owner Libby Willis is now serving a lineup of pastries from KIT, located in the same space. An early favorite is this buckwheat biscuit made by Dacha 46, an Eastern European pop-up and one of several businesses operating out of the storefront. Flakey and perfectly salted, the pastry makes for a fortifying mid-day snack, especially for those of us fortunate enough to be working from home two blocks away. 657 Washington Avenue, near Saint Marks Avenue, Prospect Heights — Luke Fortney, reporter

Mala noodles at Chongqing Xiao Mian

Last week, one of our sister sites, the Cut, asked the following important question: “Why does everyone have a cold in summer 2021?” And while the answer is beyond the scope of my critical mandate, I bring it up because you can count me as one of the folks stricken with the ailment in question. Accordingly, I spent the past four days eating a lot of soup, and I’m pleased to report that my favorite variety, for homeopathic purposes, remains the incendiary mala noodles ($11.75) from Chongqing Xiao Mian. The key is the Sichuan broth; its brick red color accurately warns the consumer that things will get very spicy, very quickly. But still, the sinus-clearing soup is also quite light. Its fats don’t enrobe the tongue like a richer tonkotsu. Thick peel noodles at the bottom of the bowl provide stretchy nourishment; ground pork adds meaty savoriness; and fistful of cilantro uses its grassiness to let me know that my sense of smell is still thankfully intact. 796 Ninth Avenue near West 53rd Street, Hell’s Kitchen — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

Vanilla custard-filled tart slice
Tarte au flan at Frenchette Bakery
Adam Moussa / Eater NY

Tarte au flan at Frenchette Bakery

The gravitational pull of Frenchette Bakery is too strong to resist when I’m in Tribeca on any given day, but on Saturday, I had a specific mission in mind as I lined up in the bread-scented arcade. Tarte au flan ($10) is the bakery’s Friday and Saturday pastry special and also seemingly, from first sight on Instagram, my absolute ideal dessert. The tarte au flan slice is dramatically tall — taller than other versions of the dish I’ve encountered in the city — and studded with inky black vanilla bean specks that hint at the custard’s intense flavor. It’s outright fan service to lovers of vanilla custard. “Silky smooth” is the most basic way a dish like this could be described, but it’s apt here; the texture makes each bite of a chilled slice the perfect balm to the scorching temperatures outdoors. The sweet, buttery crust is thinner than I would typically prefer for a tart but the ratio is perfect here; it’s a supporting role in an engaging dessert two-hander. 220 Church Street, between Worth and Thomas streets, Tribeca — Adam Moussa, lead social media manager

July 6

A plastic container of falafel, salad with pink sticks of beet-dyed radish, eggplant, and small round pita.
Mum’s falafel platter includes eggplant slices
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Mum’s falafel platter at Mum Mediterranean Cuisine

Located in Fresh Pond not far from the M train stop, Mum is the city’s latest showcase for Egyptian cuisine, replacing the wonderful Little Egypt in the same spot. Mum is more modern in design with quite a different menu that leans toward more fast casual and less home style, including stuffed pizzas called fetteer. The thing I liked best was the falafel platter ($16.49), which featured a bed of vermicelli rice, a haystack of french fries, and a pita made in house, for a triple-starch whammy. Also included were fried and flavored slices of eggplant, salad, and tahini-squirted falafel with a hole in the middle to multiply crispness. It’s worth noting that the falafel are made, in the Egyptian fashion, with a combo of chickpeas and fava beans, for a richer and darker texture. 66-28 Fresh Pond Road, between Woodbine and Palmetto streets, Ridgewood — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Brick-colored coppa with translucent fat sits on a white plate in a semi-circle pattern
Coppa at Roberta’s Domino Park
Ryan Sutton/Eater

Coppa at Roberta’s Domino Park

After what seemed like an interminable week, I decided to treat myself to a bit of pizza, cheese, and charcuterie at the new Roberta’s Domino Park outpost. I especially had my eye on the venue’s cured meats program; the duck prosciutto at the Bushwick flagship (available here too) remains one of the city’s finest hams. On my solo visit, however, I opted for the coppa ($13), a barrel-shaped product derived from the muscles that run through a pig’s shoulder or neck. The flavor was mild and very gently porky; the main draw here was the texture. An ultra-thin slicing, combined with room-temperature serving, resulted in a fatty salumi that seemed to melt like butter when placed on warm bread. I’ll be back here soon, especially I hear some pastas are in the works. 6 Grand Street at River Street, Williamsburg — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

Charred jerk chicken is stuffed between two buns on a banana leaf on a plate, with what appears to be dried plantains beside it
The jerk chicken bake at Whisk and Whiskey
Terri Ciccone/Eater

The jerk chicken bake at Whisk and Whiskey

This Park Slope newcomer is the product of three friends who, after enjoying throwing dinner parties for their quarantine pod during the pandemic, decided to quit their jobs and open the tropical cafe and bar offering Trinidadian and Cambodian sweets, coffee, cocktails, and savory bakes. While it was difficult to walk past the display cabinet filled with bright, sprinkle-laden confections, I opted for one of the Trinidadian bakes, which is offered in a variety of stuffed options such as brisket, gouda and spinach, jerk chicken, or Cambodian sweet chili. I enjoyed the heat from the jerk chicken bake ($8), which balanced perfectly between the folds of the fluffy fried bread. 259 Fourth Avenue, Park Slope — Terri Ciccone, audience development manager

A hand holds a sandwich overflowing with green sauce and crispy chicken, in what appears to be a pretzel bun
The fried chicken sandwich at Double Chicken Please
Luke Fortney/Eater

The hot honey fried chicken sandwich at Double Chicken Please

At the top of every New Yorkers’ Ones to Watch list this year should be Double Chicken Please, a traveling pop-up bar that found a permanent home on the Lower East Side last fall. The restaurant’s opening menu of sandwiches and cocktails on tap has only grown in recent months, and now includes lobster rolls, chicken liver mousse, and scallop ceviche. Amid all of the changes, though, one my favorite dishes is still the first item the restaurant served. This fried chicken sandwich hits all of the bases without any of the drama: It’s savory (a smattering of Thai basil aioli); sweet (hot honey); crunchy (lightly glazed fried chicken); and a little malty thanks to its a thick-cut, pretzel bun ($13). 15 Allen Street, near Delancey Street, Lower East Side — Luke Fortney, reporter

Browned mushrooms sit on a white pool of yogurt, covered in diced green chives, on a blue and white patterned plate
Hawaij-spiced mushrooms at Shuka
Erika Adams / Eater NY

Hawaij-spiced mushrooms at Shuka

I dropped into Shuka last week to grab a bite at the bar and reacquaint myself with the solid little Mediterranean spot ahead of our opening coverage of Shukette, the team’s spinoff restaurant in Chelsea. I was looking forward to a fine meal, but I was not expecting to be blown away by the hawaij-spiced hen-of-the-woods mushrooms ($17) that I ordered. The mushrooms, set in a pool of silky spiced yogurt sprinkled with chives and cilantro, arrived in a scented cloud of warm, garlicky goodness that I just sat and breathed in for a good 10 seconds. Each bite afterward was a crispy, savory mouthful, and I ended up grabbing some pita to sop up every bit of the yogurt underneath. If this is what’s happening in the ovens at Shuka, I can’t want to see what the team does with the charcoal grills at Shukette. 38 MacDougal Street, near Prince Street, Soho — Erika Adams, reporter

doi fuchka also known as pani puri in takeout container
Doi fuchka at Fuskahouse
Bao Ong / Eater NY

Doi fuchka at Fuskahouse

I’ve only visited Fuskahouse once before but it was high on my list of places to hit up during my last week of living in Jackson Heights. The doi fuchka ($7) — similar to pani puri, the crispy orbs feature fillings like potatoes and yellow split peas before being topped with a flurry of ingredients including green chiles and grated hard-boiled eggs — is dish I think about regularly. I’ll miss having easy access to this Bengali snack cart, pouring the aromatic tamarind water over the shells and popping them into my mouth for a snack or quick lunch, where you can pull up a tiny plastic stool on the sidewalk. If you cross the street, Raja Sweets and Fast Foods also serves one of the best cups of chai in town. 73-01 37th Avenue, at 73rd Street, Jackson Heights — Bao Ong, editor

Mum Mediterranean Cuisine

66-28 Fresh Pond Road, Queens, NY 11385 (347) 689-4228 Visit Website