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The Best Dishes Eater Editors Ate This Week

Prix-fixe menus, Crunchwrap Supreme imitators, and more

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A half-dozen bamboo steamers rest on a stainless steal steamer in a commercial kitchen.
Bamboo steamers at Dim Sum Palace in Chinatown.
Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet/Eater NY

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.

January 30

Big chunks of chicken amid lentils and caramelized onions.
Rfissa chicken at Tara Kitchen.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Rfissa chicken at Tara Kitchen

After establishing branches upstate in Troy, Schenectady, and Guilderland, and a further Jersey Shore location in Wildwood, Tara Kitchen has finally appeared in Tribeca. NYC has always been deficient in North African restaurants, and this newcomer offers a broader range of Moroccan dishes than we have yet seen, including rfissa chicken ($22). A stew flavored with an eight-spice combination known as ra el hanout and dotted with lentils and currants is deposited on a bed of torn pieces of the flatbread msemen, to make a slightly unsightly but supremely delicious quasi-pudding. It’s served sizzling in a tagine. 253 Church Street, between Franklin and Leonard streets. Tribeca — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

A hand holds a dish meant to resemble Taco Bell’s Crunchwrap Supreme.
The “dankwrap supreme” at Super Burrito.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

Dankwrap supreme at Super Burrito

It’s been less than a month since Super Burrito opened in Williamsburg, but I’m already halfway to a free burrito. Like in Rockaway Beach, where the restaurant got its start, the new Brooklyn outpost has punchcards for repeat customers: One burrito equals one stamp; 10 stamps equals one free burrito. On my last visit, I discovered that the restaurant’s specials also qualify. The “dankwrap supreme” ($12) was as faithful a rendition of Taco Bell’s version as I’ve seen, except for one thing: The ground beef here is actually identifiable as meat meant for human consumption. (It helps justify the higher cost.) A coworker and I decided to live más and dunk ours into a side cup of queso. 320 Bedford Avenue, near South Second Street, Williamsburg — Luke Fortney, reporter

A half-dozen momo float in a brown broth in a bowl.
An order of jhol momo at Nepali Bhanchha Ghar.
Emma Orlow/Eater NY

Jhol momo at Nepali Bhanchha Ghar

Momos are the move at Nepali Bhanchha Ghar, a Jackson Heights spot conveniently located off the 7 train subway station. You can get the dumplings steamed and fried, but my favorite are the jhol-style momos served in a spicy, tomato-y broth ($10). Filling options include beef, shrimp, veggie, or chicken, and one order is a full meal. 74-15 Roosevelt Avenue, near 75th Street, Jackson Heights — Emma Orlow, reporter

Mushroom rice at Naro

A friend and I visited Naro, the Rockefeller Center restaurant from the Atomix and Atoboy team, and tried the $95 tasting menu (there is also a newly launched a la carte menu). The dishes — lightly cooked octopus, a chicken and sweet potato skewer — were fresh and delicious, the opposite of those traditional power lunches that leave you in a food coma. But the standout was the side of mushroom rice that comes with your main, whether you get the halibut or wagyu. It was savory and sticky and hearty, and even though I was pretty full, I gladly wolfed down the whole bowl. That rice alone makes the tasting menu worth it. 610 Fifth Avenue, Rink Level, Rockefeller Center — Stephanie Wu, editor-in-chief

A fried whole fish is flanked by mapo tofu and other dishes.
Fried flounder at Dim Sum Palace.
Melissa McCart/Eater NY

Crispy fried flounder at Dim Sum Palace

The new Division Street Dim Sum Palace has been super fun through its opening month, even earlier than late-night dining, particularly during this Lunar New Year stretch through February 5. The vast hall was filled to the brim with big tables celebrating, bottles of booze perched in the center, with customers toasting their dining companions, other tables, and the owner. Back at our table, the crispy fried flounder ($35) stole the show, simply presented, dressed with scallions. I even wanted to eat the crispy bones. 27 Division Street, between Catherine and Market streets, Chinatown — Melissa McCart, editor

A cross-section of a sandwich stacked with meats, cheeses, and vegetables.
A honey turkey sandwich from Sal, Kris & Charlie’s.
Nadia Q. Ahmad/Eater NY

Honey turkey at Sal, Kris & Charlie’s

You know when you need a good sandwich? You don’t want to overthink it, but the layers need some careful thought. It can be stuffed, but not so much that it falls apart the way your life may or may not be doing. Enter Sal, Kris & Charlie’s Deli in Astoria, where you can choose from popular picks (like the Bomb for meat lovers) or customize to your heart’s content. I got honey turkey on a soft but sturdy roll ($9 before add-ons) and added fresh mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, both sweet and hot peppers, mayo, and a little mustard. Salty, creamy, sweet, tart, and hot: reliable flavors held together by reliable bread. 33-12 23rd Avenue, between 33rd and 35th Streets, Astoria — Nadia Q. Ahmad, copy editor

January 23

Beef Chow Mein at Hop Lee

For about a year, I’ve been trying to find the Chinese restaurant that my father, who died in 2016, used to take me to for lunch on the weekends. I remember the yellow in the sign and going up a short staircase and I remember the dishes but I don’t remember the name — and neither does my mother. I think it’s Hop Lee, though when I visited last week, the upstairs was closed and the well-lit lower level was packed. It couldn’t have been more charming, with two big groups of families celebrating anniversaries or birthdays, and lots of regulars who clearly knew the servers. I ordered a Chinese American standby of super savory pan-fried noodles ($16.95) layered with beef and topped with gai lan; my partner knows I love the noodles when they’re still crunchy and slid the plate my way when it arrived. 16 Mott Street, near Pell Street, Chinatown — Melissa McCart, editor

A plate with yellow rice and brown beans, with shredded goat meat in between.
Goat barbacoa at Zaragoza Grocery.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Goat barbacoa at Zaragoza Grocery

Zaragoza is a town in northern Puebla east of Mexico City, and it lends its name to this bodega founded by immigrants from the state in 2000. They established a small rustic cafe in the back that has been a boon to East Villagers ever since. It offers a limited menu of tacos, burritos, nachos, and — a specialty — flautas stuffed with chicken or potatoes. The weekend brings more ambitious fare such as this classic weekend barbacoa ($16) of steamed goat leg served with rice, pinto beans, salad, and a basket of warm tortillas, making for a very full meal. Go spicy with the red, or milder and tarter with the green tomatillo salsa, and wash the meal down with a grapefruit or mandarin Jarritos. 215 Avenue A, between 13th and 14th streets, East Village — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

A hand ladles red hot pot broth over a soft serve ice cream cone.
Sometimes the best things in life are free.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

Free soft serve at Haidilao

No apologies will be made for this week’s photo, which depicts a hand ladling hot pot broth over... itself and a cone with vanilla soft serve. Other than maybe a plate of fruit, this DIY dessert is the only reasonable conclusion to a meal at Haidilao, an international chain that can feel a bit like an adult playground with its “dancing noodles” prepared tableside, cheap pitchers of beer, and free Dior Sauvage cologne in the bathroom. I leaned into the vibe early on, making it a tradition to ladle the last of the hot pot over my soft serve — the unlimited free dessert that comes with every meal. Don’t ask me how, but the broth crystalizes when it hits the cold ice cream, creating a spicy glaze that scratches the same itch as chile crisp on vanilla ice cream. Watch your fingers! 138-23 39th Avenue, between 138th and Union streets, Flushing — Luke Fortney, reporter

Goat garganelli at Foul Witch

At Roberta’s new Italian wine bar restaurant in the East Village, Foul Witch, pasta, not the pizza that the team has come to be known for, is on the menu. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from a spot with such an unusual name — would there be a witch’s brew on the menu? — but what I found inside the rustic dining room is one of the better pasta dishes I’ve had in recent memory. The goat garganelli ($26) comes with hunks of meat and perfectly al dente pasta. We also tried the caramelle with lemon poppy seed and the veal tortellini, tasty as well, but the garganelli has the most bang for buck as more of an entree-sized standalone. 15 Avenue A, near East Second Street, East Village — Emma Orlow, reporter

A hunk of rutabaga is drizzled with beer cheese and topped with fried collard greens.
The hasselback rutabag at HAGS.
Stephanie Wu/Eater NY

Rutabaga at HAGS

We got into the reopened HAGS early since we had an October reservation that was canceled when the restaurant was temporarily shuttered. It’s now back with revamped menus — a three- and five-course prix fixe priced at $85 and $145, respectively. I opted for mostly vegetarian dishes and was most impressed with the hasselback rutabaga served with beer cheese, fried collard greens, and pancetta. The root vegetable was crispy and hearty, and with the addition of the beer cheese, was a starter that I’ll be thinking about for quite some time. Some of the other highlights of our meal: the schnitzel-fried tempeh and housemade focaccia, an off-menu add-on. 163 First Avenue, at 10th Street, East Village — Stephanie Wu, editor-in-chief

An oversized slab of pork Milanese on a plate is adorned with green herbs and wedges of lemon.
Pork Milanese at Ci Siamo.
Nat Belkov/Eater NY

Pork Milanese at Ci Siamo

Tucked into a courtyard somewhere in the labyrinth of Manhattan West, getting to Ci Siamo can feel like an adventure. After scurrying through the building’s entrance and into the restaurant’s elevator, a fiasco of red wine and stack glasses await your party. The meal that followed our shedding of layers and tucking into a booth with Negronis in hand can only be described as a string of hits. One dish, however, stood out and it wasn’t the pasta. Crusted in caraway and served aside lemon cheeks and a ramekin of bright bagna cauda aioli, this ultra-thin pork Milanese ($43) was so good I snuck my leftovers into a show at the Garden after dinner, despite their strict and very clear “no outside food or drink” policy. Way too good to let go, we nibbled on my contraband waiting for the train later that night and even had some left for breakfast the next morning, which thankfully justified the dish’s price tag. No regrets. 440 W. 33rd Street, Suite #100, Hudson Yards — Nat Belkov, design director

January 16

A small cup of tortilla soup is topped with crumbly cheese at Playita, a new Mexican restaurant on the Lower East Side.
Tortilla soup is vegetarian at Playita.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

Tortilla soup at Playita

There’s a new Mexican restaurant on the edge of Chinatown and the Lower East Side, down the street from Wu’s Wonton King and past the puking twenty-year-olds at 169 Bar. It’s called Playita, meaning “little beach,” and the focus is on shrimp tacos, fish quesadillas, and other Mexican seafoods. I made it over on Friday night — having been beat by my colleagues Emma and Robert, and encouraged by their visits — and ordered most of the menu. But as I gorged, a theme emerged: My favorite items were the few non-seafood dishes, like the thick (and vegetarian) tortilla soup ($5) or the perfect carne asada tacos ($6.50), so moist we had to order three to be sure the first two weren’t a fluke. A side of pickled chiles, vinegary with a little kick, ended up being my favorite bite of the night ($3). 202 Clinton Street, near East Broadway, Lower East Side — Luke Fortney, reporter

Tongue tacos at Tacos Güey

New York needs more tongue — at least in certain spheres. The muscular organ packs a level of beefiness that far outcompetes any strip or ribeye, though steakhouses and other fancy spots tend to shy away from the off-cut. The chic Tacos Guëy in Flatiron is an exception; chef Henry Zamora does a nice riff on the classic street food. The kitchen places strips of tongue on soft corn tortillas and pairs them with spicy chile de arbol salsa ($20). But what sets them apart is the texture. Chefs often cook tongue until achingly tender. Here, the meat has more of a gelatinous, sinewy bounce; it’s a chewier and springier style of tongue than I’ve encountered elsewhere. It’s tongue letting you know it’s tongue. I dig it. 37 W. 19th Street, near Sixth Avenue, Flatiron — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

An oblong plate of turnip cake cubes and shredded duck.
Shredded roast duck with turnip cake at Dim Sum Palace.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Shredded roast duck with turnip cake at Dim Sum Palace

Who doesn’t love turnip cake, which is often part of the dim sum service, merrily rolling by on carts? At newcomer Dim Sum Palace in the shadow of Chinatown’s Confucius Plaza Apartments, the dim sum doesn’t come on carts. (It’s ordered from a photo-illustrated checklist.) The dish that stood out on a first visit was a stir fry of turnip cake and shredded duck drenched in XO sauce ($8.95). This spicy and salty condiment made with dried shrimp and dried scallops boosted with chives and garlic adds salty and fishy notes that render this stir fry spectacular. In fact, everything a friend and I tried at the Palace confirmed the excellence of its dim sum, and we can’t wait to go back. 27 Division Street, between Bowery and Market Street, Chinatown — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

January 9

A sign with the words “We are open!” is pasted the front of a new business.
Outside the Wreck in Bed-Stuy.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

Fried cod at the Wreck

Bed-Stuy’s Shipwreck Seafood Boutique doubles as a seafood shop and fish fry, and in the summer, you’re likely to find a small crowd hovering over greasy tables out front, dragging fries through tartar sauce and digging into some of the borough’s better-priced lobster rolls: people who know what’s up. In December, the team followed up with a smaller second location called the Wreck, where the focus is on sandwiches and fried fish. I thought the prices seemed steep for the area, at $18 for a basket of cod. Then I got my order. The quality of the seafood was immediately apparent, and my takeout container came with a pile of fries and a few slabs of fried fish. More than enough to share. 627 Throop Avenue, between Fulton and Decatur streets, Bed-Stuy — Luke Fortney, reporter

A dark red sausage split on a bun with tidbits of pork skin and and orange sauce.
An Oklahoma sausage finds its way to the Upper West Side.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Spicy beef hot link sandwich at Au Jus

The Upper West Side Au Jus devotes itself mainly to Oklahoma-style barbecue, a relative rarity around these parts. The best thing I tried was a hot link sandwich ($11), which reminded me of the ones I ate for lunch while attending high school in Dallas. Here, the sausage is beef, which is grainy and quite spicy, grilled and then split in half. The halves are deposited on a bun of no particular distinction with a chile-laced orange sauce and fragments of chicharron, which give the thing crunch but no additional weight. Be sure you tell them to hold the lettuce, which absolutely doesn’t belong in the sandwich, but even if they put it in, the limp greenery is easily ejected. 2621 Broadway, at 99th Street, Upper West Side — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

A bowl of pasta pockets filled with rabbit.
Agnoli di coniglio at Jupiter is a harmonious winter dish.
Melissa McCart/Eater NY

Agnoli di Coniglio at Jupiter

A recent weekday lunchtime visit to Jupiter in Rockefeller Center, the newest restaurant from the folks behind King, reinforced that I’m not the only one venturing to a tourist stretch I’d have never visited on a weekend just a year ago. The dining room and bar were packed, despite its residing in an underground lair, the only window offering a perfect view of the crowded skating rink and the Prometheus statue. Despite the mall-like environs, the lighting, primary color accents, and mid-century vibe make for a room I’d be happy to revisit. The rabbit-stuffed pasta (agnoli di coniglio on the menu) was the most memorable dish: savory pockets of seasoned meat in a broth that was just right for a winter afternoon ($34). 20 W. 50th Street, rink level, Midtown — Melissa McCart, editor

Assorted Pelmeni at Mermaid Spa

Birthday celebrations this weekend found me on the tip of Brooklyn’s Seagate neighborhood just east of Coney Island where Gravesend Bay, Lower New York Bay, and the Atlantic collide. With pals in tow, I spent the day at Mermaid Spa schvitzing out all the questionable decisions from the year prior and welcoming in the promise of what’s ahead with pitchers of kompot and plates of smoked herring. This Russian banya has a sizable food menu that’s decidedly better than it needs to be. The pickle platter adorned with quarters of green tomato, slabs of watermelon, and crunchy slices of red cabbage looks like something out of a Renaissance still life. The mushroom soup is flecked with barley and amped up with a healthy scattering of fresh dill. The borscht is one of the best I’ve had, and the pelmeni in meat, potato, and sweet cheese varieties are inhalable ($14). It’s a trek from most parts of the city, but special occasion or not, I’ll continue returning to Mermaid Spa without blinking an eye. 3703 Mermaid Avenue, at West 37th Street, Seagate — Nat Belkov, design director

January 3

A reddish fish rears up on the plate, its mouth open.
Sweet and sour Mandarin squirrel fish at Auntie Guan’s Kitchen.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Sweet and sour Mandarin squirrel fish at Auntie Guan’s Kitchen

When a group of friends is sitting around the table at a Chinese restaurant like Auntie Guan’s Kitchen on Christmas Day, nothing delights quite so much as a whole fish. (Be sure to order the sweet and sour Mandarin squirrel fish, not to be confused with the less expensive and not as good sweet and sour fish on the menu.) The guests pick at it with their chopsticks, offering the best morsels to dining companions, and making sure that every bit of skin, cheeks, tail, and, yes, the eyeballs are all consumed. This substantial fish ($39) is deboned and cross-hatched for easy disassembly, flash-fried, and then drenched in a sweet-and-sour sauce, heavy on the sour and easy on the sweet, as it’s done in Jiangsu. There is not a chunk of pineapple in sight, as the dish is sometimes rendered in its sweeter form in Cantonese neighborhood carryouts. 108 West 14th Street, near Sixth Avenue, Greenwich Village — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

A large bowl of beef noodle soup.
Yookgaejang kalguksu.
Melissa McCart/Eater NY

Yookgaejang kalguksu from Myung Dong Noodle House

As a Jersey City resident, I’m always looking for spots on my side of the river; Eater critic Robert Sietsema pointed out this place during a recent visit to Fort Lee. A stone’s throw from the George Washington Bridge, Myung Dong Noodle House is a well-lit vast restaurant with lots of cushy booths, a sprawling menu that includes dumplings, seafood pancakes, noodles, and bibimbap, as well as variations on soondubu layered with oysters and seaweed, or a perilla version. I’m highlighting this beef noodle soup, yookgaejang kalguksu ($18.95), because I can’t stop thinking about it. Green noodles made at the restaurant anchor a spicy broth studded with layers of beef, shredded egg, and more. I can’t wait to go back. 2013 Lemoine Avenue, between Main Street and Bruce Reynold Boulevard, Fort Lee, New Jersey — Melissa McCart, editor

Cheesy bone-in veal parm.
Is flash photography still in for 2023?
Emma Orlow/Eater NY

Bone-in veal parm at Bernie’s

I’m a New Year’s Eve cynic; it’s always been my least favorite holiday. This year, I wanted a surefire plan of action, which meant heading to Bernie’s, one of Brooklyn’s most reliably fun restaurants — and it did not disappoint. I went to the early seating, which was all-you-can-eat for $100 per person, with a feast of Bernie’s classics like antipasti, bread baskets, mozzarella sticks, and Caesar salad, with some specials for the night, like a behemoth bone-in veal parm (it’s usually chicken or eggplant on the menu). Oh, and there was a build-your-own ice cream sundae station with rainbow cookies as toppings. The parm in particular made for comforting leftovers the following day to start off the New Year with a little something from 2022. 332 Driggs Avenue, at Lorimer Street, Greenpoint — Emma Orlow, reporter

Pandan matcha tart at Lady Wong

I think pandan is sorely lacking in NYC; it’s one of my favorite flavors, whether it’s found in mochi or in a kaya bun. Lady Wong Bakery, in the East Village, is doing the Lord’s work with a pastry menu chock full of Southeast Asian snacks, including many options made with pandan. I visited this weekend and I was immediately struck by the exquisitely beautiful pandan matcha tart ($8). The crisp crust was a masterful base for kaya jam over a matcha almond sponge cake. Every bite was a delight. 332 East Ninth Street, near Second Avenue, East Village — Ian Stroud, development producer

Short rib cavatelli at Market Bistro

One of my prerequisites for New Year’s Eve dining is that the restaurant in question does not jack up its prices by 25 percent or suddenly switch to a tasting menu. It honestly always brings me a bit of joy when I call up a venue and I learn they’re simply serving the usual a la carte menu for the otherwise opulent holiday. Such was the case at Market Bistro in Jericho, Long Island, where my family and I were able to sneak in a few hours before midnight. I came specifically for the braised short-rib cavatelli ($28), floppy strands of al dente pasta sitting in a mess of beefy ragu — with a nice dollop of lemon ricotta on top, to inject a bit of dairy into the rich jus. Technically it was a very good pasta, but again, what made me happiest is that it was literally the same thing the restaurant served on any given night. 519 North Broadway, Jericho. near Jericho Turnpike — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

Bacon, egg, and cheese on paratha.
BEC on paratha bread at Mount Everest Deli & Grocery.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

Paratha BEC at Mount Everest Deli & Grocery

I was packing for a trip out of the country when a friend texted me that a bodega in their neighborhood was serving a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich on paratha. I checked the time: Twelve hours until my flight. Okay, off to Queens. An hour later I was standing under the neon sign of Mount Everest Deli & Grocery, a small grocer in Ridgewood with a counter up front selling biryani, chile chicken over rice, momos in a half-dozen preparations, and sure enough, the paratha of my dreams. For $4.49, scrambled eggs and American cheese are rolled up in the layered South Asian flatbread, and I added turkey bacon and hot sauce for a dollar more. Cut in two, the cross-section revealed a gooey breakfast galaxy and probably the best five dollars I spent in 2022. 5609 Myrtle Ave, between Cornelia Street and Cypress Avenue, RidgewoodLuke Fortney, reporter