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The Best Dishes Eater Editors Ate This Week

Seared scallops, perfect ceviche, and more

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Scallops at Abuqir on a white plate.
A plate of scallops at Abuqir.
Emma Orlow/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.

August 28

Scallops at Abuqir

Sorry to say it but the last whispers of summer are in the air, which means I’m trying to consume fresh seafood in the sunshine. This weekend, we sat outside on Steinway Street dipping bread into the oil that comes with the seared scallops ($23.85 for a half pound) at Abuqir. It was so good, you could drink it. The Egyptian-owned restaurant functions similarly to Astoria Seafood: You go up to the counter, select your seafood (octopus, tiger shrimp), how much of it, and how you want it cooked (fried, grilled). Sides like a Greek salad or baba ganoush are ordered with the waiter tableside. 24-19 Steinway Street, near Astoria Boulevard South, Astoria — Emma Orlow, reporter

A breakfast sandwich in a blue-and-white checkered wrapper.
The breakfast sandwich at Mama Yoshi Mini Mart.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

Breakfast sandwich at Mama Yoshi Mini Mart

I visited this small restaurant in Ridgewood, Queens, in search of its Japanese breakfast burrito — marinated Spam, scrambled eggs, shredded cheese, and grated hash browns rolled up in a flour tortilla. On the day that I visited, burritos weren’t on the menu: They had breakfast sandwiches instead, made with most of the same ingredients, minus the hash browns, and eggs that were fried instead of scrambled ($8.50). With the addition of hot sauce, it’s a breakfast sandwich I would go out of my way for again. 17-11 Grove Street, at Cypress Avenue, Ridgewood — Luke Fortney, reporter

A black bowl with tiny cubes of seafood, purple onions, and a sweet potato slice.
Ceviche classico at Dora’s Restaurant.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Ceviche classico at Dora’s Restaurant

Dora’s opened recently on a stretch of Avenue B in the East Village known for its honky tonk bars, so an ambitious Peruvian restaurant came as a surprise. Though it serves up the staples of the Andean cuisine, it specializes in ceviche, of which 10 varieties are available, attractively plated to make complete meals. The ceviche classico ($30) is the place to start — small cubes of corvino, Peru’s favorite fish, are marinated in lime and covered with lightly pickled purple onions. Varying the terrain, toasted corn nuts and a thick slice of sweet potato are offered on the side. 40 Avenue B, near Third Street, East Village — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

A breaded veal chop topped with arugula.
The veal chop Milanese at Adrienne’s in Rockaway.
Melissa McCart/Eater NY

Veal chop Milanese at Adrienne’s

Last week on a rainy afternoon, I trekked to the Rockaways, expecting to eat at Whit’s End, but discovered it was closed. My friend suggested we check out Adrienne’s, a year-round waterside restaurant that opened in July: It’s named for Adrienne Guttieri, a fan of Italian cooking who studied in Italy and died last year. In her honor, her brother, Frank Guttieri, opened the restaurant with their cousin. The menu features a list of Italian standards done well, like little gem salad, arancini, and linguine with clams, dressed with bread crumbs. I was impressed by the veal chop Milanese, with tomatoes, grilled lemon, and arugula and superfluous stracciatella. Pounded thin and as wide as a sheet pan, it was breaded, browned, and juicy inside. For $44, it fed three. Next time, I’d like to visit when it’s not raining and sit outside with a water view and an order from the raw bar. 25 Van Brunt Road at Cross Bay Boulevard, the Rockaways — Melissa McCart, editor

August 21

Shrimp biryani at Bombay Chowk

Bombay Chowk (chowk means crossroads in Hindi) is a five-year-old Indian sleeper on the Upper East Side, indistinguishable from dozens of others unless you carefully examine the menu — and discover that it offers an amazing collection of regional dishes from every corner of the country, well executed. This Mughlai-style biryani ($23) is an explosion of bright color and tart flavor, rife with herbs and concealing a wealth of big shrimp so fresh they pop when bitten into. On the side is a raita decorated with pomegranate seeds: Dribble it over the biryani as you eat it. 1378 1st Avenue, between 73rd and 74th streets, Upper East Side — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Chile crisp chicken bowl at Milu.
Chile crisp chicken bowl at Milu.
Emma Orlow/Eater NY

Chile crisp chicken bowl at Milu

As anyone who writes about food will tell you, the perks are obvious: We’re very lucky to call eating out at new restaurants part of our job. The downside is that it wreaks havoc on our bodies and often on my nights “off” the only thing I want is something simple and nutritious. Milu, the second location of Connie Chung’s fast-casual spot that first opened in Manhattan, fit the bill on a day when I didn’t have it in me to slap together dinner. I got the chile crisp chicken bowl over rice ($15), which features super flavorful chicken with scallion mayo and a crunchy tofu seaweed salad with dill. Like any Dig or Sweetgreen-esque spot meant to attract a lunch crowd, there’s not a lot of atmosphere at night, but the food was exactly what I was looking for. 235 Kent Avenue, between North First and Grand streets, Williamsburg

A hand holds a breakfast burrito, cut in half, for a photograph.
The breakfast burrito at Ceremonia Bakeshop.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

Breakfast burrito at Ceremonia Bakeshop

This city’s breakfast burrito scene has come a long way since we last updated our guide. This time around, we’re narrowing the roster — previously, 16 burrito shops — to a handful of the very best. This leads me to Ceremonia Bakeshop, a Brooklyn cafe that didn’t make the cut this time, but whose breakfast burrito is still absolutely worth seeking out. Its primary virtue: Size. $14 gets you an impressive quantity of chorizo, scrambled eggs, potatoes, cheese, and avocado wrapped in a sturdy flour tortilla. It was the biggest breakfast burrito I could find for its price. 143 Driggs Avenue, near South Second Street, Williamsburg — Luke Fortney, reporter

Smoked gnocchi at Lambs Club

I’m smitten with art deco and if I have to visit Times Square, I’m happy to stop by Lambs Club, in a Stanford White building that features cushy red mid-century seating, stately black walls, and a lineup of the Lambs, Broadway and film actors once part of what had been a members-only club. Under chef Jack Logue, formerly at Betony and Clocktower, the smoked gnocchi with corn and chanterelle stole the show ($38) with its in-season ingredients and umami truffle luxury. If you’re really into retro, consider the bar, with its own menu of lighter fare and its dramatic chandelier backdrop. 132 W. 44th Street, between Sixth and Seventh Avenue, Times Square — Melissa McCart, editor

August 14

A white compartmentalized container with chicken parts lined up.
Jerk chicken from a cart in Downtown Brooklyn.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Jerk chicken cart at Fleet Street and Flatbush Avenue Extension

There’s a new jerk chicken cart — like the kind found in many corners of Crown Heights and Flatbush — at the intersection of Fleet Street and Flatbush Avenue Extension in Downtown Brooklyn, near Fort Greene Park and DeKalb Market. Protected from the sun by a billowing blue tarp, the cart says Texas Slick Pitts: That’s not the name of the cart, but the name of the manufacturer of the double smoker, as the pitmaster, who preferred not to divulge his name, told me. The chicken is all thighs and drumsticks, nicely charred, and there’s a choice of sauces to be squirted on (pick jerk rather than barbecue). Paradoxically, the serving ($15) comes with basmati rice rather than rice and peas, and jerk chicken is the cart’s only offering. The bird is delectable and the price is right. Intersection of Fleet Street and Flatbush Avenue Extension, Downtown Brooklyn — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

An arepa with chive garnish and drizzled vegan honey on a plate.
The cachapa at Sunday C&C Eatery.
Emma Orlow/Eater NY

Cachapa at Sunday C&C

Scouting out new additions to our vegan map, I went to check out Sunday C&C Eatery, a Smorgasburg stand that opened a permanent home in May. The orange kiosk inside of the Bowery Market is run by owner-chef Christian Torres. I went for his cachapa, a Venezuelan-style sweet corn cake, which had an almost polenta-like consistency, made with cashew “mozzarella,” which Torres makes himself, with ssamjang and vegan honey. Chef-y plating and flavor combinations make this place a cut above what you might expect to find in a Manhattan food hall and mark a promising new voice in NYC’s vegan scene. 348 Bowery, at Great Jones Street, Noho — Emma Orlow, reporter

A hand dunks an egg roll filled with gray beef and American cheese into a pale sauce.
The cheesesteak egg rolls at P.J. Clarke’s.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

Cheesesteak egg rolls at P.J. Clarke’s

They don’t look like much, but the cheesesteak egg rolls at P.J. Clarke’s are among the best things I’ve eaten this year. Beef, cheese, and a crunchy fried wrapper make for one of the great flavor combinations of our time: part chopped cheese sandwich, part Chinese American takeout ($18). They can be found among the restaurant’s appetizers, a small list of crowd-pleasers — fried squid, tuna tartare — with a couple of head-scratchers, like a $25 order of “Mediterranean” dips. The rolls feel like something you’d find at P.F. Chang’s, not P.J. Clarke’s, but whatever their origin, they were the clear winner on a table with burgers, fries, a salad, and two properly poured Guinness beers. 915 Third Avenue, at East 55th Street, Midtown East — Luke Fortney, reporter

Veggie burger at Fat Choy

The new Fat Choy has opened in Englewood, New Jersey, a way, bigger spot with a Chinese-ish menu. The new location on a walkable Main Street is both vegan and kosher, with some old favorites from the original on the Lower East Side. The mushroom sloppy and smashed cucumber salad are back, along with new picks like Kung Pao tater tots and General Lee’s cauliflower. The Fat Burger ($16), a smash burger, surprised me: It’s made with potato, cauliflower, and dry chickpeas that are pulverized with a meat grinder, mixed with vegan XO sauce, and fried for an exceptionally crunchy texture. It comes with lettuce, onion, and bread-and-butter pickles. 52 E. Palisades Avenue, near South Dean Street, Englewood — Melissa McCart, editor

August 7

Icy grass jelly signature at Meet Fresh

On a recent hot day, I took the advice of Eater contributor Caroline Shin and headed to Meet Fresh for grass jelly, a silky, black herbal jelly hailing from Taiwan. At the chain, which has locations across the U.S., there are enough options to keep you coming back to work through the whole menu (and in winter, there are plenty of hot counterparts). On this visit, I went with the grass jelly icy signature, which comes with grass jelly, plus two colors of taro balls, on a bed of herbal shaved ice ($11), enough to be a full meal. It’s the dessert equivalent of an adult bouncy ball pit — with every bite, there’s a different chewy texture, and thankfully, the dessert isn’t too sweet. The bowl comes with a creamer shot for dousing, but I think it’s plenty delicious without it. 37 Cooper Square, at East Sixth Street, East Village — Emma Orlow, reporter

An overhead photograph of a phone taking a picture of the buldak pizza at Nowon.
The buldak pizza at Nowon.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

Buldak pizza at Nowon

Ever had a Korean pizza? Since May, you’ve been able to find them at Appa’s, a new pizzeria in the East Village that’s inspired by Pizza Hut, where its owner used to work. Now they have a home in Bushwick, too: Nowon, a Korean American restaurant that’s been open in the East Village since 2019, opened a second location last week. Its pies, made in an oven inherited from the building’s previous tenant, Faro, were less Pizza Hut and more CPK. There are a couple of them on the menu, and we tried the one with barbecue chicken ($24): It was medium-sized with a sweet tomato sauce, the kind of pizza whose slices bend slightly under the weight of their toppings. Thumbs up from this Californian. 436 Jefferson Street, near Wyckoff Avenue, Bushwick — Luke Fortney, reporter

Hilsa fish at Korai Kitchen

Last week, I had a friend in town, originally from Bangladesh, who’d been eyeing takeout-only Korai Kitchen for its homestyle cooking; we ordered what felt like the entire menu. As a Jersey City resident, Korai Kitchen is in my regular rotation, a fantastic option for its fish dishes. We especially liked the mustard oil-laced hilsa fish ($60), similar to shad, with eggplant and potatoes. (It’s a celebration meal, with the fish itself imported from Bangladesh, the restaurant explained.) Korai Kitchen’s owners also operate a nearby halal grocery, and will bring back sit-down dining soon. 576 Summit Avenue, near Cottage Street, Journal Square — Melissa McCart, editor