I’ve devoured Time Out’s 100 Best dishes and now, once again, I’ve been inspired to create my own list. These are the 100 dishes I have continued to think about since tasting them at some point in 2011. Look for another five dishes every few days. These are in no particular order. 

NUMBER 100: THE WATER MILL at QUALITY GREENS

I started last year’s list with a grilled chicken salad and I’ve found an even better one this year.

Quality Greens opened this summer inside FoodParc, an eclectic food court owned by Jeffrey Chodorow. Their salad kiosk has lots of customizable options and also a list of salad creations to choose from, including The Water Mill.

The salad itself is quite simple, with mixed greens, avocado, cherry tomatoes, goat cheese, and tender organic chicken. But it’s the quality of those ingredients along with the sweet and zingy apple cider vinaigrette dressing that make this salad stand out from all the other tiresome grilled chicken salads out there. Price: $9.75

QUALITY GREENS
839 Sixth Avenue (between West 29th and West 30th Street),
Inside Food Parc in the Eventii Hotel,
Flatiron District
(646) 600-7140
foodparc.com

NUMBER 99: MISO COLE SLAW at COCORON

When I think cole slaw, I think sweet, mayonnaise laden bowls on the table at Jewish delis. Cocoron may be in the Lower East Side, but that’s about all it has in common with Katz’s.

This excellent new soba joint offers a few extra appetizers and side dishes to accompany their noodles and this was by far my favorite. It’s just a few bites, but the vibrant red cabbage tossed with a smoky earthy miso vinaigrette and topped with sesame seeds and scallions, has loads of flavor, crunch, and creativity. Price: $2.50

COCORON
61 Delancey Street (between Eldridge and Allen Street),
Lower East Side
(212) 925-5220
cocoron-soba.com

NUMBER 98: ROASTED BEETS AND HOMEMADE BURRATA at BELL, BOOK, & CANDLE

It seems every new restaurant is required to have a roasted beet on the menu. At Bell, Book, and Candle, a new-ish haunt in the West Village, they take it up a notch.

I had no doubt the beets (which came in both beautiful deep red and cantaloupe orange hues) were going to be fresh since the restaurant has a hydroponic garden on their roof where they grow many of their vegetables and herbs.

But it was the addition of an earthy olive oil, a pistachio pesto, and dots of mint that brought the rich, sweet flavors to life. And it never hurts when you have a creamy, homemade burrata cheese to accompany it and keep it from becoming too wholesome. Turns out they’ve been serving the burrata now with blistered tomatoes instead of those delicious beets. Price: $12

BELL, BOOK, & CANDLE
141 West 10th Street (between Greenwich Avenue and Waverly Place),
West Village
(212) 414-2355
bbandcnyc.com

NUMBER 97: SUMMER BEAN SALAD at MÁ PÊCHE

We came to Má Pêche to experience their Beef Seven Ways meal, but we couldn’t leave without sampling some of the other dishes they had on offer.
My favorite was surprisingly this beautiful salad of green and wax beans firmly tossed with a beautiful soy vinaigrette, radishes, and dramatic sesame seeds. It had a wonderful fresh crunch with spicy, smoky, sweet notes. And I haven’t even mentioned my favorite ingredient yet: puffy little balls that turned out to be brilliant tofu croutons that melted in my mouth.
Unfortunately this is no longer available on their seasonally changing menu, but their new Broccoli Salad sounds great and perhaps this will return next summer.
MOMOFUKU MÁ PÊCHE
15 West 56th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenue)
Inside the Chambers Hotel
Midtown West
(212) 757-5878
momofuku.com/restaurants/ma-peche/

NUMBER 96: SMOKED CUCUMBERS at REDFARM

There seems to be a theme here, doesn’t there? I guess I really like Asian-influenced salads with sesame seeds. So sue me.

These were a play on pickles with rich sweet smoke flavors that gave way to a refreshing bit of heat from specks of red chilies that hid throughout the cucumbers. This was a great way to start the meal at this new upscale, market driven take on Chinese food.

And while the rest of the food was great here, I’d be just as happy to munch on these addictive and flavorful cucumbers all night long. How often do you hear that? Price: $6

REDFARM
529 Hudson Street (between 10th Street and Charles Street)
West Village
(212) 792-9700
redfarmnyc.com
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About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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