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
|839 Sixth Avenue (between West 29th and West 30th Street),
Inside Food Parc in the Eventii Hotel,
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
|61 Delancey Street (between Eldridge and Allen Street),
Lower East Side
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),
|MOMOFUKU MÁ PÊCHE|
|15 West 56th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenue)
Inside the Chambers Hotel
NUMBER 96: SMOKED CUCUMBERS at REDFARM
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
|529 Hudson Street (between 10th Street and Charles Street)