Category Archives: BRIAN’S 100 Best ’16

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2016…

This year the best taco purveyor in Manhattan (Los Tacos No. 1) opened a secret little side bar making the best fish tacos in the city. These guys are called No. 1 for a reason. Seafood reigns supreme here and their ceviche is top notch. Served on a crisp tortille and topped with fresh avocado, the bass mixture is bright, fresh, and completely satisfying. Price: $4
LOS MARISCOS
409 West 15th Street (between Ninth and Tenth Avenue),
Inside Chelsea Market
Chelsea
(212) 920-4986
http://www.losmariscos1.com

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2016…

Leave it to me to visit one of the best new speakeasies and not even have a cocktail. I studied the menu and watched the bartenders work their magic at Karasu, hidden behind the local restaurant Walter’s, but I didn’t order a drink because I was on my way to give a tour (and I try to stay somewhat sober for those). But I came here to check out the place (which is awesome) and have some dinner.  The food, like the cocktails, are Japanese-inspired. And the softly breaded and incredibly tender fried chicken pieces with dipping sauces almost makes up for the lack of alcohol. Price: $11
KARASU
166 Dekalb Avenue (at Cumberland Street),
Behind Walter’s Restaurant
(347) 223-4811
Fort Greene, Brooklyn
karasubk.com

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2016…

Ho Mok was definitely one of the most unique and interesting dishes I have tried in a long time. This is rather obscure Southereast Asian dish that is essentially a steamed fish custard. It’s much better than it sounds. The two pots of rich, creamy mousse are comprised of striped bass and a coconut based red curry. Maximum flavor is revealed through herbal kaffir lime and sweet Thai basil. Its unique texture and rich complex flavor make this a must try.   Price: $4

KIIN THAI EATERY
36 East 8th Street (between Greene Street and University Place),
Greenwich Village
(212) 529-2363
kiinthaieatery.com

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2016…

Totonno’s should have been on a previous 100 best list, but it wasn’t until this year that I fully understood its greatness. I was unimpressed on my first visit many years ago, but goes to show variables can make me wrong. The pizza here is great and a true New York classic – thin chewy charred crust and a sweet tomato sauce tamed by a rich buttery tang from the globs of cheese. Price: $16.50/$19.50

TOTONNO PIZZERIA NAPOLITANA
1524 Neptune Avenue (between West 16th and West 15th Street),
Coney Island, Brooklyn
(718) 372-8606
totonnosconeyisland.com

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2016…

I had some issues with the service at Danny Meyer’s Roman pizza palace, but I can’t ignore the fact that the food is pretty great. Especially the mushroom loaded pie. The perfectly charred thin crust provides a perfect showcase for the simplicity and complexity of hen of the woods and chanterrelle mushrooms. It’s dotted with both sharp fontina and buttery mozzarella. And then thyme and red onions bring out the woodsy and earthy notes. Price: $16
MARTA
29 East 29th Street (between Madison Avenue and Park Avenue South),
In the Redbury Hotel
(212) 651-3800
martamanhattan.com

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2016…

When I am feeling under the weather, I run to the nearest Thai restaurant and order their spicy and sour tom yum gong soup. Clears things right up. The trendy Fish Cheeks is far from a take-out joint and their communal soup is one of the best versions I’ve ever tasted. The milky shrimp broth is loaded with delicate flavors from mushrooms, chiles, galangal, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves. It’s quite spicy, nicely funky, and completely restorative.. Price: $22

FISH CHEEKS
55 Bond Street (between Bowery and Lafayette Street),
Noho
(212) 677-2223
fishcheeksnyc.com

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