Category Archives: BRIAN’S 100 Best ’17

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2017…

I have yet to do my official search for the city’s best cannoli (one day – just you wait) but I think I may have already found them. And they are not from any of the bakeries that make all the other food publication’s lists. These traditional cannoli come from a newer vendor in the Arthur Avenue Retail Market which might be the most authentic Sicilian stop in the entire neighborhood. Italians sip espresso from the counter, every pastry is served with a cold glass of water, and the cannoli are comprised of a browned fried shell and the most luxurious sheep’s milk ricotta filling you can imagine. Price: $1.75/$3.50

CAFFÉ & GELATO
2344 Arthur Avenue (between East 186th Street and Crescent Avenue),
Inside Arthur Avenue Retail Market
Belmont, Bronx
(718) 684-3102
caffeandgelato.com

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2017…

Much like the Shark Eye at Mother of Pearl and a Bloody Mary (or Red Snapper) at Old King Cole Bar, the Sakagura Martini has become the stuff of NYC cocktail legend and in just a matter of a year. While it is very visual and Instagram-ready (if you can find the right light and angle), the drink is simplicity itself. Except you might not have thought of combining gin, sake, and maraschino liqueur for a smooth subtle martini twist. And garnished with a preserved cherry blossom, you’ll completely forget olives ever existed. Price: $16

BAR GOTO
245 Eldridge Street (between East Houston and Stanton Street),
Lower East Side
(212) 475-4411
bargoto.com

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2017…

My first post on this site was for the still excellent pizzeria Kesté. This year they expanded big time with locations in both Williamsburg and the Financial District. And they also got a little fancier with a few new appetizers that were not available at the original Bleecker Street location. Since the pizza has already made my list in year’s past, I have to rave about this amazing little play on arancini. It is a rich ball of spaghetti with bits of ham, peas, and mozzarella. The original Italian fried mac and cheese. Price: $3.50

KESTÉ
77 Fulton Street (at Gold Street)
Financial District
(212) 693-9030
232 North 12th Street (between Driggs Avenue and Bayard Street),
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
(917) 909-1183
kestepizzeria.com

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2017…

You may have seen cans of Rise Coffee in local grocery stores around New York, but they actually have a little storefront in the Lower East Side. When I say little, I mean it’s basically just a stand that is very easy to miss. But it would be a shame because they serve their nitro cold brew on tap which pours a rich creamy coffee that has less acidity and a smooth sweetness. Price: $4-$5

RISE COFFEE
85 Stanton Street (between Allen and Orchard Street),
Lower East Side
(646) 370-6962
risebrewingco.com

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2017…

Perhaps I fell for the cute, Instagram-friendly shape of these custard buns, but they were really my favorite thing at the dim sum meal I had at Joy Luck Palace. They are stuffed with a not-too-sweet egg custard and the pig faces themselves melt away into a texture somewhere between mochi and white bread. They’re both adorable and delicious.

JOY LUCK PALACE
98 Mott Street (between Canal and Hester Street),
Chinatown
(212) 219-2828
joyluckpalaceny.com/newyork

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2017…

Pasquale Jones is certainly not the first business to put clams on a pizza, but they have done justice to the tradition started at places like Lombardi’s and New Haven’s Frank Pepe. The hipster chefs here run an expert wood-fired oven crisping the sides to a nice charred pillow. This homage is richer than most with heavy cream standing in for mozzarella. Plump tender clams are plentiful playing beautifully with the bright lemon, garlic, parsley, and chopped broccoli rabe. Price: $24

PASQUALE JONES
187 Mulberry Street (at Kenmare Street),
Nolita
(917) 472-7230
pasqualejones.com

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