Tag Archives: Barbecue

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

I thought the concept at Pig Bleecker was pretty ingenious. As far as I know, it’s the first restaurant to take components and techniques from American BBQ and incorporating them into other more refined dishes. Some dishes worked better than others, but by far the most successful were these delicate plump ravioli stuffed with tender smoky brisket. What you would not find at most pit houses is the addition of truffle butter and a sweet and acidic barolo reduction. Price: $24
PIG BLEECKER
155 Bleecker Street (at Thompson Street),
Greenwich Village
pigbleeckernyc.com

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

There’s a lot to discover about Filipino food. It’s lesser known in this country and it is great. First thing you need to know is that Filipino cuisine has their own bacon. You like this already, don’t you? It’s not smoked like its Western counterpart, but tocino is cured pork with wine, sugar, and salt before it is roasted. The crispy sweet version at Grill 21 is a true revelation. You can get it as part of a platter or with eggs, but you may as well just order it all by itself. Price: $14

 

GRILL 21
346 East 21st Street (between First and Second Avenue),
Stuyvesant Town
(212) 473-5950
facebook.com/thegrill21/

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

2016 was a tough year. From a whirlwind political circus to the loss of many beloved celebrities to worldwide tragedies, the news was full of sad things. But there was still joy out there and as usual, I found a lot of that joy through food. And here in New York, these are the 5 dishes that gave me the most joy….

NUMBER 5: RICOTTA HOT CAKES at TWO HANDS BAR & RESTAURANT

Australian-owned coffee shops and cafés are taking over the city. And if they all do brunch as well as Two Hands, I’m happy to give it to them. I’m especially taken with their amazingly gluten free ricotta hot cakes. The large hotcake is browned to the edge yet the interior is cheesy and doughy (although not with actual dough). It’s topped with a tangy whipped ricotta, seasonal berries, and pecans for crunch. Of course, as any brunch cake should, it’s served with a side of maple syrup. Price: $14

TWO HANDS RESTAURANT & BAR
251 Church Street (between Leonard and Franklin Street),
Tribeca
twohandsnyc.com

NUMBER 4: U & I at MU RAMEN

This is an appetizer fit for a king. I probably went a little overboard eating it by myself, but it’s been a tough year. If translated into English terms, the uninitiated might not want to try the sea urchin gonads (uni) and fish eggs (ikura), but these are two of the greatest culinary pleasures I can think of. And together, they are just amazing. The bright orange uni is as creamy, sweet, and rich as it gets. The four lobes sat on a bed of warm rice and a spicy tuna mixture. More texture was provided in the abundant briny roe which was tamed by the strips of toasted dried seaweed. And then on top, sat a round of potent and fresh wasabi. Market Price

MU RAMEN
1209 Jackson Avenue (between 48th Avenue and 47th Road),
Long Island City, Queens
(917) 868-8903
ramennyc.wixsite.com/popup

NUMBER 3: PASTRAMI BACON at HOMETOWN BAR-B-QUE

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Hometown Bar-B-que is the best barbecue we have in New York. It’s worth trekking out to Red Hook to get a taste of anything they smoke. This year, I was brought to meat heaven by a slab of grilled, smoked bacon. It was seasoned generously with pepper and pastrami spices and featured char marks along the exterior. It had the perfect layer of fat, which was buttery but not unctuous. Each bite was peppery, smoky, and luscious. I can’t think of a better pairing than the accompanying sweet and spicy honey mustard sauce. I’m excited to see what smoked meat from Hometown will end up on next year’s list. Price: $14 per 1/4 pound

HOMETOWN BAR-B-QUE
454 Van Brunt Street (at Reed Street),
Red Hook, Brooklyn
(347) 294-4644
hometownbarbque.com

NUMBER 2: CARROT CREPE at OLMSTED

This particular dish is not just at the top of my list, but many restaurant critics and bloggers around the city. Olmsted was hand’s down one of the top dining experiences of the year. And this crepe made from carrots was impeccable. Yes, it’s a crepe made from carrots, but it’s similar in texture to a giant tender ravioli. Inside littleneck clams are buttery and briny and pair perfectly with the creamy complex carrot reduction. Sunflower seeds and sweet carrot ribbons provide crunch and texture. It’s a gorgeously plated dish and one of the rare ones that tastes as good as it looks. Price: $15

OLMSTED
659 Vanderbilt Avenue (between Park Place and Prospect Place),
Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
(718) 0552-2610
olmstednyc.com

NUMBER 1: SHIITAKE “CACIO E PEPE” at NIX

Cacio e pepe is a classic Roman pasta dish that is as simple as it gets: cheese and black pepper. It has also somehow become quite trendy in NYC lately. Chef John Fraser’s version loses the pasta and replaces it with rich polenta and tender peppery shiitake mushrooms that are sliced to provide an al dente texture. The rich woodsy notes of those shrooms are countered with sweet bites of corn kernels and a few bright green beans. Of course, as is appropriate, the dish is showered with plenty of sharp pecorino cheese. It’s honestly a dish I have been thinking about since I tasted it and it’s the best thing I tried all year. Price: $24

NIX
72 University Place (between East 10th and East 11th Street),
Greenwich Village
(212) 498-9393
nixny.com

Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

HOMETOWN BAR-B-QUE, 454 Van Brunt Street (at Reed Street), Red Hook, Brooklyn

I unequivocally claim that the best barbecue in New York City (and perhaps in the northeast) is at Hometown Bar-B-Que in the hard-to-reach neighborhood of Red Hook. People in the food world have made the pilgrimage to Hometown. And after eating there for the second time recently, I know that there is nowhere better.

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I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2015…

BBQ Platter at MABLE'S SMOKEHOUSE & BANQUET HALLMable’s is one of the older of the new movement barbecue joints in the city, but I just got there for the first time this year. The owners hail from Oklahoma and although the smoking technique most closely resembles Texas-style, there are a few variations. On the BBQ platter (which is big enough for two of three), you get to pick three meats and three sides. The tender smoked brisket is great and I loved the tangy pulled pork. But it was the hot link flown in from Oklahoma (unfortunately it’s no longer available) that really made this platter unique. But even without that on the plate, everything was hugely delicious. Price: $39.95

MABLE’S SMOKEHOUSE & BANQUET HALL
44 Berry Street (entrance on North 11th Street),
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
(718) 218-6655
mablessmokehouse.com

Come back every Wednesday for another funny, informative video documenting my inept food adventures. 

As we put 2014 to bed, I one more time dream about the ten best dishes I tasted throughout the year. You can read more about each dish here or you can just watch this video and revel in my gluttony.

Top 10 Dishes of 2014


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