Tag Archives: Fine Dining

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


Looking back on 2014, I present the most memorable and greatest dishes of my year.

I can’t believe 2014 is practically over. It was fun while it lasted. And this year I really got a great taste of some new, hot restaurants in addition to dishes from classic New York institutions that I should have visited a long time ago. Here are the top five dishes I tasted this year:

NUMBER 5: SEA URCHIN GUACAMOLE at ÉLAN

SADLY, ÉLAN IS NOW CLOSED.

Sea Urchin Guacamole at ÉLAN

Asian-influenced guacamole really sounds like a mash-up gone horribly wrong, but in the capable hands of veteran chef David Waltuck, it is simply marvelous. Waltuck returned to the city this year with élan and brought his refined French technique together with unexpected flavors. The sea urchin guacamole adds a briny, rich layer to avocados that most taco joints would only dream about. Greaseless and light taro chips make the perfect vessel for a creamy guacamole that is dotted with sweet soy sauce and bright wasabi, along with the piéce de résistance: tongues of luxurious sea urchin. Price: $19

ÉLAN
43 East 20th Street (between Park Avenue South and Broadway),
Flatiron District
(646) 682-7105
elannyc.com

NUMBER 4: GRILLED SHORT RIB at BETONY

SADLY, BETONY IS NOW CLOSED.

Grilled Short Rib at BETONY

My birthday dinner this year was a huge blowout at Betony, which has reinvigorated the Midtown dining scene. It’s both fancy and high-end, but without too much stuffiness and if you play your cards right, you could get out of the restaurant without taking out a second mortgage. The dish I’m raving about now is one that most critics praised last year. Chef Bryce Shuman sous vides then grills a giant fatty beef rib, so it has both a masterful tenderness and a smoky crisp exterior. As perfect as the meat was, it’s heightened by its accompaniments which includes the greatest smoked mashed potatoes I’ve ever tasted. I wish it was my birthday all year long. Price: $40

BETONY
41 West 57th Street (between Fifth and Sixth Avenue),
Midtown West
(212) 465-2400
betony-nyc.com

NUMBER 3: ESPECIAL ADOBADA at LOS TACOS NO. 1

Adobada at LOS TACOS NO. 1

Forget kale salads or fried chicken, this was the year of Mexican food. There’s even now a bona fide high-end Mexican restaurant (Cosme) in New York selling NY strip tacos for $35. It’s supposed to be excellent, but for now, I’m going to stick with cheap and unfussy Mexican food. And this year, I discovered the best Mexican that Manhattan has to offer. Los Tacos No. 1 is nestled inside Chelsea Market. And here they are not only preparing impeccable tacos, but they are also deep frying a quesadilla. It’s called their Especial and can be stuffed with any filling, but I urge you to try the adobada (marinated pork and pineapple). Once you try this, you’ll have no interest in saving up for an expensive Mexican meal. This is all you need. Price: $5 ($6 with filling)

LOS TACOS NO. 1
75 Ninth Avenue (between West 15th and West 16th Street),
Inside Chelsea Market,
Meatpacking District
(212) 256-0343
lostacosno1.com

NUMBER 2: MILLE CRÊPES at LADY M CAKE BOUTIQUE

Milles Crêpes at LADY M CAKE BOUTIQUE

A cake boutique sounds ultra-fancy and intimidating, but don’t let it scare you away. Because Lady M is making one of the most interesting and mind-blowingly delicious treats in the entire city. The cake/crêpe hybrid known as a Mille Crépes means “thousand layers,” but all you really need are twenty. Each delicate layer of eggy pastry is cemented together with whipped cream and composed into a light, but decadent dessert with a perfect caramelized crown. If this is a cake boutique, I want to try everything on. In my belly. Price: $7.50

LADY M CAKE BOUTIQUE
36 West 40th Street (between Fifth and Sixth Avenue),
Midtown West
(212) 452-2222
41 East 78th Street (between Madison and Park Avenue),
Upper East Side
(212) 452-2222
The Plaza Food Hall,
One West 59th Street (between Fifth and Sixth Avenue),
Midtown West
(212) 452-2222
ladym.com

NUMBER 1: BEEF RIB at HOMETOWN BAR-B-QUE

Beef Rib at HOMETOWN BAR-B-QUE

I’m such a barbecue snob. I often tweet out remarks about very popular barbecue joints in the city that just don’t live up to my standard. I can never say that about Hometown. This place makes the best I’ve tasted in New York. It’s worth the trek out in Red Hook to splurge on their gigantic beef rib. I’m normally a fan of pork ribs, but this mammoth features a blackened crust of peppercorns and spices protecting a neverending slab of buttery meat and sweet fat. It almost feels like a smoked meat marshmallow. And it’s my favorite dish of the year. Price: $25/pound

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

Kyo Ya

Kaiseki is a traditional Japanese seasonal meal. The one at Kyo Ya is constantly changing at the chef and the Greenmarket’s whims. You must make a reservation for the 9, 10, or 11 course meal. But it is certainly worth planning ahead as you can delve into unexpected flavors that will leave your tastebuds clean and satisfied. Check out the video above to get a better sense of the meal. Price: $95/$120/$150

KYO YA
94 East 7th Street (between First Avenue and Avenue A),
East Village
(212) 982-4140

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

SADLY, BETONY IS NOW CLOSED.

BETONY, 41 West 57th Street (between Fifth and Sixth Avenue), Midtown West

It’s around this time every year that Time Out New York puts out their annual 100 Best Dishes list. I’ve always found that a fun issue. In fact, I spent three years of my life devouring every single dish the publication has recommended.

I’ve since grown up and made my own choices, but I always do enjoy using their list as a reference point for where to eat. But I have a sneaking suspicion that no such issue will be released this year. I know the staff has changed considerably (been downsized) and they don’t seem to devote entire issues to food any longer. But hopefully I’m wrong.

Until they do release a new list, I’m still working on a few of the offerings from last year’s list. Betony is one of 2013’s most-acclaimed restaurants. The chef and general manager hail from Eleven Madison Park, which is now famous as being one of the best restaurants in the world. I’m sure Betony is not too far away from those accolades. And I was lucky enough to celebrate my brithday dinner there.

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

THE NOMAD, 1170 Broadway (between 27th and 28th Street), Flatiron DistrictThe obvious choice for a Dish of the Week at the critically acclaimed hotel restaurant The Nomad would be their now iconic Roasted Chicken for $79. An entire bird is presented to the table bronzed and stuffed (with rosemary, foie gras, and truffle brioche), then it disappears back to the kitchen where it is composed into two plates of moist breast and dark meat tossed in a lemony butter sauce. It’s quite good, but it has been raved about so much over the last two years that my expectations were unattainable.

More impressive to me on my recent splurge of a dinner were some of the appetizers on Daniel Humm’s solid menu. We languished over the slow-cooked egg with earthy mushrooms, rich barley risotto, and a leaf of the crispiest kale ever. And we devoured the impeccable sweetbreads with a tender bite and deep sweet notes from a quine glaze and caramelized sunchokes. But I still yearn for the tagliatelle. Ah, that magical tagliatelle!

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I bring my sense of food adventure with me on the road, searching for the most authentic, iconic, and delicious dishes of a different region…

Eat This Vermont

I never thought I’d say this, but if I didn’t live in New York City, I might move to Vermont. I’m sure my excitement and high from my recent trip will subside, but I was amazed at how serious the food is up in this tiny little state. Although it’s the second least populated state in the country, it might be the biggest when it comes to small businesses making thoughtful and delicious food.

We visited some incredible restaurants, forward thinking farms, and shops. All had the same agenda: produce and consume locally. The locavore movement really may have started here, long before it was the hip thing to do. This was the specialty here in Vermont more than any one dish. But I did manage to find some dishes that I wanted to explore and most were better than expected.

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Category: Ice Cream, Travel

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