Tag Archives: Middle Eastern

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

Kubeh are Middle Eastern dumplings served in broth. Think matzo ball soup but more Sephardic than Ashkenazi. And the dumplings run deeper than just matzo meal. At the new restaurant with the same name, you can find lamb, beef, veggie, or fish dumplings. The fish was made up of ground cod, cilantro, and a hint of cumin. They were delicate and light (quite different than gefilte fish). You get to choose the broth you’d like and I thought the rich beet selek paired nicely with the fish balls. It was slightly spicy and very earthy with lots of veggie flavors. It was a nutritious and heartfelt meal. Price: $15

KUBEH
464 Sixth Avenue (at West 11th Street),
Greenwich Village
(646) 448-6688
eatkubeh.com

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

Steak tartare is one of those dishes that seems to be difficult to innovate. But Israeli chef Meir Adoni has reinvigorated the dish to an artful plating that is flavorful and filling enough for a main course. The hand-cut beef is earthy and meaty which plays nicely with an artist’s palette of colorful ingredients like smoked eggplant cream, tangy sheep’s milk yogurt, pine nuts, grated tomato, and too many other ingredients to name. Price: $26

NUR
34 East 20th Street (between Park Avenue South and Broadway),
Flatiron District
(212) 505-3420
nurnyc.com

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

Before I discovered it at Middle Eastern restaurants, I had almost no use for cauliflower. But this cuisine is perfect for the often bland white florets. Au Za’atar knows exactly what to do with them by marinating and then frying them to a perfect crisp brown. It comes topped with parsley and plenty of lemon to brighten the dish. Who knew cauliflower of all things could be so addicting? Price: $13

AU ZA’ATAR
188 Avenue A (between East 12th and East 11th Street),
East Village
(212) 254-5660
auzaatar.com

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

Leave it to hipster chefs to put an interesting spin on the bar snacks we know too well as chicken wings. Here they fry them and season them with a dry rub of za’atar spice. It gives it a distinct Middle Eastern vibe and when dipped in the labneh ranch and served with a side of pickles, it sings. And not your usual college football song. Price: $12/$17
SAMESA
495 Lorimer Street (between Powers and Grand Street),
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
(718) 599-1154
samesanyc.com

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

As I talked to the friendly guy behind the counter at Golda (perhaps the owner of this breezy Bed-Stuy café), he asked if I lived in the neighborhood. When I told him that I lived quite a bit away. I think he was pretty surprised and confused as to why I came all this way to eat an egg sandwich at a new local joint.

But that’s what I do. I think I may be one of the few that fully take advantage of the city and try to become a local everywhere.

And that includes this gentrifying part of Bedford-Stuyvesant. The last time I was out here things looked very different. There was certainly not a brunch-friendly spot with cold brewed coffee.

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

2016 was a pretty sad year for the New York restaurant world. It seemed like every week another announcement revealed that an old standby or well-regarded food spot was closing – victims of astronomical rents or high labor costs or just plain bored chefs.

Carnegie Deli, Soto, Montmarte, Betony, Fritzl’s Lunch Box, and Pork Slope were just some of the great dining establishments we lost. But the saddest for me by far was Victory Garden.

I didn’t write enough about this goat milk ice cream business in the West Village. I think that’s probably because I was so busy enjoying it and always forgot to sit down and reflect. It was definitely the place I visited the most – after dinner, after work, on the way home. Whenever I could. The soft serve was simply divine and the flavors were healthy and surprising.

But unlike most of those other businesses, we haven’t completely lost Victory Garden. Thank the good Lord!! They will still be packaging their ice cream in pints at local grocery stores, summertime will bring an ice cream wagon, and their incredible soft serve is available (albeit in one flavor only) at a cool little stand at Chelsea Market.

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