Tag Archives: Prospect Heights

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

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

Chawanmushi is not a dish you see on many menus at hip, seasonal Brooklyn restaurants. But Olmsted is not your typical hip, seasonl Brooklyn restaurant. It’s the best restaurant I visited all year and the fact that Chef Greg Baxtrom is reinterpreting this Japanese egg custard is a win for everyone involved (the Japanese, the Brooklynites, and the diners). A rotating roster of seasonal ingredients (like earthy truffles or maitake mushrooms) come mixed with charred onions and that delicate creamy egg custard. Price: $16
OLMSTED
659 Vanderbilt Avenue (between Park Place and Prospect Place),
Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
(718) 0552-2610
olmstednyc.com

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

Most critics in New York agree that Olmsted is by far one of the best restaurants to open in the city this year. I was fortunate enough to eat there this summer and as you will notice from my 100 Best list, I tend to agree with the others. Perhaps most impressive was how fantastic and textured this frozen yogurt was. Lightly kissed with lavender honey, it’s about as far from cheap take-away fro yo as you can get. Price: $8

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

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

OLMSTED, 659 Vanderbilt Avenue (between Prospect Place and Park Place), Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

Just when I thought the seasonal, local food scene in Brooklyn was getting a little tiresome, dare I even say boring, Olmsted comes along and breathes life to the Brooklyn restaurant world. The meal I had at this bright, classy Prospect Heights dining room was one of the best I’ve had in a long while.

It’s the brainchild of Chef Greg Baxtrom (who has worked at some of Manhattan’s top restaurants like Per Se and Atera) and Farmer Ian Rothman who have a beautiful garden behind the restaurant that provides many of the dishes’ herbs and vegetables and acts as a stunning waiting and bar area for diners waiting for their table.

Our entire experience was airy and sophisticated without the high price point or the stuffy service. I can truly say everything was perfect. And I don’t say that a lot. (more…)


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

Jerk Chicken at THE ISLANDS

I’ve been wanting to go to The Islands restaurant for their homecooked Jamaican food since pretty early in my New York foodie career. I finally made it out here for lunch one day when they were not seating people but doing take-out orders. That didn’t bother me because I still got to try their legendary jerk chicken, which features large cuts of bone-in chicken rubbed with a smoky/spicy jerk seasoning and sauce. The chicken falls right off the bone and will warm you up on a cold day or fill you up any time of the year. Price: $8/$10

THE ISLANDS
803 Washington Avenue (between Sterling and Lincoln Place),
Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
(718) 398-3575

My search for the best falafel in New York continues….

KULUSHKAT GOURMET FALAFEL, 446 Dean Street (between 5th Avenue and Flatbush Avenue), Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

You can pretty much stuff whatever you want inside a falafel. And some places do. I’ve seen such unconventional fillings like sundried tomatoes, olives, and spinach. It seems these tend to be popular at Israeli falafel joints. And I love it because I can usually get a sampler and try some unique falafel creations.

No Falafel For You!

The strangest filling I’ve ever encountered was at Kulushkät Gourmet Falafel in Prospect Heights. They call it their chicken falafel. Now I’ve seen places that mix chicken schawarma and falafel into one sandwich (usually called a shawafel), but this was the first time I had seen chicken stuffed inside the falafel. But why not?

(more…)


Category: Falafel

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