Tag Archives: Tribeca

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…

New Yorkers and Chicagoans spar over which pizza reigns supreme (we all know whose it is) but after Hank’s Juicy Beef opened in Tribeca, we can all agree who makes the better beef sandwich. The slow roasted beef sandwich lies somewhere between a Philly cheese steak and a wet French Dip sandwich. It’s sprinkled with provolone and dredged through the garden with sweet peppers and spicy pickled vegetables (giardiniera) for a healthy kick that plays with the juicy richness of the sliced beef. Price: $10.57
HANK’S JUICY BEEF
84 Chambers Street (between Church Street and Broadway),
Tribeca
(646) 828-8996
hanksjuicybeef.com

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

It doesn’t get trendier than avocado toast. It’s as simple as can be – smashed avocado maybe toasted with some lemon and chili flakes and placed on a thick piece of toast. No wonder it’s such a brunch sensation. Gotan adds a little salty feta, bright mint, and sweet cherry tomatoes for a complete midday experience. Price: $8

GOTAN
130 Franklin Street (between West Broadway and VArick Street),
Tribeca
(212) 431-5200
20 West 46th Street (between Fifth and Sixth Avenue),
Midtown West
(212) 300-4910
258 Wythe Avenue (between North 3rd Street and Metropolitan Avenue),
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
(718) 384-1872
gotannyc.com

 


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

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

When you see the word cake on a brunch menu, odds are it is off-limits for those practicing a gluten-free diet. I imagine celiacs dream of pancakes every Sunday morning. Well, hallelujah, there is an option available at the trendy new brunch mecca Two Hands Bar & Restaurant.

This Australian-owned restaurant is a larger and more food-focused location of Nolita’s Two Hands, which garners long lines for its flat whites and avocado toasts. Here, the menu is much more extensive and even includes a dinner option.

One of these days I’d like to try their evening menu, but I could tell by the bright and lively interior, that brunch is the way to go here.

(more…)


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

It was actually very difficult to narrow down all the things I tasted this year to the 100 Best. It was a good year for food in New York. Food is the best way to create memories and these top ten are dishes I’ll never forget.

NUMBER 10: GRIDDLE PANCAKE SKEWER at TASTE OF NORTHERN CHINA

Griddle Pancake at TASTE OF NORTHERN CHINA

The specialty of the house at this hard-to-find Chinatown haunt are northern Chinese skewers. Proteins and vegetables are put on a stick, marinated with spices, and then grilled. The most surprising one I discovered was not made of protein or vegetables. It was a pancake. Playfully presented on two sticks (also because it makes it easier to cook the bread over the charcoals), the pancake is like a dense Naan bread, slightly doughy and enhanced by its grilled exterior and seasoned with the same spice mixture the others get. While cumin, chile, and salt are obvious for meat and vegetables, it works even better on this pancake. Price: $1.25

TASTE OF NORTHERN CHINA
88 East Broadway, #106
(entrance on Forsyth Street),
Chinatown
(917) 302-8831

NUMBER 9: CHOCOLATE NUTELLA BABKA at BREADS BAKERY

Chocolate Nutella Babka at BREADS BAKERY

If you’ve never had the Jewish cake known as babka, it’s both good and bad to start with this one. Good because it is so delicious, but bad because you might never find another babka to compare. This one is the perfect babka. Each layer is filled with Belgian chocolate and Nutella and tastes yeasty, buttery, and sweet. While it might look like a gnarled burnt pretzel, the flavors and freshness speaks volumes. It certainly helps that the very busy Breads bakes their babkas three times throughout the day. Price: $12

BREADS BAKERY
18 East 16th Street (between Fifth Avenue and Union Square West),
Union Square
(212) 633-2253
breadsbakery.com

NUMBER 8: JERK FRIED WINGS at GLADY’S

Jerk Wings at GLADY'S

It takes chutzpah for a white Jewish kid to open a Caribbean restaurant in Crown Heights, a vibrant Caribbean neighborhood. But the community has embraced him. There is no denying he is doing this food justice. A perfect example are the chicken wings, which are sticky and sweet with a backbone of that smoky, spicy jerk heat. Each piece of meat just fell right off the bone yet held on tight to lots of flavor. On the side was not blue cheese, but a sweet, spicy dipping sauce. Price: $7

GLADY’S
788 Franklin Avenue (at Lincoln Place),
Crown Heights, Brooklyn
(718) 622-0249
gladysnyc.com

NUMBER 7: PIZZA at ARCADE BAKERY

Pizza at ARCADE BAKERY

I love hidden cafés and restaurants. You totally feel in the know when you walk into a non-descript office building confident about the hidden little bakery in the lobby. That’s the case with Arcade Bakery, but there not just a gimmick. Their bread and pastries are some of the best in the city. The crust is not usually my favorite part of a pizza, but here it’s all about the bread. The rich softness of the olive-oil slicked crust made me wonder if there was cheese inside the crust (there wasn’t). Each bite revealed a warm yeasty interior and I got lost in the doughy bites contemplating the beauty of life itself. All while hiding out inside an office building lobby. Price: $9

ARCADE BAKERY
220 Church Street (between Thomas and Worth Street),
Tribeca
(212) 227-7895
arcadebakery.com

NUMBER 6: THE KOREANO at FUKU

The Koreano at FUKU

Many food critics have proclaimed the fried chicken sandwich the dish of the year. I tend to agree and most people’s favorite is David Chang’s Korean spin at Fuku. I was skeptical by the hype, but quickly won over. The gigantic piece of chicken is comprised of juicy thigh meat and a super crispy breading that hides lots of spices and flavor. Even more flavor hid inside the bottle of magical Ssam sauce. The funky flavors of ssämjang (fermented bean and chile paste) mingle with the sweetness of sherry vinegar and the spiciness of kochujang. It’s truly incredible and addicting. Price: $9

FUKU
163 First Avenue (between East 10th and East 11th Street),
East Village
momofuku.com/new-york/fuku/

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

Chicken Under a Brick at MARC FORGIONEPeople don’t often realize how delicious chicken can actually be. Marc Forgione has mastered the art of revealing every ounce of flavor from the poultry. Half a chicken is pan-roasted under a brick and ensures the bird has the crispiest skin possible and the butter, lemon, and salt complement the flavor of the meat and allows the soft flesh to fall right off the bone. It’s accompanied with potatoes, broccoli rabe, and rich, homey pan drippings. You’ll forget Thanksgiving ever existed. Price: $31/$62 (for two)

MARC FORGIONE
134 Reade Street (between Greenwich and Hudson Street),
Tribeca
(212) 941-9401
marcforgione.com

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