Tag Archives: Vegetarian/Vegan

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…

You wouldn’t expect what looks like a giant charred bone-in rib eye steak to walk through the dining room of vegetarian-focused Nix. It’s actually not a steak but a game-changing dessert cut to resemble a steak. A quartered tandoor-roasted pineapple is crisped and brushed with a tangy tamarind glaze, vegan whipped cream (made from chickpeas), and toasted macadamia nuts. It’s absolutely amazing – and needs to be ordered in advance.

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…

Filipino is not always the first cuisine that comes to mind when you think brunch. But once you try this giant smoky tortang talong (eggplant omelette) with garlic rice, you’ll start to crave it all hours of the day. It will hold you over if it’s part of your first meal of the day, but it’s also available at the hip dinner service at Manila Social Club. Price: $12 (brunch)/$15 (dinner)
MANILA SOCIAL CLUB
2 Hope Street (at Roebling Street),
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
(718) 384-4396
manilasocialclub.com

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

Did you ever crave something cold and sweet but feel guilty about your frozen yogurt addiction? Pressed Juicery figured it out for us. The California chain arrived in New York this year and are taking their cold pressed juices and turning them into a slushy health bomb you can eat with a spoon. Flavors are unique like Greens (apple, celery, cucumber, kale, lemon) and Roots (beets, carrots, apples, lemon). Who knew soft serve could be so good for you? Price: $4.95-$6.50
PRESSED JUICERY
2857 Broadway (between West 110th and West 111th Street),
Upper West Side

(212) 222-2279
100 Maiden Lane (between Pearl and William Street),
Financial District
(646) 998-4981
337 Park Avenue South (at East 25th Street),
Flatiron District
(646) 833-7150
pressedjuicery.com

 


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

GALERIA, 43 Clinton Street (between Stanton and Rivington Street), Lower East Side

If you like your trendy rice bowl so much, you can even take it home with you. Because in addition to the food, the bowls are also for sale at Galeria. This light breezy Brazilian café moonlights as an art gallery and a showroom. It’s very funky and artsy with an interesting menu.

Just as IKEA serves Swedish meatballs for obvious reasons, Galeria concentrates on Brazilian food. I’ve been intrigued by their tapioca sandwiches and wowed by their brigadeiro chocolate truffles. But what’s really made an impression on me here is their acaí bowl. (more…)


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

NIX, 72 University Place (between East 11th and East 12th Street), Greenwich Village

Around the holidays, I try to gear my Dish of the Week to be appropriate for the season. Somehow on Thanksgiving, I always manage to find some interesting turkey dish and Christmas flavors are usually a home run come December 25.

For those that didn’t notice all the cheesy decorations around town, we are now fast approaching Halloween. And here I am without any recent great candy or pumpkin dishes to speak of. But I realized that the dish I recently tasted at the great vegetarian restaurant Nix is absolutely appropriate for Halloween. This is a mushroom dish that is somehow disguised as pasta. (more…)


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