We do this every year on the Bay Area board – a roundup of the best 10 things we’ve tasted this year (we try to keep it to things that were new to us this year, but sometimes it’s hard to deny an old favorite). As I was writing up my list, I realized that I may have actually eaten at more restaurants in NYC than in the Bay Area this year, and decided to make a NYC list as well.
In no particular order:
1. Apple kimchee (Momofuku Ssam Bar) - with its seasoned apples, crisp bacon, and maple labne, this dish strikes a perfect balance between sweet, salt, and spice, cooked and raw, crisp and creamy.
2. Bucatini all’Amatriciana (Lupa) – the gorgeous, sweet, meltingly tender chunks of guanciale earn this dish a spot on the list, but the pasta and the sauce were pretty great, too.
3. Scallop roe sac (Sushi Yasuda) – like the sweetest, eggiest uni ever. I should start timing trips to NYC to coincide with roe sac season.
4. Peace passage oyster (Sushi Yasuda) – I haven’t been able to exactly articulate what it is that makes this so great – it’s something more than just the extraordinarily delicate texture, or the sweetness of the oyster, or the perfectly calibrated dusting of coarse salt on top.
5. Passion fruit chocolate (Kee’s) – the most intense fruit-flavored truffle I’ve ever had. Kee’s chocolates are the first I’ve ever had that impressed me with the quality of their shells as well – they’re ultra-glossy, and have a give and snap that I’ve never appreciated in any other filled chocolate.
6. Green tea cupcake (Kee’s) – the cupcake that finally made me appreciate cupcakes. Beautifully textured cake, with a thin slick of top-quality, black-pepper spiked ganache.
7. Plain croissant (Petrossian) – extraordinarily flaky and buttery – the best croissant I’ve had in the US.
8. “Cheesesteak” (Degustation) - ultra-thin, rare, smoky beef with izdiabel cheese emulsion layered on a thin, crisp crouton.
9. Plain bagel (Absolute Bagel) – has the elasticity and elusive, near-velvety texture I crave. Next time, I’m bringing back two dozen on the plane.
10. Quail with pine nut butter (Degustation) – my fave quail preparation of the year. Finding my old writeup just reminded me I’ve been wanting to play with grinding up pinenuts myself.
Looking forward to hearing about other people's faves...
170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012
80 Thompson St, New York, NY 10012
Momofuku Ssam Bar
207 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003
204 E 43rd St, New York, NY 10017
239 E 5th St, New York, NY 10003
2788 Broadway, New York, NY 10025
182 W 58th St, New York, NY 10019
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