Best of NYC: Our Critics List Their 10 Favorite Dishes

Robert Sietsema, Sarah DeGregorio, and Rebecca Marx recap their respective years in food

6. Given all the hype accompanying Ben Sargent's not-so-secret lobster roll delivery service, it's easy to forget what made people get worked up about the Underground Lobster Pound in the first place. Until, that is, you eat one of the lobster rolls. Sargent, a/k/a Dr. Claw, gets all of the details exactly right: He butters and toasts his Pepperidge Farm bun and then does nothing but cram it full with crustacean, season it with Old Bay, and anoint it with a bit of Hellmann's. The freckled meat is impeccably fresh, the bun shines with butter, and the whole thing is so wonderful that it may make you forget that you're not on a stretch of Maine coastline, but in Greenpoint. 917-667-2152, Brooklyn

7. Gabrielle Hamilton's cold spicy eggplant at Prune illustrates one of her great strengths as a chef, which is to get the hell out of the way and let the ingredients do the talking. Here, the nightshade is engaged in deep conversation with nuggets of fried salt cod and a lone hard-boiled egg. Piled onto a long plank of flatbread, the eggplant speaks of cool, silken pulp; the fish answers with savory crunch; and the eggs just go along for the ride, happy to mediate between the two. The flatbread does its part, too, providing an able vehicle for getting it all into your mouth. 54 East First Street, 212-677-6221

8. Though Mimi's Hummus is known primarily for the magic it works on chickpeas, it also serves a kickass rendition of shakshuka, the Moroccan tomato stew with sunny-side-up eggs. At Mimi's, it's served in a scorching-hot cast-iron skillet, which makes the stew bubble and hiss mellifluously as you attempt to get it in your mouth. The tomato stew is spicy and fragrant with cinnamon, and the egg yolks are liquid sunshine. Mashed together and sopped up with pieces of fluffy pita, the whole thing renders the invention of eggs Benedict completely irrelevant. Plus, it's served with a cold cucumber and tomato salad—just the thing to put out the fire. 1209 Cortelyou Road, Brooklyn,718-284-4444

Annisa
Annisa
Northeast Taste Chinese Food
Northeast Taste Chinese Food

Location Info

Map

Mile End

97 Hoyt St.
Brooklyn, NY 11217

Category: Restaurant > Barbecue

Region: Park Slope

Yee Kee H.K. Style

1232 Ave. U
Brooklyn, NY 11229

Category: Restaurant > Chinese

Region: Brooklyn

Annisa

13 Barrow St.
New York, NY 10014

Category: Restaurant > Asian Fusion

Region: Greenwich Village

Sapthagiri Indian Restaurant

804 Newark Ave.
Jersey City, NJ 07306

Category: Restaurant > Indian

Region: Jersey City

The Meatball Shop

84 Stanton St.
New York, NY 10002

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: Lower East Side

Northeast Taste Chinese Food

43-18 Main St.
Flushing, NY 11355

Category: Restaurant > Chinese

Region: Flushing

The Breslin Bar & Dining Room

16 W. 29th St.
New York, NY 10001

Category: Restaurant > English

Region: Garment District

The Vanderbilt

570 Vanderbilt Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11238

Category: Restaurant > Bistro

Region: Prospect Heights

Momokawa

157 E. 28th St.
New York, NY 10016

Category: Restaurant > Japanese

Region: Gramercy Park

Tamarind Tribeca

99 Hudson St.
New York, NY 10013

Category: Restaurant > Indian

Region: Tribeca

Fatty 'Cue

91 S. Sixth St.
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Category: Restaurant > Asian Fusion

Region: Brooklyn

Bhojan

102 Lexington Ave.
New York, NY 10016

Category: Restaurant > Indian

Region: Gramercy Park

Lan Sheng Szechuan Restaurant

60 W. 39th St.
New York, NY 10018

Category: Restaurant > Asian

Region: West 40s

Maialino

2 Lexington Ave.
New York, NY 10010

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: Chelsea

BaoHaus

137 Rivington St.
New York, NY 10002

Category: Restaurant > Chinese

Region: Lower East Side

Red Apple Fast Food

4817 Eighth Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11220

Category: Restaurant > Chinese

Region: Sunset Park

Cheeky Sandwiches

35 Orchard St.
New York, NY 10002

Category: Restaurant > Cajun

Region: Chinatown

Co Ba

110 9th Ave.
New York, NY 10011

Category: Restaurant > Vietnamese

Region: Chelsea

Laut

15 E. 17th St.
New York, NY 10003

Category: Restaurant > Asian

Region: East Village

Txikito

240 9th Ave.
New York, NY 10001

Category: Restaurant > Basque

Region: Chelsea

No. 7 Sub Shop

1188 Broadway
New York, NY 10001

Category: Restaurant > New American

Region: Garment District

Bouchon Bakery

10 Columbus Circle
New York, NY 10019

Category: Restaurant > Bakery

Region: West 50s

Cafe Katja

79 Orchard St.
New York, NY 10002

Category: Restaurant > German

Region: East Village

Little Buddy Biscuit Company

635 5th Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11215

Category: Restaurant >

Region: Brooklyn

Prune

54 E. First St.
New York, NY 10003

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: East Village

Mimi's Hummus

1209 Cortelyou Road
Brooklyn, NY 11218

Category: Restaurant > Mediterranean

Region: Brooklyn

Fort Defiance

365 Van Brunt St.
Brooklyn, NY 11231

Category: Restaurant > Cafe

Region: Red Hook

Details

Best of NYC picks
Arts & Entertainment
Bars & Clubs
Eats & Treats
People & Places
Shops & Services
Sports & Recreation

Best of NYC Essays
Arts & Entertainment
The best thing about living in New York in fall 2010 is worrying about her Nicki Minaj's debut
by Rob Harvilla

Bars & Clubs
Partytown, USA: Thank gay promoter Josh Wood
by Michael Musto

Eats & Treats
Our critics list their 10 favorite dishes
by Robert Sietsema, Sarah DiGregorio, and Rebecca Marx

People & Places
How a Chock Full o' Nuts opening means the City's back
by Tom Robbins

Shops & Services
What $150 can get you in NYC
by Angela Ashman

Sports & Recreation
We're the greatest sports city in the worldóand proud of it
by Allen Barra

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9. Saganaki is another way of saying "baked or fried cheese," which is another way of saying "inherently delicious." At Astoria's Agnanti Meze, the saganaki are about the size of softballs and come three to a plate, surprisingly wrapped in phyllo dough, making them one of the city's most unapologetic gutbombs. But their brawniness belies a surprising delicacy: The dough falls away in crisp, buttery flakes, revealing an oozing core of wonderfully salty, bracingly fresh cheese. It tastes of happiness and weight gain, and is a testament to the enduring powers of hot, protein-stuffed carbohydrates. 19-06 Ditmars Boulevard, Queens, 718-545-4554

10. Sometimes the most memorable dishes are the simplest. But while Fort Defiance's deviled eggs may be short on menu descriptors, they're certainly not lacking in thoughtful preparation. In addition to using the usual mayo, chef Bobby Duncan whips his yolks with Greek yogurt, which makes them even creamier and bestows a subtle tang. They're further adulterated with Old Bay, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper, and then showered with cured mustard seeds. The crunch of the seeds provides invigorating contrast to the silky yolks, which rise from their whites like billowing storm clouds. All told, they're eggs worth selling your soul for. 365 Van Brunt Street, Brooklyn, 347-453-6672

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