Best Sardines - 2009
Asmak Taama - CLOSED
Once the near-exclusive province of the Spanish, Portuguese, Turks, Japanese, and Greeks, sardines—the fresh kind, not the canned—are becoming gradually more popular, partly because of their sustainability. They also have a mild flavor and an oiliness that allows them to absorb plenty of smoky flavor—and, hey, maybe the oil is good for you, since it's filled with omega this and that. The bones are small enough that you can crunch them up or spit them out—your call. Sure, we loved the sardines at Yiasou and the now-defunct John Dory, but our favorite version this year was found at Egyptian restaurant Asmak Taama, where the big, mild sardines, streaked with blue, are grilled and served with cumin-dusted fries.