Dish No. 17: Razor Clam With Scallion Pesto in the Shape of a Peacock at Szechuan Chalet, NYC
Welcome to 100 Dishes to Eat Now, Fork in the Road's handy list of some of our favorite dishes -- old standbys and new finds alike -- compiled daily.
Today's pick: Razor clam with scallion pesto in the shape of a peacock at Szechuan Chalet (1395 Second Avenue, 212-737-1838).
No, it's not really a Sichuan dish, and it might not really even be Chinese, but the razor-clam offering at this Upper East Sider is spectacular -- a daikon head carved in the shape of a peacock body, with a carved carrot plume and feathers. Deposited behind the body is a shitload of wonderful de-shelled razor clams, and behind that, razor clams in their shells splayed to resemble a peacock's feathers, punctuated with halved baby plum tomatoes to stand in for the "eyes."
The pesto shows an Italian inspiration, only made with scallions instead of basil. Chinese pesto! The dish is the work of an ambitious chef, and it perfectly illustrates how influences swap around in our city to create new cuisines. Ta-da: Chinese-Italian!
My crew one evening at Szechuan Chalet.
Previously in the countdown: Dish No. 100: Zaragoza Grocery's Flor de Calabaza Quesadilla Dish No. 99: No. 7 Sub Shop's General Tso's Tofu Sandwich Dish No. 98: Nigerian Goat Stew From Baku Dish No. 97: The Captain's Daughter From Saltie Dish No. 96: Bun Bo Hue From Thanh Da Dish No. 95: The Beauty From Mile End Dish No. 94: Potato, Egg, and Provolone on a Roll at Torrisi Italian Specialties Dish No. 93: The Terrine Board at the Breslin Bar and Dining Room Dish No. 92: Sausage and Egg Breakfast at La Bonbonniere Dish No. 91: Roasted Carrots at Porchettta
Dish No. 90: Spicy Miso Ramen at Ramen Setagaya Dish No. 89: Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie From First Prize Pies Dish No. 88: Brown Butter, Corn, and Mushroom Linguine at Buttermilk Channel Dish No. 87: Katsudon at Ennju Dish No. 86: Fried Chicken With Two Sides at Soul Fixins Dish No. 85: Fried Lamb Intestines at El Quinto Pino Dish No. 84: Kunafa From Nablus Sweets Dish No. 83: Potato Flatbread at Sahadi's Dish No. 82: Chicken-Fried Chicken Livers at Cornbread Diner Dish No. 81: Taleggio, Broccoli Rabe, and Sausage Panini at Bocca Lupo
Dish No. 80: Hamburger at M. Wells in Long Island City Dish No. 79: Vanilla Malted at Brooklyn Farmacy Dish No. 78: Seafood Combo With Hot Sauce From Randazzo's Clam Bar Dish No. 77: Fried Ipswich Clams at Ed's Lobster Bar Dish No. 76: Banh Uot Thit Nuong (Grilled Pork and Noodles) at Co Ba Dish No. 75: Schiacciata con l'Uva at Sullivan Street Bakery Dish No. 74: Cornish Pasty at Myers of Keswick Dish No. 73: Baklava at Güllüoglu Dish No. 72: Sauerkraut Noodles at 8th Avenue Noodles Dish No. 71: The Super Heebster at Russ & Daughters
Dish No. 70: Grilled Octopus at Thistle Hill Tavern Dish No. 69: Firefly Squid at Momokawa Dish No. 68: Chicken Mole Enchiladas at Tulcingo Del Valle Dish No. 67: Fish 'n' Chips at Sel de Mer Dish No. 66: Whole Grilled Striped Bass at Okeanos Dish No. 65: Spinach Pie at Paradis To-Go Dish No. 64: Frisée aux Lardons With Tripe at Má Pêche Dish No. 63: Pickle Dog at Bark Hot Dogs Dish No. 62: 'Cue Coriander Bacon at Fatty 'Cue Dish No. 61: No. 12 Sandwich at Press 195
Dish No. 60: Cheeseburger at Shake Shack Dish No. 59: Fish Tacos at Pinche Taqueria Dish No. 58: Raw Oysters at Grand Central's Oyster Bar Dish No. 57: Bot Chien Trieu Chau at Tu Do Dish No. 56: Market Vegetable Salad at Strong Place Dish No. 55: Tofah e Zameen at Tamarind Tribeca Dish No. 54: Grandaisy Bakery's Panino Greco Dish No. 53: Veal Chop Smoked in Hay at Eataly's Manzo Dish No. 52: Salta at Yemen Cafe Dish No. 51: Migas at the General Greene
Dish No. 50: Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese From Sigmund Pretzel Shop Dish No. 49: Chicken Tinga Huarache at Cholula Bella Deli Dish No. 48: The Sabich at Taïm Dish No. 47: General Poke-Her-Face Prawns at Xiao Ye Dish No. 46: Pastrami Sandwich at This Little Piggy Dish No. 45: Smoked Trout Sandwich at Peels Dish No. 44: Smoked Fish Platter at Blue Ribbon Dish No. 43: "The Tongue Experience" at Takashi Dish No. 42: Chicken Fried Steak With Cream Gravy at Cowgirl Hall of Fame Dish No. 41:French Fries With Especial Sauce at Pommes Frites
Dish No. 40: Tabla Frankie Cart's Roasted Vegetable Frankie Dish No. 39: Sea Intestines at M & T Restaurant Dish No. 38: Fried Calamari at Casa Calamari Dish No. 37: Okara at EN Japanese Brasserie Dish No. 36: Chicken Tabaka at KeBeer Dish No. 35: Hako-Zushi at Hasaki Dish No. 34: Truffled Egg Toast at 'ino Dish No. 33: Special Spinach Pancake at Lu Xiang Yuan Dish No. 32: Mozzarella, Tomato, and Basic Focaccia at Eataly Dish No. 31: Smoked Sable and Bottarga at Pulino's
Dish No. 30: Watermelon Pickle and Crispy Pork Salad at Fatty Crab Dish No. 29: The Tofu Sandwich at François Payard Bakery Dish No. 28: Bowl of Tripe at Royal Seafood Dish No. 27: Goat Curry at Gourmet Sweets and Restaurant Dish No. 26: Babaganoush at Bab al Yemen Dish No. 25: Whole Pickled Mackerel at Skovorodka Dish No. 24: Veal and Hot Peppers Hero at Emily's Pork Store Dish No. 23: Frutti di Mare Salad at Enoteca on Court Dish No. 22: Dukbokki at Mrs. Kim's Dish No. 21: Meatball Hero With Mozzarella at the Meatball Shop
Dish No. 20: Coleslaw at Pies 'n' Thighs Dish No. 19: Tai Chi-Style Seafood and Vegetable Soup at East Ocean Palace Dish No. 18: Fujianese Oyster Pancake at Red Apple Fast Food
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