Favorite Dishes #13: Epaulettes at Vaucluse

Vaucluse's épaulettesEXPAND
Vaucluse's épaulettes
Sara Ventiera for the Village Voice

If there were echelons of pasta royalty in New York City, chef Michael White would wear top crown. Known for running some of the best high-end Italian restaurants in the city, White's pasta game is on point. At his latest outpost, Vaucluse (100 East 63rd Street; 646-869-2300), a fine French brasserie inspired by his many visits to the South of France, White and executive chef Jared Gadbaw offer just a handful of pâtes fraîches maison. The ravioli-like épaulettes blend White's elegant Italian style with French flavor and technique, the result of which is pure gustatory perfection.

The merits of Italian versus French cooking can be a source of contention among culinarians, just as intense as the Jets-Pats rivalry. Competition makes this city go 'round, but in the case of this Italophile chef's new restaurant, reconciliation has created a beautiful offspring. 

These handmade squares, named for their resemblance to the shoulder piece on military uniforms, have two raised pockets separating the savory fillings. One side holds tender rabbit, the other buttery French reblochon cheese. Each pouch holds its own, but together, the dish is like a chic Gallic soirée, indulgent yet refined. The pasta would be lovely with just some browned butter, maybe some olive oil, or a simple sauce. When White is involved, though, every detail is well thought-out; the plate is presented with a rich black-truffle reduction, adding some more sweetness, earth, and a hearty dose of that intoxicating truffle aroma beloved by every human (and pig) on the planet. 

The Village Voice is counting down to our Best of New York City issue in October. We're combing the city every day, one dish at a time, to guide you to the most delicious food in NYC. These are our 100 Favorite Dishes for 2015, in no particular order, save for the top 10. To read about previous dishes, browse our 100 Favorite Dishes page.

Here's our countdown up to now:
#100: Laminated Blueberry Brioche at Dominique Ansel Kitchen
#99: Egg Shop's Golden Bucket Fried Chicken
#98: Ramen Lab's Torigara Shoyu
#97: Cannoli at Ferdinando's
#96: Breakfast Sandwich at Dimes
#95: Banana Royal at Eddie's Sweet Shop
#94: Fletcher's Burnt Ends
#93: Almayass's Mante
#92: Empellon Taqueria's Fish Taco
#91: El Rey's Sardine Tostada
#90: General Tso's Pig's Head at the Cannibal
#89: The Vegetarian at Meat Hook Sandwich Shop
#88: The 21 Club's Creamy Chicken Hash
#87: Deep-Fried Olives at Via Carota
#86: Pougi at Loi Estiatorio
#85: Shelsky's Hot Pastrami Sandwich
#85: Pearl & Ash's Smoked Bread with Chicken Butter
#84: Gluten-Free Pizza at Rossopomodoro
#83: Perry St's Chocolate Pudding With Candied Violets
#82: Whit's End's 'Fuckin' Bluefish Dip'
#81: Morgenstern's Salt and Pepper Pine Nut Ice Cream
#80: Levain Bakery's Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie
#79: Delmar Pizzeria's Pizza
#78: Cafe Cluny's Avocado Toast
#77: Brooklyn Star's Cinnamon Bun
#76: Pork Belly Cotton Candy at Carnem
#75: Ippudo's Pork Buns
#74: Mission Chinese Food's Oil-Cured Anchovies
#73: Johnnycakes at LoLo's Seafood Shack
#72: The Starving Artists Steak at Belle Reve
#71: The Spotted Pig's Gnudi
#70: Xi'an Famous Foods' Tiger Vegetable Salad
#69: Crème Brûlée Truffle at Kee's Chocolates
#68: Pok Pok's Muu Paa Kham Wong
#67: Cacio e Pepe at Upland
#66: Pulpo at Toro
#65: Junior's Something Different
#64: Duck Carnitas at Cosme
#63: Banana Miso Ice Cream Sandwich at Neta
#62: Breads Bakery's Chocolate Babka
#61: Braised Lamb Neck at the Gorbals
#60: Dough's Passionfruit Doughnut
#59: Uncle Jesse Bao at Baohaus
#58: Patatas Bravas at El Colmado
#57: Lupulo's Razor Clams
#56: Bar Masa's Spicy Dancing Shrimp
#55: Underwest Donuts' Halva
#54: The Virgola Platter at Virgola
#53: Noreetuh's Monkfish Liver Torchon
#52: Amarena Cherry Merveilleux
#51: Roasted Mushrooms at Bara
#50: Fonda's Oaxacan Black Mole Enchiladas
#49: Flinders Lane's Lamb Rump
#48: Blue Ribbon Sushi's Temaki Honnin
#47: Dirty French's Chicken and Crepes
#46: The Vegetarian Combination at Zoma
#45: Merguez Sausage Flatbread at Irvington
#44: Le Grand Aioli at Marlow & Sons
#43: Shelsky's Hot Pastrami Sandwich
#42: Hippie Banjo at Pies 'n' Thighs
#41: Malted Milkshake from Dizzy's Diner
#40: Graffiti's Graffiti Burger
#39: Beef Rolls at Kottu House
#38: Cafe Katja's Wiener Schnitzel
#37: Norma's Potato Pancakes
#36: Goat Milk Soft Serve at Victory Garden
#35: Okonomi's Onsen Egg
#34: 'Njuja Pizza at Obicà
#33: Paulaner Sausage Sampler
#32: Triple Chocolate Chunk Cookies at The Whitney
#31: Momofuku Ssäm Bar's Dry Aged Rib Eye
#30: Bar Boulud's Escargots Persillade
#29: Marta's Roman-Style Pizza
#28: Untitled's Roasted and Fried Chicken Salad
#27: Sweet Corn Goat Cheese Tamal at Confessional 
#26: Crispy Duck Necks at Trestle on Tenth
#25: Emily's Emmy Burger 
#24: Manousheh's Jibneh Manousheh
#23: Herbie's International at Ivan Ramen
#22: Bhutanese Ema Datsi’s Namesake
#21: Lan Larb Soho's Ba Mee
#20: Lobster Roll at Fairway Market
#19: Khinkali at We Are Georgians
#18: Doughnuttery's Paris Time
#17: Eisenberg's Patty Melt
#16: Gabriel Kreuther's Virginia Quail
#15: L'Artusi's Garganelli with Mushroom Ragu
#14: Rebelle's Clafoutis


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