Favorite Dishes #9: Peasant's Risotto

Favorite Dishes #9: Peasant's Risotto
Bradley Hawks for the Village Voice

Frank DeCarlo built his kitchen with his bare hands, and his wood-fired ovens brick-by-brick. At Peasant (194 Elizabeth Street; 212-965-9511),his rustic Nolita restaurant going 15 years strong, the seasoned chef and a small crew cook a lineup of traditional — and, in many cases, ancient — Italian recipes learned through his time spent cooking throughout the country. From his roiling furnace and rotisserie, he produces thin crust pizzas topped with spicy peppers and chile-spiked salami and lasagnas layered with tomato-braised goat or shredded rabbit and béchamel, while his burners are reserved for classics like risottos served in wide, shallow dishes.

Accoutrements for the wondrously soupy and creamy grains change seasonally. Sometimes they hold porcini mushrooms, sometimes asparagus; sometimes peas and shrimp. Our favorite version is DeCarlo’s squid ink risotto, the black rice dotted with plump whole cuttlefish. Red and yellow cherry tomatoes, basil, and edible flowers add pops of color and bright, fresh flavor to the dish’s earthy richness. Peasant’s wood-fired items, like head-on squab and crisp-skinned suckling pigs with potatoes simmered in milk, are arguably its biggest draw, but the risottos — offered in portions large enough to share — illustrate why the restaurant hasn’t missed a step.

In honor of our Best of New York City issue (available now!), the Village Voice has been 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
#13: Epaulettes at Vaucluse
#12: Wildair's Georgia White Shrimp
#11: Trini-Gyul's Doubles
#10: Bar Goto's Okonomiyaki


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