Coppelia’s Havana Salad, One of Our 100 Favorite Dishes


Later this year, we’ll pen our Best of New York issue, our annual love letter to what’s great in this town. When that paper hits the streets, you’ll find our picks for the very best this city has to offer when it comes to dozens of cuisines, restaurants, dishes and drinks. Until then, you can get a taste of our contenders as we count down, in no particular order, our 100 favorite dishes from around the boroughs, a list of laudable eats worth tracking down right now.

#97: Havana salad from Coppelia

We’ve heaped praise on Coppelia before: Julian Medina–who’s also behind Yerba Buena and Toloache–opened this eclectic pan-Latin diner two years back, and since then, the spot has been featured in a Best Late Eats list for its 24-hour menu as well as a Favorite Fish Tacos round-up for flounder enveloped in soft corn tortillas. Since the most tempting order here is a cut meat plus rice and beans or something doughy and fried, though, it took us awhile to get around to ordering the Havana salad, which is undoubtedly the biggest sleeper hit on the menu. A bed of emerald-hued kale comes studded with cubes of salty queso fresco, spinkled with crunchy pepitas and overlaid with thin slices of tomato. The mixture is lightly but thoroughly coated in a tart lemon vinaigrette infused with just a hint of mustard seed that gives each bite a subtle lift, enhancing the slight spiciness (rather than the bitterness) of the leaves. Light and rejuvenating, the salad makes the trendy and somewhat green that comprises it seem fresh again–and gives us reason to love this restaurant anew.

Hungry for more? The rest of the dishes in our countdown:

#100: Carnitas from Taqueria Lower East Side
#99: Steamed mussels from Tartine
#98: Cookie Monster ice cream from Malu

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