Falansai’s Clay Pot Catfish, 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.

#96: Clay Pot Catfish from Falansai

Falansai owner Henry Trieu did time in the kitchen at San Francisco’s Slanted Door, a restaurant that went a long way in putting Vietnamese cuisine on the map in this country. He draws from that experience and his own heritage–his Chinese father lived in Vietnam for several years–for the menu at his Bushwick restaurant, which forgoes pho to showcase other areas of the culinary canon. One standout is the clay pot catfish, so named for the vessel in which it’s cooked. A lifted lid unveils supple hunks of white fish swimming in a surprisingly delicate broth redolent of caramel and layered softly with subtle pepper. Topped with fresh carrots and scallions, the stew is best ladled over a mound of freshly steamed rice.

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
#97: Havana salad from Coppelia

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