Distilled’s Country-Fried Duck and Waffles, One of Our 100 Favorite Dishes


Later this year, we’ll pen our Best of NYC 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.

No. 92: Country-fried duck and waffles from Distilled

We nearly skipped this dish when we stopped by for a first glimpse of Distilled, the new restaurant from chef Shane Lyons and partner Nick Iovacchini that opened at 211 West Broadway in Tribeca last week. There were many other items on the public house’s menu that we wanted to sample, and we figured we’d had enough fried poultry-topped waffles to know what this version was going to taste like. We’re glad a member of our party insisted, because omitting this entree would have been an error. Lyons delivered a large hunk of supple, tender duck breast encased in a crackly golden-brown batter atop a spongy waffle dredged in egg and griddled until golden à la french toast. A swirl of butter melted under a pour of smoked serrano maple syrup, which added a subtly spicy note in addition to earthy sweetness. Leaves of fresh Thai basil kept this dish from feeling too heavy by giving it a lift between bites; that’s a good herbal trick we hope becomes a trend. The platter was certainly familiar but absolutely distinct, and that we can’t stop thinking about it is a good indicator that we’ll be back for more soon.

No. 100: Carnitas from Taqueria Lower East Side
No. 99: Steamed mussels from Tartine
No. 98: Cookie Monster ice cream from Malu
No. 97: Havana salad from Coppelia
No. 96: Clay Pot Catfish from Falansai
No. 95: Khao Soi Kaa Kai from Uncle Boons
No. 94: Salted caramel “impossible” flan from ABC Cocina
No. 93: Peanut noodles from Shu Jiao Fu Zhou Cuisine