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. 87: Marbella’s Full Moon at Manzanilla
Dani García earned Michelin stars for his modernist restaurant Calima in Marbella, Spain, but when he teamed up with Yann de Rochefort for Manzanilla here in New York City, he opted to create a menu of simpler fare, showcasing brasserie-appropriate comfort food instead of technique-driven works of art. One notable exception to the brasserie rule: Marbella’s Full Moon, a dessert imported straight from García’s place in southern Spain. A bed of creamy citrus yogurt is powdered over with a crumbly brownie-walnut streussel upon which is placed a white orb made of white chocolate mousse. Crack the outer casing of the sphere with your fork and watch the yuzu-mandarin center ooze out as yolk does from a poached egg, enlivening each sweet bite, already edged with a sharpening bit of salt, with tart clarity. Each mouthful plays textures of crunch and velvet against each other, ultimately resulting in harmonious balance. This is modernist technique at its finest: enhancing, rather than interfering with, the enjoyable experience of the dish.
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
No. 92: Country-fried duck and waffles from Distilled
No. 91: Octopus salad from Calliope
No. 90: Diver scallop crudo from Charlie Bird
No. 89: Fig and pepper bread from Silver Moon Bakery
No. 88: Egg, cheese, and sausage on a roll from Stage Restaurant