We often dine out in the city multiple times per day, and so we’ve begun amassing notes on the dishes we taste that strike just the right note. Our five highlights this week include a simple salad, a platter of bacon, and ice cream worth seeking out even in the cold.
Salad at Commerce, 50 Commerce Street, 212-524-2301
We ate nothing but hibernation fare in January, so it was nice to kick of February with something made of vegetable matter. Commerce chef Harold Moore has called out chefs for phoning in their green salads before, and for his own, he combines 20 herbs and lettuces with slivers of Manchego cheese in olive oil and lemon. It’s a fresh bite that’ll pull you out of your winter doldrums for a hot minute.
Spaghetti alla Chitarra at Rubirosa, 235 Mulberry Street, 212-965-0500
This NoLIta Italian joint deals mostly in pizza, and you’ll see massive thin crust pies atop most of the tables. But it behooves you to order at least one plate of spaghetti to share with your party, the noodles topped with a thick basil-spiked marinara and (if you want — and you should want) juicy meatballs.
Bangers and Mash at the Peacock, 24 East 39th Street, 646-837-6776
We’ve long been fans of the bangers and mash at Jones Wood Foundry, the Upper East Side spot that pays homage to British pubs. And we were delighted to find that the dish made the trek down to the Peacock, the decidedly more refined restaurant just a couple of blocks off Grand Central Station. The fat juicy sausages are bedded in potatoes and drizzled with brown gravy; we’d pair them to a whiskey cocktail.
Sweet as Honey Ice Cream at Ample Hills Creamery, 623 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn, 347-240-3926
If you’ve not been out to Ample Hills, now is a good time to consider making the pilgrimage — winter weather means shorter (or no) lines, a phenomenon that won’t last when the days get a little warmer. We’ve been devotees of a number of flavors this shop turns out, but our current obsession is the honeycomb, ice cream laced through with crunch and goo.
Bacon at Peter Luger, 178 Broadway, Brooklyn, 718-387-7400
If you’re at Peter Luger, odds are good it’s because you want to tuck into a massive steak. But even if you’re inclined to think that hunk of red meat is more than enough to satisfy you, you shouldn’t miss the bacon. This is bacon before it got trendy, before it graced ice cream and cupcakes and mayonnaise. These are simple fat slabs of pork belly rendered crisp, a luxurious accoutrement to an already meaty meal.