Lamb Curry and Lentil Sambusas Are the Dishes We’re Digging This Week


Our edible escapades this week took us up to the Bronx and out into Brooklyn with stops in Manhattan in between. We were particularly enamored of noodles — they were tucked into a curry, swimming in a bowl of ramen, and covered in spicy red sauce. We also found a steak tartare worth loving and an Ethiopian dumpling we’re continuing to crave.

Steak tartara Piemontese at Locanda Verde, 377 Greenwich Street, 212-925-3797
Several years into this Andrew Carmellini restaurant’s Tribeca run, you still need a nighttime reservation — the spot is consistently packed, and it’s hard to nab even a bar stool. But go for a late lunch, we learned, and you’ll have no trouble landing a table. And you’ll still be able to get into the steak tartara, a heap of silken beef studded with hazelnuts and imbued with earthy truffle topped with a quail egg and a slice of crispy guanciale. Split it with your table, or have it for lunch — it’s substantial. –Laura Shunk

Lamb curry at King Noodle, 1045 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-456-6543
This neon-infused den of debauchery is known for serving uber-hip stoner food, often combining noodles and low-brow, proprietary ingredients like Doritos and Spam. But the lamb noodle curry is something else altogether: Wide noodles come dressed in thick coconut curry with a generous serving of mildly-musky braised lamb and long strips of sweet red pepper. Topped with bean sprouts and fresh herbs, this dish is far classier than its surroundings, and it’s worth a trip even if you don’t have the munchies. –Hannah Palmer Egan

Paccheri at Tra Di Noi, 622 East 187th Street, Bronx, 718-295-1784
We toured Arthur Avenue with an Italian prince of pasta last week, and after sampling meats, cheeses, and baked goods, we sat down to some pasta, “the pinnacle of goodness,” according to our guide. Tra Di Noi’s al dente paccheri came slicked with heat-kissed tomato sauce, which sparked against the fresh bite of basil and cooled under the dusting of parmigiano. The Italians also insisted we pair our midday meal to a little red wine, a move we can get behind on a regular basis. –Laura Shunk

Brisket Ramen, Noodle Village, 13 Mott Street, 212-233-0788
Noodle Village has most of a page on their menu dedicated to ramen bowls, but on a cold winter’s night, we can’t imagine any could be more satisfying than the beef brisket variety. Treat yourself to a wide bowl of clear, light beef broth studded with tender cuts of brisket and scallion, and don’t forget to ask for vegetables if you want them (they don’t come with the standard bowl). –Hannah Palmer Egan

Sambusas at Bunna Cafe, 1084 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn
This vegan Ethiopian spot just opened in Bushwick, but it’s already a popular neighborhood stop. And given the novelty of its concept — and quality of its food — we predict it will only get busier. The best way to experience this spot, at least for the first time, is to order a feast, which will net you tastes of everything on the menu except for the appetizers. Don’t overlook those, though — be sure you start with the sambusas. The crispy triangle-shaped pastries are stuffed with stewed lentils redolent of earth and heat. Swipe them through the bright, cold cilantro sauce on the plate for a bracing contrast. We’ve been craving them all week.