The Best French Fries We’ve Had All Year: Dishes We’re Digging This Week


In our dining escapades over the last week, we’ve consumed the best French fries we’ve had all year, slurped down one hell of a hot pot, and indulged in an impressive dessert. Here are the dishes we’ve been digging around town this week.

French fries at Chicane, 430 Broome Street, 212-226-5999
We’re gonna go ahead and boldly declare that these are the best French fries we’ve had all year. Twice- (or perhaps even thrice-) fried, they’re so crisp they snap open to unleash a puff of hot air, revealing light centers devoid of grease. They’re nicely salted before they’re served, and it feels kind of wrong to toss them into mussel broth and let them get soggy. Better to order them as a side to whatever else you’re going to eat. –Laura Shunk

Spicy hot pot at 99 Favor Taste, 285 Grand Street, 646-682-9122
Sunset Park hot pot standby just expanded into Chinatown, and we can’t stop thinking about the spicy hot pot, a bubbling, all-you-can eat meal loaded with whatever you choose: fatty beef or pork, tripe, tongue, blood, or brain, and, in honor of spring, floral sprays of watercress, chopped cabbage, bok choy. Best to tell your server to bring it all, and bring it quickly. Dip it all in burning Szechuan broth, floating with a heady slick of chili oil, and cool it down with a light BYOB brew. –Hannah Palmer Egan

Salted caramel donut at Flex Mussels, 154 West 13th Street, 212-229-0222; 174 East 82nd Street, 212-717-7772
At this subterranean shrine to the briny bivalve, it’s easy to fill up on a decadent pot of mussels in a rich flavor like the Parma, which come swimming in salty Parmesan cream and sided with a cone of crisp truffle fries. Make sure to save room for Flex Mussels’ donuts, which come in 10 unique flavors and deserve just as much of a spotlight. Served warm and dusted with sugar, the salted caramel donut bursts with rich sweet and salty filling that pairs perfectly with the vanilla bean dipping sauce. –Caryn Ganeles

Txipiron “encebollado” at Txikito, 240 Ninth Avenue, 212-242-4730
We’ve been enjoying “El Comedor,” the anterior dining room that was added to El Quinto Pino last fall. But we recently visitedAlex Raij and Eder Montero’s Basque restaurant across 24th Street, which yielded a plate piled with gentle ribbons of plancha-seared squid sitting in a puree of caramelized onion and pine nuts. With only a whisper of charcoal flavor from the grill, the jumble of shellfish retains the slightest chew, briny enough to balance the pool of sweet, nutty sauce. –Zachary Feldman

Beef burger at Tandem, 236 Troutman Street, Brooklyn
Bushwick has no dearth of good burgers — see the shining examples at Fritzl’s Lunch Box and Northeast Kingdom for proof. We’ll add this iteration to the list, though, too: The juice-drooling patty comes lacquered with a slab of sharp cheddar (or blue cheese, if you’re more into that kind of thing) plus sweet sauteed onion and the usual accoutrements (lettuce, tomato, mayo, ketchup). Built on a soft brioche bun, it comes sided with crisp patatas bravas and a dill pickle. It’s best paired to the Stevie Nicks Pandora station (we think that’s what was playing the last time we were in, anyway) and a cold beer. –Laura Shunk