The Five Best Things We Ate This Week – 4/3/2014


We hope you’re going out to eat this weekend. Might we make a suggestion? Here are the five best things we ate this week.

Macaroni and cheese at The Rookery, 425 Troutman Street, Brooklyn, 718-483-8048
The menu is short at this Bushwick gastropub, but it needn’t be longer. Really, the restaurant could get rid of all but a couple of dishes, and we’d still return. The first is the shepherd’s pie, a pungent stew chock full of lamb that’s buried under potatoes; the other is the macaroni and cheese. Shells come lacquered with gruyere, cheddar, and parmesan-infused bechamel, the top baked crisp so that you have to break it with a spoon like creme brulee. — Laura Shunk

The pastas — all of the pastas — at Charlie Bird, 5 King Street
There’s a power play to be made at this Soho haunt: Order all of the pastas. Even if it means skimping on the appetizers or skipping the mains. Chef Ryan Hardy has a deft hand with noodles, and that shows equally well with the papardelle with braised duck in red wine, the rigatoni with veal ragu, and the duck egg spaghetti with uni and guanciale. There are five pastas on the menu, and once you polish them off, you’ll wish you had one more bite of each. — Laura Shunk

Roasted corvina at Perilla, 9 Jones Street, 212-929-6868
Harold Dieterle’s West Village outpost certainly isn’t lacking in accolades, and a recent visit to this contemporary American establishment reminded us why. The roasted corvina, a mild white flaky fish, is served on a bed of crisp brussels sprout leaves, melding well with sweet raisins, crunchy pistachios, and earthy chanterelles and lentils. Call ahead to see if it’s available since this special is only served when the chef can find corvina at the market. — Caryn Ganeles

Bacon at Fette Sau, 354 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-963-3404
We’d normally pass on the bacon at a place like this — to many other delicious animal parts to gnaw on — but we didn’t on a recent trip, and we were pleased. Fette Sau sources its meat from quality hogs, and then slices the belly thing and cooks it until it crackles. It may not be worthy of the spotlight, but it’s a side we’ll add every time we see it on the menu. — Laura Shunk

Fried chicken feast at Momofuku Noodle Bar, 171 First Avenue
We named Momofuku Ssam Bar one of our 99 Essential Restaurants in Lower Manhattan, calling out the bo ssäm as one of this city’s best large format feasts. But we also had occasion to check in on another Momofuku group meal: the fried chicken feast at Noodle Bar. Piles of battered bird arrive at the table with moo shu pancakes and lettuce wraps, meant for wrapping bits of the poultry dabbed with sauce. We can barely pause long enough from tearing the meat from the bones with our teeth to make such neat little packages — the chicken is just fine on its own. As a bonus, if you can round up six people, this meal is a screamin’ deal — it’ll run you just $20 each, plus whatever you spend on additional dishes (which aren’t necessary) and drinks (which are necessary). — Laura Shunk