Dish no. 35: Smoked Trout Sandwich from Black Seed Bagels (170 Elizabeth Street, 212-730-1950)
When The Smile’s Matt Kliegman and Mile End’s Noah Bernamoff joined forces to open Black Seed, they gave the city one of our best new bagel shops. The Montreal-NYC hybrid rounds are thin, but manage to retain a pleasant chew to contrast the toothsome crust. The storefront sells a number of signature sandwiches in combinations like beet-cured salmon with horseradish cream cheese, tuna melts made with muenster cheese, and a tremendous breakfast sandwich with bacon cured and smoked by Bernamoff’s Mile End enterprise. Our favorite combination, however, is a DIY creation: Rainbow trout, a native New York fish, is here smoked and portioned in thick hunks, giving it the all-consuming richness of fish bacon. For such an aggressive base ingredient, we love to pair it with Black Seed’s signature tobiko cream cheese — tinged pink with flying fish roe. Add some sprouts and cucumber for texture and grassy freshness, and the result is an appetizing flavor bomb that tastes familiar yet contemporary. Any bagel will do, though we have a special place in our heart for the nutty sesame variety, whose seeds are browned and fragrant from Black Seed’s wood-burning oven.
In advance of our 2014 Best of NYC issue, we’re traipsing through the boroughs and divulging our favorite dishes of the year. They’re presented here as a countdown, but we’re listing them in no particular order. Consider this a guide to what’s good to eat in this town right this very second.