Dish no. 13: Steak tartare from Employees Only (510 Hudson Street, 212-242-3021)
You’re excused if you only vaguely realized that this prolific cocktail bar served food at all. Most people cram into the barroom and order $15 drinks, and they never even glance at the small dining room, two stairs above the din, where cozy banquettes and candlelit tables create a more tranquil setting. But now you know, and so you should pop by for chef Julia Jaksic’s menu of refined gastropub fare, which includes this hand cut steak tartar, composed tableside. Your server starts with a bowl full of chopped beef and an egg yolk, then adds a bit of salt and shallots, a spritz of lemon, a dash of Worcestershire sauce, and as much housemade hot sauce as you allow. She’ll mix it all together and plate it next to a stack of crostini and tartly dressed greens, ideal for chasing each rich bite. A cocktail’s good for that, too, of course, but we imagine you’ll have long since ordered one of those.
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.
More:100 Favorite Dishes