The New York outpost of one of Beirut’s best-known restaurants, Almayass (24 East 21st Street; 212-473-3100) blends the flavors and dishes of Shant and Rita Alexandrian’s Armenian heritage with those of their former Lebanese homeland. Some dishes are more Lebanese, some are traditional Armenian; most are the Alexandrians’ own blend. Manti is on the Armenian side, and it’s absolutely delicious: kind of like canoe-shaped ravioli. They’re filled with ground beef ($18) or spinach ($16) and baked, creating a delectable texture on top that’s like a prime corner-slice of lasagna — crisp and chewy, yet soft and succulent on the bottom from the juices that form in the pan. While the dumpling is still hot, it’s topped with a creamy garlic yogurt sauce and sprinkled with sumac (beef) or red-pepper powder (spinach).
Fork in the Road is counting down to our Best of New York City issue in October. We’re combing the city every day, one dish at a time, to guide you to the most delicious food in NYC. These are our 100 Favorite Dishes for 2015, in no particular order, save for the top 10.
Here’s our countdown up to now: