Favorite Dishes, #91: El Rey’s Sardine Tostada


At El Rey Coffee Bar & Luncheonette (100 Stanton Street, 212-260-3950) chef Gerardo Gonzalez draws from his SoCal upbringing with playful baking and cooking. His favorite preparation is also our own. He celebrates fatty, oily Portuguese sardines by arranging the boned fillets around a fragrant and supremely crunchy corn tostada. The fish are held in place by a layer of whipped Greek-yogurt butter, whose low-fat tang mellows out their aggressive brininess. Shaved radishes and carrots accompany carrot-top salsa verde to complete the colorful display with punches of brightness and acidity. This is exciting cooking, a plated party in every sense of the word, and those humble bait fish? They’re vogue battling.

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:
#100: Laminated Blueberry Brioche at Dominique Ansel Kitchen
#99: Egg Shop’s Golden Bucket Fried Chicken
#98: Ramen Lab’s Torigara Shoyu
#97: Cannoli at Ferdinando’s
#96: Breakfast Sandwich at Dimes
#95: Banana Royal at Eddie’s Sweet Shop
#94: Fletcher’s Burnt Ends
#93: Almayass’s Mante
#92: Empellon Taqueria’s Fish Taco