Favorite Dishes #76: Pork Belly Cotton Candy at Carnem


A polarizing pick for sure, but love it or hate it, you have to admire the sheer unexpected whimsy of a pork-belly-filled cotton candy coming out of the kitchen of Carnem Prime (318 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn; 718- 499-5600), an old-school-style steakhouse.

“I love pork belly,” says chef David DiSalvo. “And this is really good quality pork. We skin it, score it, brine it, and braise it; then we crisp it to order and spin it with cotton candy. It’s a dish inspired by Jose Andres’s Foie Gras Cotton Candy. But it’s a bit more familiar and accessible.”

Why does it work? Pork loves sweet, and this is sweet. One melting morsel of meat, shrouded in a cloud of sugar that quickly becomes a glaze in your mouth. One crazy Willie Wonka bite that delights from the moment it arrives, poking out of a specially made serving board like a state-fair snack made by Tim Burton.

You gotta try it.

The Village Voice 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
#91: El Rey’s Sardine Tostada
#90: General Tso’s Pig’s Head at the Cannibal
#89: The Vegetarian at Meat Hook Sandwich Shop
#88: The 21 Club’s Creamy Chicken Hash
#87: Deep-Fried Olives at Via Carota
#86: Pougi at Loi Estiatorio
#85: Shelsky’s Hot Pastrami Sandwich
#85: Pearl & Ash’s Smoked Bread with Chicken Butter
#84: Gluten-Free Pizza at Rossopomodoro
#83: Perry St’s Chocolate Pudding With Candied Violets
#82: Whit’s End’s ‘Fuckin’ Bluefish Dip’
#81: Morgenstern’s Salt and Pepper Pine Nut Ice Cream
#80: Levain Bakery’s Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie
#79: Delmar Pizzeria’s Pizza
#78: Cafe Cluny’s Avocado Toast
#77: Brooklyn Star’s Cinnamon Bun