Say what you will about the French perfecting the fry, but when it comes to spicy, salty roasted potatoes, the Spaniards have the market nailed down.
At El Colmado in Gotham West Market (600 Eleventh Avenue; 212-582-7948), chef Seamus Mullen doesn’t stray far from tradition with his patatas bravas. The chunky potatoes are cut on the large side, so it takes a few bites to get through them; their crisp outsides pop open to a firm but yielding, bracingly hot interior. They’re served smothered in salt and paprika and something enticingly bright — lemon? sumac? — and drizzled liberally with garlic-laced aioli — incredibly thick, creamy, and cool in contrast.
What stands out about them is that they’re a simple food done right. Share a plate with a glass of sherry and they’re a satisfying snack. Add some grilled octopus, shishito peppers, and an order of lamb meatballs, and you’ve got a meal. A few too many glasses in or recovering from a long night out, and they’re the best kind of comfort food. Sí, sí.
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.