This is one of those round up posts where I mention a few of my favorite dishes in and around NYC. They are dishes from restaurants, from food stands, and from food trucks – enough for a quick mention, just not enough for a full review. Without further ado:
This gourmet shave ice and popsicle store has a location in Chelsea Market and on the Highline. The popsicles are made daily with natural ingredients. The fanciful flavors, like peach-basil, are made using farmers market fruits and vegetables. Though the popsicles are delicious, my favorite thing to get is the shave ice. Order one and watch the staff deftly shave ice by hand from a huge block of ice. Then, it is densely packed into a paper cup, covered with a homemade syrup (the rhubarb is sweet, light, and extremely fresh tasting), and delivered to you. The combination of hard ice crystals, fluffy snow, and fresh fruit can’t be beat. Just hurry to eat it before it melts!
Head to this tiny Chelsea restaurant, barely wider than a broom closet, for traditional Spanish tapas. Sit at the long, narrow bar and order crispy patatas bravas with a garlicky aioli, creamy fava bean bruschetta, and a glass of dry cava. Don’t miss the shisito peppers, cooked here with less oil than most places. This results in a smoky, charred exterior, speckled with salt,that yields to a soft, juicy skin. The exciting part of eating shisito peppers is that you never know how hot they are – some are as sweet as bell peppers, and some leave you sweating. It’s gustatory Russian Roulette!
Though there were hits and misses, especially in the service department, this smoked salmon pizette was excellent. Fluffy pita bread, sturdy but still airy, is slathered with tangy creme fraiche and draped with silky, pleasantly salty smoked salmon. Best of all, it is topped with a bevy of fresh herbs, vegetables, and spices- tarragon, dill, chervil, the crunch of capers, thinly sliced baby radishes, and a heavy dose of coarsely ground peppers. The seemingly excessive greenery is actually just enough – it anchors the salmon, making it meatier and more substantial. It melds sea and land, providing grassy, herbal notes. This might not be a complicated recipe, but it is varied and multilayered.
This upscale big sister to Taboonette serves an upscale Middleterranean inspired menu for dinner, including dishes like whole roasted fish, seared foie gras, and cinnamon spiced Kibbeh. As delicious as the savory dishes are, the Silan sundae is the standout of the menu. Creamy vanilla ice cream is layered with sticky-sweet date honey, slightly salty pistachios, crunchy Rice Crispies, and a cloud of shredded halvah. The texture of cotton candy combined with the nutty flavor of Butterfinger completes this dish, making it visually whimsical and tastes quite complex. Don’t fill up on the addictive house made bread – be sure to save room for this decadent dessert.