The Best Dishes We Ate This Year in NYC

From fast-food inspired classics to comfort foods and desserts, these new menu items helped get us through 2021.

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BEC&L at Edith’s

In a city with bagels aplenty, it’s surprising when a newcomer can command the city’s attention.



Photo: EDITH'S.

But that’s exactly what Edith’s did.

When New Yorkers flocked to the pop-up at Paulie Gee’s last winter, it was tough to get your hands on a single hand-twisted bagel—let alone a dozen.

But after dozens of sold-out days and lines wrapping down the block, owner Elyssa Heller finally found a brick and mortar of her own early this year, bringing plenty of opportunities to feast on the spot’s modern Jewish fare.

—Liz Provencher, Associate Editor

Beignets at Compère Lapin at Intersect By Lexus

Made with pecan buttercream and served with a rhum caramel, these decadent leave a lasting impression.



Photo: COMPÈRE LAPIN AT INTERSECT BY LEXUS.

The rotating restaurant-in-residence program at Intersect By Lexus welcomed their seventh participating talent this fall: the James Beard Award-winning chef Nina Compton of the famed Compère Lapin in New Orleans.

Here in the Meatpacking District, chef Compton’s menu delivers Big Easy flavors rooted in her Caribbean heritage with a menu featuring ingredients from the Gulf Coast.

After dining on dishes like deviled eggs, crispy pig ears, and hot fire chicken, you still have much to look forward to with the must-try beignets for dessert.

—Tae Yoon, New York Editor

Cha Siu McRib at Bonnie’s

a whimsical mash-up dish inspired by a fast-food classic



Photo: ADAM FRIEDLANDER.

At the recently opened Cantonese-American restaurant named after his mother, Bonnie’s, Brooklyn native chef Calvin Eng (Nom Wah, Win Son) created a whimsical mash-up dish inspired by a fast-food classic.

Knowing that he always wanted to add a sandwich to his menu, the good news is, the Cha Siu McRib is a permanent offering that doesn’t just come around once a year.

After ribs are steamed and pulled off the bone, a glaze made of a cha siu marinade (ginger, garlic, fermented tofu, maltose, and honey) is assembled along with pickles, raw onion, and Chinese hot mustard for a kick before served on a classic Chinese milk bun.
—TY

Chicken Liver & Onions at As You Are

A signature starter



Photo: JORDAN STRONG.

After opening its doors in Boerum Hill this summer, the Ace Hotel Brooklyn debuted its all-day ground-floor restaurant in the fall.

Located at the nexus of several neighborhoods, at As You Are, chef Ryan Jordan (John Dory, The Breslin) uses the locale as inspiration to offer a new American menu saluting the culinary flair of its home borough.

A signature starter here is the Chicken Liver & Onions, made with humanely raised and organic chicken liver.

Blended with local butter and a reduction of port and madeira wines, the mousse is topped with an onion jam made with coconut oil, red verjus, red onion, and red wine vinegar.

The elements are served on a semi-sweet bay leaf brown butter madeleine for a nice balance of fat, acid, and a hint of sweetness in each bite.

—TY

Duck Meatloaf at Jack & Charlie’s No. 118

Among the menu’s exceptional dishes, a must try



Photo: DILLON BURKE.

Nestled in the heart of the West Village is cozy American bistro, Jack & Charlie’s No. 118.

At the helm is chef/partner Ed Cotton, whose supper club-inspired menu is loaded with personal touches that have marked his culinary journey thus far.

Among the menu’s exceptional dishes, the duck meatloaf is a must try.

With meatloaf being a personal favorite of Cotton’s family, the chef grounds Long Island-sourced duck with butter, duck stock reduction, and creme fraiche along with roasted carrots, onions, celery, and garlic.

The meat is then combined with eggs, wild mushrooms, cheddar cheese, parsley, and crumbled cornbread to hold it together.

—Izzy Baskette, Editorial Assistant

Goat Neck Dum Biryani at Dhamaka

A biryani like we’ve never seen it before.



Photo: DHAMAKA.

Leave it to chef Chintan Pandya to craft biryani like we’ve never seen it before.

The dish is a staple of Indian cuisine and can be found everywhere from award-winning spots to takeout joints.

A seemingly similar biryani made with slow-roasted goat is even on the menu at Pandya’s other restaurant Adda—but Dhamaka’s version dials up every aspect of this dish.

At this Essex Market restaurant, the dish is served in a clay pot with a layer of thin, crispy bread cooked over the top, holding in all the heat and flavor until it’s time to eat.

Gorgonzola-Cured Striploin at Carne Mare

Photo: GABBIE READE.

Carne Mare is a spot that’s all about presentation.

At chef and restaurateur Andrew Carmellini’s Italian chophouse, the roasted beet is carved right in front of you, the mozzarella sticks are topped with an eye-catching dollop of caviar, and to cap off a meal, the baked spumoni is set aflame tableside.

But the dish that may be the least visually striking is the one that stands out the most: the gorgonzola-cured striploin.

armellini takes that concept a step further and uses the cheese to age this 12-ounce wagyu cut for four days, before letting the steak rest sans cheese to complete the aging process.

—LP

Pizza Bianca at Ci Siamo

The hope is that it will transport you to a tiny trattoria in Italy.



Ci Siamo may be the newest restaurant on the Union Square Hospitality Group’s roster, but for chef Hillary Sterling, the restaurant is deeply personal.

Open-fire cooking—the style that the entire restaurant hinges on—has always been a passion for Sterling, and many of the dishes can be traced back to specific memories from her travels around Italy.

A prime example is the pizza bianca, a somewhat simple starter on the menu that you’ll be thinking about through dessert.

The dish starts with a perfect piece of bread that’s soft on the inside and crispy on the outside with a zingy garlic aioli, tarragon-packed salsa verde, and Spanish anchovies draped over the top, providing the simple dish’s final savory note.

—LP

Suranchae at Genesis House Restaurant curated by Onjium

Inspired by a recipe formerly served to special guests of a noble clan



Photo: NAMUSTUDIO HEEKI MIN.

Located on the second floor of Genesis House, a 45,000-square-foot Korean cultural center from a luxury automotive brand, Onjium in the Meatpacking District is the NYC outpost of the original award-winning Seoul location.

With a focus on royal Korean cuisine, a signature item of chefs/artisans Cho Eun Hee and Park Sungbae of the original Seoul Onjium is a dish named Suranchae.

The dish offers an unexpected combination of flavors and textures with a creamy element that especially confounds since its entirety is served chilled.

--TY

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