The best dishes the editors ate this week, September 2022

The amount of super food available in New York City is staggering – even during a pandemic – but somehow mediocre meals continue to make their way into our lives. With Eater editors sometimes eating multiple times a day, we come across Lots of special dishesAnd we don’t want to keep any secrets. Check back weekly for the best things we ate this week – so you can too.


September 12

Chicken sandwich in Tørst

In a city—no, country—where hot chicken takes our taste buds by storm, Tørst opts for the least crowded route. Greenpoint Brewery Bar features over twenty taps with some of the most whimsical and off-the-radar brews available. Unlike many tablet rooms, Tørst’s excellent dining program is vying for the spotlight. His take on the chicken sandwich ($16) offers a coarse fried thigh the perfect size for the croutons it’s served on. A generous tinge of lemon aioli keeps the tall mound of crunchy cabbage in place, and the crown jewel—a mound of pickled carrots, jalapenos, and onions—resists the crunch with brightness and a little heat. This is an unheated chicken sandwich and there is nothing wrong with that. With these balanced flavors, you won’t find yourself missing out on those extra Scoville units. 615 Manhattan Street, near Nassau Street, Green Point – Nat Belkoff, Design Director

Sausage, a pile of shaved brisket, and fried pork on a concave tray.

Meat scattered on the grill at Wonder Pig.

All you can eat barbecue at Wonder Pig BBQ

I went to Sunnyside’s Wonder Pig K-BBQ, a Korean barbecue that opened last December with a hangar atmosphere. There, for the exceptional price of $37, one can choose an unlimited number of meats from a menu of 21 – I chose beef, spicy pork and spicy pork sausage – along with side dishes, rice, and a modest selection of banchan. Once the first wave is done, you can order more meat dishes and side dishes, as long as you don’t stay more than 100 minutes. The roast is done on a platter at your table, and the meat I tried was delicious, creamy and succulent. After eating most of what was in front of me, I didn’t have room for more choices. 37-08 Queens Boulevard, between 37th and 38th Streets, Sunnyside – Robert Sietsema, chief critic

An array of Sichuan dishes is arranged on a table.

Beef braised in red soup (bottom left) and other Sichuan dishes at China Café.
Melissa McCartt / The New York Eater

Beef cooked in red soup at Café China

Back when I wrote about restaurants in Pittsburgh, my order at James Beard semifinalist Wei Zhu’s Chengdu Gourmet was braised beef stew: a dark red treasure trove of garlic, green onions, ginger and cilantro among chunks of cauliflower, cabbage, beef, and triangles Fried tofu. The take on the China Café has its own kind of charm, with layers of similar ingredients plus dried tofu crust, chili peppers, and Sichuan peppers ($32). Modern digs at Midtown Restaurant are really fun – a three-story space with chintz chandeliers and my two favorite nooks, and a dark, second-level U-shaped balcony with library lamps. If you haven’t visited this classic spot in a while, make plans to return. 59 W. 37th Street, near 6th Avenue, Midtown – Melissa McCartt, temporary editor

A foamy bowl of green Aguachile is served in a volcanic stone molcajete with a tostada on the side.

Aguachel Verde in El Rey del Pescado.
Luke Fortney / The New York Eater

Green Aguachile in El Rey del Pescado

Searching this guide to mariscos last week led me to El Rey del Pescado, a Sunset Park marisquería whose backyard can sometimes feel like a club after sunset: There are colorful red lights and a wooden sign encouraging customers to order Fireball shots – we obliged – and a machine Karaoke seems to be proud of the owners. In this unlikely setting, I’ve thawed one of my favorite summer aguaschelles, a spicy swamp of cilantro, lemon, serrano peppers, and shrimp served in molcajete ($17). The liquid was thick and fluffy as if it had just been poured from a blender, and it was good enough to drink with a straw. Could you blame us if we did? 4515 Fifth Avenue, between 45th and 46th Streets, Sunset Park – Luke Fortney, reporter

Lysee . Black Sesame Cookies

Lysée in Flatiron recommends consuming their “trial” shortbread within 24 hours of purchase, but my centerpiece cookie rule states that when eating cookies, there are no rules! And so, after writing about Eunji Lee’s excellent Korean-French bakery, I went back to the fridge to eat these wonderful treats day in and day out. An $18 box holds eight or so black sesame cookie sandwiches—too much for 24 hours, even if it’s a certain Sesame Street character. may differ Each one filled with a little soy caramel. It tastes exactly as it sounds: sweet, savory, salty, and deep nutty, with a smooth texture that suggests it’s made with an unholy amount of butter. I’ll admit though, that cookies hit their textured prime on day one. 44 East 21st Street, near Park Avenue, Flatiron – Ryan Sutton, Senior Critic


September 6

Pie slice stuffed with red and yellow tomato slice.

Heirloom Tomato Pie from Commerce Inn.
Robert Setsma / The New York Eater

Heirloom Tomato Pie at Commerce Inn

It’s a bittersweet time of year when heirloom tomatoes begin to disappear from farmers’ markets. One of my favorite dishes using it is the heirloom tomato pie, which requires sweet, firm samplings—and thus impossible to make towards the end of the season. The pie uses a traditional crust and fills it with a few simple ingredients, including plain white cheese, herbs, and sliced ​​tomatoes. The version I had over the weekend at the Shaker tavern Commerce Inn was perfect, with the taste of summer disappearing in every great bite. Goodbye tomato pie ($10) until next year. 50 Commerce Inn, between Bedford and Barrow Streets, West Village – Robert Setsema, Senior Critic

Cut off the top third of the winter melon, exposing the soup inside.

Winter melon soup at Bing Restaurant.
Luke Fortney / The New York Eater

Ping’s . Winter Melon Soup

You won’t find this winter melon soup on the menu at Ping’s, but visit this chinatown dim sum enough times and you’re sure to spot one at least once. Steamed squash comes out of the kitchen in various sizes—”small” pictured here, or medium and large for larger groups—mostly reserved for knowledgeable customers. The unregistered dish ($80) takes hours to prepare and get, you’ll have to call ahead. Why go through this trouble, when there are perfectly good rice rolls and cold boiled chicken to order on the spot? In my case, this soup ended up being one of the best I’ve had this summer. The swim comes with sea cucumbers, mushrooms, and juicy watermelon flesh that the server carves from the sides of the squash. There’s enough broth for eight small dishes or so, making this a great addition to a festive meal with other dishes. 22 Mott Street, near Bell Street, Chinatown – Luke Fortney, reporter

Hand holding a plastic cup labeled Etna Mess filled with tomatoes, strawberries, meringues and caramel.

Etna’s Chaos in Archestratus.
Emma Orlow / The New York Eater

Etna Mays in Archestratus Books + Food

A play on the English Eaton chaos, this layered dessert is parfait-style and served at a range of cookbook stores and Sicilian café Archestratus. After seeing the flavor of the day posted on Instagram, I almost made my stop with the Jammed Tomato, Strawberry, Caramel, and Meringue ($9.50 for a size big enough to share, or portable enough to stick in the fridge for later). People like to remind you that tomatoes are, in fact, a fruit and not a vegetable, but I’ve never tried them in desserts before, really. Need more tomato sweets, please! 160 Huron Street, near Manhattan Street, Green Point – Emma Orlow, reporter

Handmade sushi rolls at Momoya Soho Restaurant

The omakase kiwami ($250 per person) at the new Momoya Soho is a really fun ride, a sumptuous series of dishes from appetizers to sashimi to chuanmoshi, straight to delicious 12-piece sushi, miso soup, hand roll followed by dessert. After some great tuna variations, this hand-wrap was a reminder: Let’s keep that tasting (and pea-peel bits of really pretty fish for later) every bit special at the end. Next thing you know, dinner is over. 47 Prince Street near Mulberry Street, Soho – Melissa McCartt, provisionally. editor