My Favorite Dishes in NYC, So Far

Despite my love for food, I’ve avoided turning jenNYdreams into a food blog, partly because every New Yorker already has their own food blog, but also because I don’t actually enjoy writing about food. I’ve learned that after years of keeping a handful of food blogs while living in Portland and Honolulu. However, enough of my friends have asked me for restaurant recommendations, so figured I’d dedicate just this one post to some of the best dishes I’ve eaten around the city. Bon appétit!

Ceviche Sampler at Surfish Bistro (Park Slope): Tuna belly tartar with avocado mousse, capers & soy lime sauce; ahi tuna, grilled pineapple, ginger, lime & scallions; shrimp, fish, octopus & mussels marinated in rocoto lime sauce

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Spaghetti al Ricci from Del Posto (Chelsea): Spaghetti with uni, peperoncino, kelp, and lemon. (Don’t be turned off by the portion size; this dish was part of our 13-course menu!)

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Beef Combo from Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong (K-town): thinly-sliced brisket, seasoned prime short rib, and prime boneless short rib; served with ban chan (including dongchimi noodles, steamed egg, corn cheese, kimchi, scallion salad, romaine salad, silken tofu, pickled radish, and steamed pumpkin); beef brisket soybean paste stew and kimchi stew


Chocolate Green Tea Lava Cake from Spot Dessert Bar (East Village): warm chocolate lava cake with green tea ganache, green tea ice cream, dark chocolate pearls, and cookie crumble


Gramigna from Osteria Morini (Soho): fresh gramigna macaroni with sweet pork sausage, tomato and cream (see top left dish)
My advice: Come to Morini on Sunday or Monday nights after 9pm, when each pasta is only $12


Azuki Taiyaki from Mama (K-town): Japanese fish-shaped cake filled with azuki paste


Galette de Sarrasin from Le Coucou (Noho): buckwheat crêpe with lobster, egg, and spinach


Shakshuka from Zizi Limona (Bushwick): two poached eggs, matbucha sauce, chickpeas, and harissa


Early Bird Dinner Special at Sobaya (East Village): fresh soba served with dipping broth, wasabi, and scallions, with a side of shrimp tempura and inari sushi
My Advice: This Early Bird Dinner Special, which also includes a tray of assorted appetizers and ends with vanilla ice cream, is available Monday through Thursday, from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm



Husk Meringue from Cosme (Gramery): corn husk leaves roasted and blended into a fine powder that is then whipped into egg whites and sugar until stiff to create a delicately crackly texture; inside is a smooth, earthy mousse made of sweet corn purée mixed with heavy cream and mascarpone


Egg Custard from New Flushing Bakery (Flushing): flaky Hong Kong-style baked custard tart


Baklava from Artopolis Bakery (Astoria)


Giant Pretzel from Werkstatt (Ditmas Park): freshly-baked soft pretzel served with liptauer cheese and mustard


Fish Tacos from Rockaway Beach Surf Club (Rockaway Beach)


Pancit Bihon from Papa’s Kitchen (Woodside): thin Filipino rice noodles fried with soy sauce, patis, and sliced meat and chopped vegetables



Mille-Feuille Cake from TsuruTonTan (Flatiron): green tea mille crêpes served with azuki, motchi, matcha, and cream


Sesame BingBox from BingBox (East Village): Milk bing, sesame powder, azuki, mochi, almond flakes, condensed milk drizzle, and a wafer

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Pumpkin Whoopie Pie and Red Velvet Cupcake from One Girl Cookies (DUMBO)


Classic Hawaiian Shoyu at Sweetcatch Poke (Midtown East): tuna poke marinated in Hawaiian shoyu sauce, topped with sweet and green onions, ogo seaweed, sesame seeds, sea salt, and inamona


Málà Dandan Mǐxiàn from Little Tong Noodle Shop (East Village): spicy rice noodles from the Yunnan province, with ground pork, ya cai, pickled celery, mustard seeds, green peppercorn oil, peanuts, and baby mustard greens


Old-Fashioned Macarons from Bakeshop by WOOPS! (Williamsburg)


Dim sum from Pacificana (Sunset Park): char siu bao, jian dui, beef cheong fun roll, shrimp cheong fun roll, etc.


Basic B and Milk Money from Ice & Vice (Lower East Side): one scoop of Mexican vanilla and black lava sea salt, and one scoop of toasted milk, sea salt, and chocolate ganache, served in a blue corn & honey cone


Maine Lobster Roll from Red Hook Lobster Pound (Various): Maine lobster tossed with homemade mayo piled onto a buttery split-top bun, topped with paprika and scallions


Char Siu Bao from Tim Ho Wan (East Village)


Mexican Chocolate Pot de Creme from Casa Enrique (LIC): Dark chocolate custard with homemade whipped cream, cinnamon, and Maria cookies

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Bulgogi Jiggae from Cho Dang Gol (K-town): Korean stew with marinated slices of sirloin steak, onions, and mushroom, seasoned with gochujang


Baked Clams from Carbone (Greenwich Village): A trio of casino, uni, and oreganata


Charcuterie from Hole in the Wall (Financial District): Cured bacon jerky, pickled beets, salted bread, and other cured meats


And the other dishes for which I merely don’t have proper photos:

  • Speckenwolf from Roberta’s (Bushwick): pizza with mozzarella, speck, crimini, onions, oregano, and black pepper
  • Babka from Breads Bakery (Flatiron, UWS): spongy, brioche-like yeast cake twisted with chocolate chips and cinnamon
  • Kitsune Udon from TsuroTonTan (Flatiron): freshly-made udon with simmered fried tofu
  • Challah French Toast from The Castello Plan (Ditmas Park): served with sour cream and plum jam
  • Tiramisu from Via Quadronno (UES)
  • Sauteed A-choy from Cafe China (Midtown East): Taiwanese lettuce, dried chili pepper, and peppercorns
  • Karaka-Men from Ippudo West (Hell’s Kitchen): tonkotsu pork broth ramen with a special blend of hot spices, pork chashu, cabbage, sesame kikurage mushrooms, scallions, and fragrant garlic oil
  • Madeleines, Cookie Shot, and Cannele from Dominique Ansel (Soho)
  • Lunch Pack from Bengal Tiger Indian Cuisine (Midtown West)
  • The Bronx from The Doughnut Project (West Village): glazed doughnut with a hint of olive oil and black pepper
  • Sauteed Swamp Cabbage with Crispy Pork from Zabb Elee (East Village)
  • Honey Ricotta Gelato from Osteria Morini (Soho)
  • Snap Mallow Pop from Ample Hills (Gowanus, Prospect Heights, Meatpacking District): marshmallow ice cream and buttery rice krispie clusters

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