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Eat and Drink

NYC's best new dishes of 2014

Go to these restaurants. Order these things (if you still can!) They made our year!

Decoy's Peking Duck

The ever-popular RedFarm opened a tiny temple devoted
Photo Credit: Evan Sung

The ever-popular RedFarm opened a tiny temple devoted to Peking Duck this year, in the semi-subterranean space under the restaurant. Decoy was an instant hit. It's constantly booked up, like it's sister restaurant, and is inventive in its approach. A dinner for four is $65 per person and includes a duck with pancakes and sauces, 4 small plates, 2 main dishes, 1 vegetable fried rice, 1 side dish and a pickle plate and duck consomme shots to start. It's ALMOST too much. Everyone seems to love it (when we first dined at Decoy, Gwnyeth Paltrow was there) and the duck, the raison d'être, is crispy yet fatty, unctious and so flavorful you just might cry. 529 1/2 Hudson St., 212-691-9700, decoynyc.com --GK

The Meat Hook Sandwich Shop's Roast Pork sandwich

The Meat Hook Sandwich Shop has a rotating
Photo Credit: GEORGIA KRAL

The Meat Hook Sandwich Shop has a rotating menu but one sandwich that is often offered and that changed the way I look at sandwiches forever is the simply named roast pork. But there is nothing simple about this sandwich at all, in fact, it's game-changing in its bold complexity. First, there's the high-quality, humanely-raised pork, which will always taste better than any crap you've had before. It's perfectly roasted to a tender pink. Then there's the escarole - not a green found often on a sandwich. It adds a snappy bite. In another foil of flavor, spicy, yellow raisins are also added. And the final, over-the-top element? Tonnato sauce. This Italian specialty contains mayonnaise, canned tuna for salt, anchovies, lemon juice, capers and olive oil. An elegant dance in your mouth. 495 Lorimer St., Williamsburg, 718-302-4665, the-meathook.com --GK

Frankies Spuntino's Linguine with Blue Crab

Frankies 457 is far from a new restaurant,
Photo Credit: GEORGIA KRAL

Frankies 457 is far from a new restaurant, in fact, it's been one of the most loved eateries in New York City since it opened in 2003. The menu at Frankies rarelt changes, which is a comfort and which also makes sense for a red sauce joint. Keep the people coming back for the food they'll always love. But there are specials, and on one September evening, the special was an absolutely incredible linguine. Served with blue crab, chilies and basil it was fresh, decadent and simple with a flavor that transported me from Brooklyn to the seashore. The dish is now on the permanent menu, but likely won't be forever. You know what to do. 457 Court St., Carroll Gardens, 718-403-0033, frankiesspuntino.com

Cosme's Husk Meringue

The dish that launched a thousand Instagrams. Ok,
Photo Credit: GEORGIA KRAL

The dish that launched a thousand Instagrams. Ok, we're not sure how many shots of the Husk Meringue from Cosme actually exist on the photo sharing platform, but if you follow food in NYC even just casually, you've definitely seen it many, many times. But this dessert is more than just a pretty face. Yes, it's gorgeous and that crack down the middle, with lightly-flavored corn mousse oozing out makes the picture, but it tastes like a cloud of earthy love, too. The unexpected flavor of a slightly sweet dessert is the future of the last course. This dish is also a study in textures. The exterior is crispy yet melts in your mouth immediately upon impact. The inside is smooth and creamy. Obsession at first bite. 35 E. 21st St., 2120913-9659, cosmenyc.com --GK

Bar Bolonat's Everyday Cauliflower

Bar Bolonat's Everyday Cauliflower became one of our
Photo Credit: Bar Bolonat

Bar Bolonat's Everyday Cauliflower became one of our favorite dishes in August, and has solidly remained on the list. Chef Einat Admony (also of Balaboosta, Taim) created a cauliflower dish featuring the Israeli snack Bamba, a peanut butter puffed rice chip similar to texture to Cheetos. 611 Hudson St., 212-390-1545, barbolonatny.com --MK

Talde's Thanksgiving Ramen

This limited-edition Thanksgiving Ramen at Dale Talde's Park
Photo Credit: Talde

This limited-edition Thanksgiving Ramen at Dale Talde's Park Slope hotspot was one of the best bowls of noodles we slurped this year. Fingers crossed that it returns to the menu in November 2015 (or sooner, really). This seasonal soup combined turkey broth, fresh rosemary and sage, spicy spinach dumplings, pickled cranberries, stuffing croutons, ramen noodles and a generous pour-over of mushroom gravy to create the ultimate soupy holiday feast. We're ready for it to become a menu staple. 369 7th Ave., Brooklyn, 347-916-0031, taldebrooklyn.com --MK

Gato's Kale & Wild Mushroom Paella

Bobby Flay's Gato opened to critical acclaim this
Photo Credit: INSTAGRAM/melissabethk

Bobby Flay's Gato opened to critical acclaim this past spring. While not all were sold on the Southwestern vibe, some creative dishes really stood out. On a hot summer night, a server did not recommend the dish, due to his lack of enthusiasm for kale, but noted that pretty much everyone else dining that night had ordered it. And for good reason! The nontraditional, vegetarian paella dish is crisp and smooth in all the right ways, topped with a fried egg and artichokes for extra flavor in this savory dish that could almost lead you to lick the pan -- if it wasn't so hot! 324 Lafayette St., 212-334-6400, gatonyc.com --MK

Root & Bone's Fried Chicken

Fried chicken had a big year in NYC.
Photo Credit: GEORGIA KRAL

Fried chicken had a big year in NYC. Root & Bone's is the big winner though, thanks mostly to the intense flavor imparted to it by lemon and tea. Generally the markers of good fried chicken are twofold: is the meat moist and is the exterior good and crispy? But those two markers aren't enough to make your chicken the best, not these days. Chefs Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth likely knew he had to do something bold and that's why "lemon dusted" is now a thing in the culinary vocabulary of 2014. His chicken, brined in sweet tea, is then fried and "lemon dusted." The bright taste of lemon makes the chicken feel lighter somehow. It transports you from the dirty streets of Manhattan. Instead, you feel like you're sitting on a southern screened-in porch, drinking bourbon and contemplating life's simple pleasures. There's a reason fried chicken is so popular. It's all good. But at Root & Bone, it's great. 200 E. 3rd St., 646-682-7080, rootnbone.com --GK

Bar Sardine's Fedora Burger

Bar Sardine did something ingenious when it opened
Photo Credit: Henry Hargreaves

Bar Sardine did something ingenious when it opened as a bar serving great food rather than a restaurant that happened to have great cocktails. In so doing, the latest in the line of Happy Cooking/ Gabe Stuhlman/ Little Wisco enterprises created a place for itself unlike any other eatery in New York City. And it happened at the perfect time: when NYC diners are more excited than ever to spend more on two cocktails than on their whole dinner. And best of all, at Bar Sardine, the cocktails and the food are both pretty delicious. Take the Fedora Burger, created by the next door restaurant for a burger contest, but which never quite fit their menu. The juicy patty is loaded with rich flavor and meaty texture and is topped with shoe string potatoes, smoked cheddar, cucumbers and BBQ mayo. The balance between crunch and creaminess, funk and sweetness, is something to be reckoned with. The bun is squishy too, beautifully holding everything together. You know how people complain about fancy burgers? This is a fancy burger that tastes decidedly UN-fancy. Oh, and it pairs perfectly with a cocktail made with multiple stiff spirits. 183 W. 10th St., 646-360-3705, barsardinenyc.com --GK

Mission Cantina's Rotisserie Chicken

This dish is no longer on the menu
Photo Credit: GEORGIA KRAL

This dish is no longer on the menu at Danny Bowien's undefinable LES restaurant. But i'll never forget it. The juicy chicken, stuffed with rice, chorizo, raisins and pecans and topped with fresh herbs, radicchio, green salsa and crema, was a game-changer in my mind. So much flavor! And it was served with Anson Mills tortillas made in house (oftentimes by Bowien himself). Only a chef as out of the box as Bowien could come up with a dish like this. 172 Orchard St., 212-254-2233, missioncantinany.com --GK

Pasar Malam's Curry Laksa

This Malaysian Night Market inspired restaurant by New
Photo Credit: FACEBOOK/PasarMalamNY

This Malaysian Night Market inspired restaurant by New York's Laut owners brought more of their excellent Asian cuisine to Williamsburg. The Curry Laksa bridges the gap of the indecisive, a noodle dish, curry and soup all in one. Served with thick egg noodles, light tofu puffs and crisp vegetables to soak up all the flavor, each bite of this dish feels perfectly harmonious. 208 Grand St., Brooklyn, 718-487-4576, pasarmalamny.com --MK

Galli's Funghi

Beloved SoHo Italian restaurant, Galli, opened its second
Photo Credit: Galli

Beloved SoHo Italian restaurant, Galli, opened its second location in the former 'inoteca space this fall. While you really can't go wrong with any dish off their homemade pasta menu, this spaghetti with mushrooms, sherry cream sauce and truffle oil is delightful -- not too rich and perfectly al dente to blend with chewy mushrooms. 98 Rivington St., 212-466-1888, gallirestaurant.com --MK

Angus Club Steakhouse's Porterhouse Steak

This upscale old New York style steakhouse opened
Photo Credit: Angus Club Steakhouse

This upscale old New York style steakhouse opened in Midtown in early 2014 and quickly built its reputation as having some of the best steaks in the city. The meat is butchered in-house and dry aged for optimum flavor. The bigger the cut of meat, the more variety per diner, which means the Porterhouse for four is one of the best options. 135 E. 55th St., 212-588-1585 angusclubsteakhouse.com --MK

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