Some favorite dishes of late:
Jerusalem artichoke soup at Shorty's.32
This was served at brunch, a ridiculously flavorful and rich puree topped with basil oil. We thought there had to be lots of brown butter in there, but the waiter demurred. No matter, I would order this soup again and again.
Gruyere gnocchi at One If By Land, Two If By Sea.
I enjoyed a nice opportunity to eat there last night, at a press dinner to showcase the new chef, Craig Hopson, who is Australian and quite hunky, truth be told. My favorite dish of the night was the gnocchi, which reminded me more of a cheese fritter than anything else. An outside crunch, a super creamy center with no doughiness, and very satisfying. I could have eaten 15 of them in a bowl, alone.
French ham on a baguette at Amy's Bread.
I Imagine that if I lived in Paris this would be my daily breakfast. Nothing complicated about it at all—a few thin slices of ham on a fresh baguette smeared with a healthy layer of butter. There are a few pickles in there too. Perfect. I don't know what took me so long to adopt this as my favorite snack.
Fried chicken at Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill.
Blue Ribbon's created a strange amalgam of all of their restaurants at the new Columbus Circle location. They brought their coveted fried chicken recipe to the sushi bar—when I saw it on the menu I expected a fried cutlet, a sort of tonkatsu preparation, thinly pounded and crispy. But instead, this was a good ol' Southern recipe, dressed up for a Japanese setting with a dusting of paprika and chile powders; the dish comes with a ramekin of wasabi infused honey to drizzle over. Sticky and greasy, good attributes both, in this case.
The brussels sprouts at Spotted Pig
This is not a new revelation to most people who eat well in New York, but man, oh man, are those brussels sprouts great. I had never ordered the sprouts there until New Year's Day, where I went with Anthony for the world's best first-day-of-the-year meal. If 2008 proves to even remotely resemble the rich, buttery joy of those brussels sprouts, it will be a good year indeed.