Slideshow: Staff Picks: The Best Things We Ate in October

Remejon, La Vara, Brooklyn
Remejon, La Vara, Brooklyn
I’m a big fan of Alex Raij’s cooking—she’s a thoughtful, creative chef who’s helped introduce traditional Spanish cuisine to New Yorkers for years at her restaurants Txikito and Tia Pol. At La Vara, she turns her attention to little-known Moorish dishes like remejon, a gorgeous citrus salad laced with supple house-cured salt cod, mild green olives, pistachios, nubbins of hard-boiled egg, and a sprinkle of tart pomegranate seeds. It’s a bold combination of colors, flavors, and textures that could easily go awry in the hands of a less skilled chef. —Jamie Feldmar, Managing Editor
Mystic Oysters, New York Wine and Food Festival
Mystic Oysters, New York Wine and Food Festival
I had the good fortune to attend the New York Wine and Food Festival Oyster Bash a couple of weeks ago, and while there were any number of unique chef creations on hand, my favorite bite was of pure, unadulterated oyster. Specifically, this Mystic oyster (which I greedily went back for at least four or five times). Mystics are harvested from the waters off of Noank, CT, right where the Long Island Sound and Block Island Sound converge. It's a unique environment that lends a bright, rich, slightly metallic brininess to the bivalves. —Niki Achitoff-Gray, Associate Editor

[Photograph: Niki Achitoff-Gray]

Lamb Kebabs at Chayhana Salom, Brooklyn
Lamb Kebabs at Chayhana Salom, Brooklyn
A recent meal at Chayhana Salom, a new-ish Uzbek/Uyghur restaurant in Sheepshead Bay, had no shortage of best bites, from roasted eggplant salad to stir fried spaetzle-like lagman noodles to lamb dumpling and sour cream soup. I loved pretty much everything, but here's the prettiest photo of the lot: some excellently juicy kebabs in lamb, lulya (ground lamb), and liver variations. Most Uzbek kebab joints in New York are lackluster with seasoning their meat, but that was no problem here.—Max Falkowitz, NY Editor

[Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

Rabbit and Snail Paella, Toro, New York
Rabbit and Snail Paella, Toro, New York
I may be a bit biased having worked at the original Boston location of Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonette's newly opened NYC branch of Toro, but that was nearly a decade ago, and the menu has seen some major changes since then. The best thing I tried last time: a snail and rabbit paella packed with tender braised rabbit meat flavored with smoked paprika, wild Burgundy snails, sunchokes, and calamint. The best part (aside from the crunchy socarrat, of course) might be the chunks of tender carrot that cook down in the chicken and rabbit broth.—Kenji Lopez-Alt, Chief Creative Officer

[Photograph: Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Porchetta at Mission Cantina, New York
Porchetta at Mission Cantina, New York
The porchetta and chicken rice at Danny Bowien's about-to-open Mission Cantina (tasted at a book party Danny threw for his friend Andy Ricker) is a detonated flavor bomb. Plus, he told me his porchetta was influenced by our own Kenji Alt's post on the subject, so that makes it doubly delicious. —Ed Levine, SE Overlord

[Photograph: Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Combo Plate at Punjabi Tandoor, San Diego
Combo Plate at Punjabi Tandoor, San Diego
Before spending 10 long days in a culinary desert (North Port, FL), I devoured this combo plate (smoky-sweet chicken makhani and rich vegetable korma) and a mango lassi at Punjabi Tandoor—my favorite Indian restaurant in San Diego, and the reason I've officially given up trying to make Indian food from scratch at home. The combo plate easily feeds two and comes with rice, naan, and kheer, all for $8.49. Belated apologies to the nice, if slightly stunned-looking woman who had the misfortune of being stuck beside me. I don't think my efforts to tamp down my giddy chair dancing and happy humming were quite successful. —Erin Jackson, AHT Contributing Editor

[Photograph: Erin Jackson]

Matzoh Ball Soup at Shorty Goldstein's, San Francisco
Matzoh Ball Soup at Shorty Goldstein's, San Francisco
San Francisco isn't really known for its Jewish delis, but there have been some advancements over the last few years. One is Shorty Goldstein's, where I had a legit matzo ball soup and frankly the best pickle plate ever. They take farmers market vegetables, do magical, briny things to them, then serve an assortment on a plate. Let's just say it: more places should offer pickles as a side.—Carrie Vasios, Sweets Editor

[Photograph: Carrie Vasios]

 Ribeye and Pork Chop, Ox, Portland
Ribeye and Pork Chop, Ox, Portland
After seeing Jamie's praise for Ox in last month's roundup, I knew where I wanted to spend my one night out in Portland this month. (We did a quick San Francisco to PDX road trip, which I highly recommend.) But I had no idea how fantastic the meal would be—how the maple-glazed pork chop (pictured, kindly sliced for sharing) would be one of the best pork chops I've ever had, and how the steak (oh, that steak) would easily outpace anything I had in Argentina. It's one of the best pieces of beef I've ever tried anywhere, and I'm eager to go back.—Maggie Hoffman, Senior and Drinks Editor

[Photograph: Maggie Hoffman]