Unlike in Mexico (not to mention LA, San Francisco, and Chicago), New York lacks a quality tortilla industry. The corn isn't the same. The nixtamalization process, which breaks down the gluey hemicellulose in corn, is different here, and the common practice in Mexico of using a natural alkaline called tequesquite, isn't a thing here. But New York has an upside: great sandwich bread.
Colorful, gnarled heirloom tomatoes are typically marketed as a more flavorful upgrade to their more standardized hybrid cousins. But do you always get a better tomato for those high prices?
Why do anchovies taste so meaty? Where do they come from and how do they come to a tin near you? All your fishy questions answered after the jump.
Today's groceries can carry dozens of pasta shapes, each suited for their own sauces and cooking methods. How do you know what to do with them all? Think like a chef and get nerdy about it.
Eight years ago, a few steps down off of East 10th Street, Dieci started serving a menu of Japanese-Italian, sometimes Italian-Japanese, food. There's great finesse either way.
The cramped quarters, naval theme, and off-the-beaten-path Red Hook location of Petite Crevette turns a simple meal into a pleasant little trip. New York would be a better city if every neighborhood had a restaurant like it.
Imagine someone caught squid off the Southeast Asian Peninsula and sent it to be cooked in the French Riviera. Such is the case at Rouge et Blanc, the four-year-old restaurant on MacDougal Street where Macks Collins cooks with one foot in France and the other in Vietnam.
By day, Box Kite is a tiny cafe like many others in the East Village. But by night it turns into a remarkable restaurant serving surprisingly delicious and upscale food for such a small space.
Now 15 years old, The Grocery on Smith Street shows some of its age, but the kitchen's precision and the staff's genial service never get old.
Chinatown's pulse beats fastest at Canal and Bowery, where the Manhattan Bridge spills traffic onto the island and, nearby, the diesel engines of buses idle. Few people consider the eastern reaches of the neighborhood, between the Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges, as a dining destination. But that's where Rosette opened at the end of January.
Il Colosseo has been at the heart of Bensonhurst's Italian neighborhood on 18th Avenue, aka Cristoforo Colombo Boulevard, for 23 years. The classics-driven menu has remained largely unchanged for most of them, and the food wears its age well.
August in the West Village is all about the breezy food of spring and summer, but it has an appeal all year round.
I found El Sabroso after helping a friend move things into a Midtown showroom. We took turns bringing boxes into the freight entrance of 265 37th Street. In the loading dock, where there should have been freight elevators, there was a lunch counter instead, with six stools, one table, and a glossy red menu with the words "El Sabroso Restaurant" at the top.
Pagani's reasonably priced Italian has its pleasures, but to thrive on Bleecker street it'll have to do more.
Anyone can fry potatoes, roast vegetables, and braise meats, but few can do it as well as Brucie's chef Zahra Tangorra.
This is La Palapa's 14th winter since Barbara Selby, a native to Mexico City, opened the restaurant. The good intentions (and much of the good food) are still there, but without Sibley in the kitchen, some of her passion for Mexico's cuisine can get lost in translation.
Beef offal specialist Takashi recently started a late-night ramen menu by reservation only. Forget pork tonkotsu; here's ramen with Kobe beef belly.
Lucien is the sort of place you can go when you know what you want to eat, so long as what you want to eat is classic bistro fare. There's risk in running a restaurant so traditional—the food needs to be articulate and speak to guests in special, intimate ways, less the whole concept prove hollow and soulless. Lucien opened in 1998. After 16 years, the restaurant's got a way with words.
Last night at City Grit, guest chef Dylan Fultineer of Rappahannock in Richmond, Virginia, prepared a six-course meal featuring local seafood and produce. Check out all the dishes here!
After Crave Fishbar and South Edison, and having cooked in Soho's Kittichai and consulted on Cascabel Taqueria, Todd Mitgang has turned his talent with seafood south, where he looks to New Orleans for the menu's inspiration.
Splurge on the secondi at this century-old pharmacy-turned-Tuscan gem, or (wisely) build a meal around the antipasti and excellent homemade pastas.
Park Slope's longstanding farm-to-table restaurant serves thoughtful American fare and does the term 'neighborhood spot' justice.
In many ways, Cafe Nadery a gathering place inspired by and built around the Iranian heritage of the 21 people who own it. The café is a venue for readings, live music, film screenings, art exhibits, lectures, and fora. It just so happens they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
My grandmother's earliest memories of Thanksgiving—roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy—are defined by traditional American customs. But those aren't the only American Thanksgiving traditions. Immigrants from Mexico, Israel, and China—now New Yorkers in the food industry—tell their own stories.
In a neighborhood that's seen an influx of new restaurants in recent months, standing out is a challenge. One way to do it is with a personal menu built around your heritage. Another is to open in a former glass factory. Glasserie did both.