Gallery: The Best Things We Ate in September

  • Burrata and tomato toast at Big Sur Bakery, CA

    Burrata and tomato toast at Big Sur Bakery, CA
    Kodiak Greenwood

    "I almost never order burrata—why pay extra for something you can buy yourself at any good grocery store? But I'm so glad I made at exception at the Big Sur Bakery. They serve creamy burrata with sweet tomatoes on garlicky olive-oil drenched bread, but the key is that the wood-oven toasted slices of bread soak up a good amount of smoke, lending a haunting campfire quality to the dish. The tomato juices, olive oil, and creamy burrata soak into the smoky toast, making it a bit messy to pick up but also luscious in a way that toast never is. I'd drive back for it in a heartbeat." —Maggie Hoffman, Managing Editor

    Lamb Shawarma at Al Raouche in Patterson, NJ

    Max Falkowitz

    "I've already blabbed on about the awesome Turkish food in Paterson, NJ, but it's clear I still have so much more eating to do. One recent winner: this dish from Al Raoche on Crooks Avenue: crunchy fried bits of pita soused in thin, tangy yogurt, then topped with shavings of tender shawarma and—the real kicker—fried almonds. (Yes, I am pre-gaming for winter.)" —Max Falkowitz, National Editor

    Smoked Meat at Kaplansky's in Toronto

    Vicky Wasik

    Smoked, Pickled, and Cured...Everything at Shelsky's in Brooklyn

    Vicky Wasik

    "In preparation for my recent post on appetizing, I spent a few hours talking shop with Peter Shelsky, trying bites of pickled lox (creamy, meaty, tart), whitefish salad (rich, smoky, eminently spreadable), and slices of sturgeon (clean, light, earthy). Frankly, it's all so delicious, I'm not sure how he doesn't just devour his entire inventory singlehandedly." —Niki Achitoff-Gray, Associate Editor

    Slow Cooked Red Sauce

    Kenji Lopez-Alt

    "It's my first month back in the states after a long trip through Asia, and I haven't really had time to hit many restaurants. But I've been cooking up a storm, including quart after quart after quart of tomato sauce in my quest to make the best darned Italian-American red sauce around. I think I accomplished that goal. The final batch of this Slow-Cooked Italian-American Red Sauce was rich, sweet, intensely savory, and worth every second of its 6 hour cooking time." —Kenji Lopez-Alt, Managing Culinary Director

    Marinara Focaccia at Eataly in NYC

    Emilia Morano-Williams

    "I’ve been around the Flatiron district a lot recently and that means more trips to Eataly. Not that I’m complaining, especially not if a slice of their focaccia is involved. The thick, oil-rich dough is light and chewy. My favorite is the marinara, with enough sauce to make the focaccia heavy to hold." —Emilia Morano-Williams, Editorial Intern

    Grilled Eggplant With Fixings, at Home

    Lisa Starikova

    "I brought home a bag of fairytale eggplants from The Brooklyn Grange and grilled them for a late breakfast, served with a semi-soft boiled egg, lox, salmon roe, crisp radish, fresh oregano from my garden, and a little olive oil. These particular eggplants, when grilled, get very pleasantly chewy. When the olive oil hits them, it gets soaked up for a meltingly smooth texture, almost as rich as an egg yolk. The lox and roe add some fishy saltiness (no additional salt necessary!) and the radishes and oregano cut through and lightened those rich flavors." —Lisa Starikova, Editorial Intern

    Pork Tenderloin with Smoked Yams at Tilikum Place Cafe, Seattle

    Jacqueline Raposo

    "This pork dish caught me off guard; a seemingly simple dish done so right that it demanded to be taken seriously. Chunks of tenderloin—moist and juicy and not at all over-done—bathed in a light broth that had a touch of heat from goat horn peppers and a bright burst of green from fresh herbs and pungent olive oil, with the slightly briny addition of fresh clams. But the killer part was the yams; they roast the yams skin-on and add smoking chips to the oven to finish them. It added a pungently smoky element that permeated the slightly salty broth and sweet pork, bringing everything together into a really satisfying, special dish." —Jacqueline Raposo, Contributor

    Bruléed foie gras at Eleven Madison Park, NYC

    Niko Triantafillou

    "The vivid colors of this dish elicited gasps from my neighbors at the bar when it arrived. The foie was torched, creating a thin, crunchy crust, similar to a crème brûlée you might eat for dessert. Seasonal berries and beets offered a bit of sweetness to contrast the rich, earthy liver flavors and the touch of coarse sea salt sprinkled on top."—Niko Triantafillou, Contributor

    Migas at SEHQ

    Vicky Wasik

    "I can eat eggs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It was a good day when Daniel made Tex-Mex migas—scrambled eggs cooked with chili peppers, onion, and tortilla chips, served on tortillas with hot sauce."—Vicky Wasik, Visual Editor

    Tacos at Guisados in Los Angeles

    Paul Cline

    "I ate more than my fair share of tacos while in Los Angeles last week. It's tough to pick a favorite, but if I could only make one stop I think it would be at Guisados. (Sorry Ricky!) You can't really go wrong with the menu—they're all delicious: I loved the bistek en salsa roja, chicharron, and cochinita pibil." —Paul Cline, Developer

    Polpo at Marea in NYC

    Chris Hansen

    Smoked Bluefish

    Vicky Wasik

    "Vniki (my shorthand for Vicky and Niki when referring to both of them) brought this smoked bluefish back to the office from Shelky's of Brooklyn and I couldn't keep myself away from it. First I tore off a flaky chunk and gobbled it up, then I greedily pulled the entire dark-brown bloodline out of the fillet and declared it MINE-ALL-MINE, then I ate all that was left, scraping the gelatinous fat from the skin and licking it from my greasy, fishy fingernails. I really, really don't understand people who don't like bluefish." —Daniel Gritzer, Culinary Director

    Daniel's Baked Ziti

    Vicky Wasik

    "Daniel’s version of ziti encourages you to top the ziti with parmesan sauce, and in the office that meant of glug of sauce for each bite. The parmesan sauce tasts like an enriched, liquified form of good Parmigiano-Reggiano. Even though we had been snacking on the hard cheese version of parmesan and had tasted many earlier versions of the recipe, I couldn’t help but go back for fourths."—Marj Berman, Editorial Intern

    Sweetbreads with polenta and pipérade at Battersby in Brooklyn

    Leang Ching

    "I've been meaning to make my way to Battersby for the past year, so when I finally took the plunge on my birthday, I knew I had to get the five-course tasting menu. Honestly, three out the five dishes were my best bites of the month, and this month has been particularly gluttonous. However, it was only with the sweetbreads that I unashamedly licked the plate clean. No judgments—it was my birthday!" —Leang Ching, Sales Operations Manager