In almost a year, Steve and I feel like we've compiled a respectable list of best dishes. So without any more needless introduction, here's our respective lists.
Cote De Boeuf with Bone Marrow at Minetta Tavern. One of the best pieces of meat in my life. Steve and I are proud to say that we ate the whole thing.
Let's get this one out of the way early. While it was on everyone's 2009 list, I'm just going pretend this is last year and I'm ahead of the curve. Octopus and Bone Marrow Fusilli at Marea. One of the few dishes that's even better than the hype.
Engeline’s. Best pork dish of the year. Filipinos-- I will never question your dedication to eating multiple pork dishes at every meal. Also, I'm a slacker for never writing it up (maybe next year).
French Fries at Mile End. These are my dream fries. You don't even need to get the optional cheese curds and mushroom gravy to make poutine (nor does it need chopped smoked meat sprinkled on top eiher). Just add a little ketchup for these perfectly crisp skin-on fries.
Lamb dumplings at Golden Palace. What's the lambiest thing I've eaten all year? These guys.
RUB Burger. Crusty, slightly dry-aged patty topped with Velveeta cheese, pickles, caramelized onions and chipotle aioli. Someone pointed out that our Chelsea tag only has multiple RUB posts-- oh well.
Salmon Rillettes at Bouchon. An addictive combination of smoked and regular salmon with plenty of added fat for lubrication. For 2011, I resolve to make this at home.
I made a Soft-Shell Crab BLT this Summer. Almost certainly the best sandwich I've ever constructed and one of the best I've ever eaten. Who needs a restaurant when you've got one of these?
And the winner: Acharuli Khachapouri at Pirosmani. The first bite caused me to sit up straight (I was slumped over from the alcohol) and exclaim (to myself) "where have you been all my life?"
I'm just going curl up with one of these by myself at home... so see you next year.
White Clam Pizza with Bacon at Frank Pepe - Charred chewy crust, fresh briny clams and smokey slabs of thick cut bacon, what's not to love about this New Haven coal oven pizza institution?
Uni Hand Roll at Sushi Yasuda - Although I don't smoke, I'd gladly accept one of these "uni cigars" crafted by Yasuda-san himself any day, anytime, and anywhere.
Red Wattle Pork Chop at Vinegar Hill House - Served unapologetically medium rare, when a thick, moist pork chop tastes this good, you'll never complain.
Oysters and Pearls at The French Laundry - Anything but novel, this Thomas Keller classic has been served to guests since the restaurant's inception and was the most emblematic course I enjoyed from the nearly twenty during an extended tasting menu after having missed out on it during my visit to Per Se in 2009.
Into the Vegetable Garden...at Manresa - A snapshot of Love Apple Farm, elevated by Chef David Kinch who utilizes the product in its cooked, raw, juiced and pureed form, complete with edible dirt made from potato, parsnip and roasted chicory root.
Maine Lobster Cappuccino at The Modern - A study in concentrated flavor, Chef Gabriel Kreuther's playful take on a "cappuccino" involves a heavily reduced broth brimming with the essence of lobster, served in a coffee cup and topped off with a milk foam.
Farm Fresh Egg at Blue Hill at Stone Barns - Chef Dan Barber uses fresh eggs straight from the Blue Hill estate to give a whole new meaning to the old saying, "the incredible edible egg."
Arroz de Pato at Aldea - Chef Mendez's signature dish manages to juxtapose textures (moist duck breast and confit with crisp duck cracklin's and soccrat), and flavors (briny olives, spicy chorizo and sweet apricot puree) to create the ultimate "duck paella."
Foie Gras Brûlée at Jean-Georges - Much like the rest of the dishes served at his flagship restaurant, Jean-Georges manages to put his innovative spin on a French classic, which in this case, involves brûléeing a puck of foie gras atop a circular piece of brioche and pairing it with a complex fig jam.
Full Patacón at Patacón Pisao - Move over Arepas, the Patacón - a massive sandwich containing chicken, beef and pork, fried cheese, lettuce, tomato, ketchup and special sauce between two fried green plantains - has supplanted you as the best Venezuelan fast food.
That's all we've got for the year. Steve and I feel like we've earned a break for a week (and you're probably tired of reading us, but if you're not we've got plenty of posts from this year).
So from Law & Food, have a great holiday and a happy New Year!