5. Dungeness Deviled Eggs at Madison Park Conservatory
How can luscious whipped egg topped with fat hunks of Dungeness crab not be the best damn thing you ever ate, particularly when lavished with Spanish paprika? Let me qualify that Dungeness is frequently more interesting in theory than in practice, its charms being soft ones flavorwise, but for richness and—it has to be said—mouthfeel, this one rocks.
4. Foie Gras Sliders at RN74
There would be a riot if these little fellers left the menu at downtown’s happy hour haunt of choice, a Michael Mina chain that’s always better than one expects it to be. Preparations vary, but the general gist is a slice of the elegant unctuous duck liver (Hudson Valley, no less) presented between buns with caramelized onion and a sweet counterpoint like Bartlett pear. The sweets, the savories, the push and pull of textures—it’s just about perfect, every time.
3. Poutine at the Coterie Room
Poutine, you’ll agree, being a heart attack in edible form, is surely Canada’s revenge against its brazen neighbor to the south. That said, enjoy it while you’re young—preferably at the Coterie Room, which pulls it off with as much nuance and delicacy as can be applied to a dish made of French fries, cheese curds, and pork gravy. Here the gravy is flavorful with lots of braised pork, the cheese is crisp-fried Beecher’s curds, the fries are scattered with herbs, and on top sits a refreshing mess of frisky greens. Dig in!
2. Souffle Potato Crisps at Luc
What French fries only dream of being, Thierry Rautureau’s souffle potato crisps are softly puffed from within to create crisp-on-the-outside, creamy-on-the--inside pillows of, well, heaven. Apparently it’s hard-earned goodness—these babies are blanched and twice-fried over several hours—but all that labor yields a simply sensational product, so wicked that the fact they arrive with dipping aioli is hilarious.
1. Tempura Fried Kurobuta Bacon at John Howie Steak
Good luck ordering these puppies on the sly: They come, five slices to an order, poking vertically out of a tall glass (on a bed of laughable greens) as if to shout, “Oh yes, this slob was proud to order me!” But proud you will be when you discover that coating thick-cut, high-quality bacon with an angelic coat of tempura isn’t just some county-fair stunt; it’s genuinely good eating, especially when embellished with chili-edged maple sambal sauce and paired with the kind of libation that makes double-fried bacon the least of your worries.