Best New Restaurants of 2016 and the Top Dishes of 2016

2016 was the year of Pasquale Jones. This restaurant makes delicious, accessible food at a reasonable price point (gratuity included!) in a great downtown location. I bring friends here repeatedly so that they can try the clam pie and the pork shank, which are two of Pasquale’s outstanding signature dishes, and no one has ever been let down. The same applies to myself. I’ve been back multiple times because the food is always good.

2016 was also a great year for poke bowls. There’s been an explosion of poke restaurants in the city, and my favorite one is Chikarashi in Chinatown. Indian food is also having a great year with the openings of places like Paowalla, Pondicheri and Indian Accent. So are sexy French restaurants, which are dishing up luscious meats and seafood in all sorts of creamy, buttery sauces in the prettiest of places. Brooklyn shows no signs of slowing down, New Nordic is still a thing, and you can never have too many new sushi restaurants. 2016 for me was also noteworthy for a lot of new overhyped restaurants I didn’t quite understand–Lilia, Llama Inn and Superiority Burger come to mind–but the ones that lived up to expectations really stuck. Here’s my list of the best new eateries that I think will have staying power.Read More

New Nordic at Aska

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When a plate of lichen becomes one of the top dishes that you’ve had all year, something you devour rather than flick off, you know that the chef who came up with that idea is doing something exceptional. New Nordic cuisine, with all of its foraged pine needles and flowers, is easy to admire from a distance but up close it might be a different story. Not so with Chef Fredrik Berselius’ take at his newly reopened restaurant Aska, which offers one of the most accessible interpretations I’ve come across. The lichen tasted like real food, resting on top of a luscious slab of heavy, caramelized cream with a savory flavor that was almost uni-like, something that a fat cat would lap up greedily. We’re talking about a fungal algae that brings as much pleasure as does a decadent piece of sushi. To pull that off is very impressive.Read More