Favorite Foods of 2014

2014 was a good year for food. It was a year that involved an unprecedented amount of travel, due to the record number of friends getting married this year, and many of their ceremonies took place internationally. As a result, this created many opportunities for interesting meals–breakfast sushi at Tsukiji market or unripe strawberries in Copenhagen are not experiences that can be easily had back at home.

While the international meals were memorable, the majority of my favorite meals took place in New York, and Kansas City and New Orleans weren’t too shabby, either. Honestly, with so many chefs training at the same restaurants and then setting shop elsewhere, you can find really good cooking anywhere. But that also means that many of the meals and food trends seem all too similar. It’s amazing how many small plates, Brooklyn-esque farm-to-table restaurants exist in the world.

I personally preferred those meals that still retained their regional traits to the ambiguous New World Global cuisine that proliferated everywhere else. So my favorite food moments in 2014 crosses many borders and price points, a reflection of the glamorous and janky meals that were unique to the cities I ate them in. In no particular order, here is a round up of my favorite foods in 2014.

1. the z-man sandwich from oklahoma joe’s in kansas city

oklahoma joe's - the z-man sandwich

2. the melt-in-your-mouth sea eel from nakamura in tokyo

nakamura - 18 sea eel

3. the epic peking duck dinner at decoy in new york

peking duck

4. the ricotta gnocchi from the eddy in new york

ricotta gnocchi with oyster mushrooms, squash, rosemary and hazelnuts

5. the husk meringue with corn mousse dessert from cosme in new york

husk meringue and corn mousse

6. the duck carnitas from cosme in new york

duck carnitas with white onions, radish and salsa verde

7. the duck fat rice with kale and chinese sausage from tuome in new york

rice with kale, chinese sausage and duck fat

8. the beef tartare from manfreds in copenhagen

beef tartare with watercress

9. the breakfast sushi from tsukiji market in tokyo


10. the omakase at sushi nakazawa in new york

nakazawa hamming it up with shrimp

11. the whitefish donburi bowl from ivan ramen slurp shop in new york

ivan ramen slurp shop - smoked whitefish donburi

12. the kale and wild mushroom risotto from gato in new york

kale and wild mushroom paella with crispy artichokes and egg

13. the lobster ravioli from cherche midi in new york

homemade lobster ravioli

14. the #1 bagel sandwich from black seed bagels in new york

black seed - sandwich 1

15. the butcher’s steak at st. anselm in new york (my pictures were so crappy and not post-worthy, but i would highly recommend that you brave the no reservation policy and make the trek out to brooklyn for this amazing piece of meat)

Epic Peking Duck @ Decoy

Thanksgiving came several days early this year. I already had an epic group dinner at Decoy, in which the six of us stuffed our faces with 2 nice, fat and crispy Peking ducks, after having already filled up on four “small” appetizers and some deceptively light fish skin chips, and just when we thought we were in the clear, a bowl of fried rice, another side, and three additional main dishes rounded out the meal. Does this sound like a lot of food? Would it help if I mentioned that we also had pickled vegetables and shots of duck consomme? Clearly I should have done a better job of saving some room for actual Thanksgiving day.

But despite the enormous, and at times overwhelming, amount of food, I thought the duck dinner here was fabulous. In fact, I would highly encourage you to skip the usual dry turkey and just order the duck dinner at Decoy with your closest family members and friends, because the restaurant is open on Thanksgiving!! The Chinese members of this entourage commented on how authentic and high quality this Peking duck was, and their opinions are pretty legit given their exposure and preference for the super traditional preparation. And with all the attention paid to the duck, it’s impressive that the accompanying sides and mains were just as memorable and mouth-wateringly delicious as the duck. I definitely swooned when I had a bite of the juicy marinated rib steak and the pastrami triangles, and my heart skipped a beat with a spoonful of the crab and scallop fried rice. You seriously can’t go wrong with anything here. Click through these pictures, see what looks good, and chances are you will love how it tastes.

529 ½ Hudson St. (between Charles and W. 10th St)
New York, NY 10014

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