Crispy Brussels Sprouts ($6) at Whitehall
These sprouts, which I personally have for dinner on an alarming basis, launched the very idea of Vegetable Month, in that they reminded us how downright craveable a vegetable can be. (No fewer than four Serious Eats writers mentioned either these brussels sprouts or the identical ones at Whitehall's sister restaurant Mary Queen of Scots, when I asked for outstanding veggie recommendations.) These guys are fried until brown and crisp before they're tossed in a dressing of house-made grain mustard and AnCnoc 12-year Scotch along with lemon to brighten them up, parsley to add a little green back in, and enough malted sea salt to really kick them into perfect snack territory.
Roasted brussels sprouts with whole grain mustard, parmesan, and crushed almonds at Back Forty ($8)
Back Forty allows the sprouts to shine in their simple, thoughtful preparation. The roasted sprouts are tossed in a whole grain mustard dressing and sprinkled with pieces of salty parmesan. What sets them apart are the crushed almonds added to the mix; they accentuate the nutty flavor of the brussels sprouts and add a real crunch, as well.
Brussels Sprouts at Chuko ($7)
The spout halves are fried before they're tossed in a sultry-savory vinaigrette of fish sauce and soy that soaks into all the crannies; honey roasted peanuts and pickled peppers top them off.
Chuko: 552 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11238 (at Dean Street, map); 718 576-6701
Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and pancetta with Scharfe maxx at The John Dory Oyster Bar ($9)
Just because you're eating something green doesn't necessarily mean you're being virtuous. The brussels sprouts at John Dory are happy to remind you of vegetables' potential for decadence. Pan-roasted with mushrooms in olive oil until golden brown and tender, the sprouts are then sauteed with hefty, meaty pieces of pancetta (cured in-house). A béchamel sauce of sharp Scharfe maxx cheese is mixed in, then topped with parmesan bread crumbs. The resulting dish, served piping hot in a mini cast iron skillet, is salty, creamy, and more indulgent than you'd think vegetables could be.
Brussels Sprouts at Momofuku Noodle Bar
While so many preparations char up their brussels sprouts, Momofuku Noodle Bar keeps them moist, in a heaping pile of tangled shreds with Chinese sausage, crisp spaetzle, bits of apple, and a mustard-based dressing that drenches the whole thing. Spooned up when steaming hot, it's got the warm-your-soul quality of a hot sauerkraut, belly-heating and satisfying.
Brussels sprouts with chipotle, anchovy, and radish at Ma Peche ($12)
The brussels sprouts at Ma Peche look deceptively simple considering the powerful flavors they pack in. The sprouts are quartered, deep-fried (just past golden brown) and tossed with a chipotle anchovy vinaigrette, as well as a generous amount of radish, scallions, and mint. Each bite reveals the sweet, fishy funk of the vinaigrette, the fresh crunch of the radish and mint, and most importantly, the deep nuttiness (with a great hint of char) from the brussels sprouts themselves.
Crispy Brussels Sprouts at Alta ($10.50)
Brussels Sprouts at L'Artusi ($8)
What's better than brussels sprouts? Fried sprouts. And what makes those better? A shower of Parmesan on top. L'Artusi's brussels sprouts were recommended by many readers and our own contributors, and we can see why. (Sister restaurant dell'Anima often does them brilliantly, too, sauteed with red onion, smoked pumpkin seeds and dried cherries.)
Fried Brussels Sprouts & Chinese Sausage from Kin Shop ($12)
Persimmon is one of those great fruits that can go either sweet or savory, and just about anything would be delicious atop Kin Shop's persimmon nam prik. But the best part is the sprouts themselves, fried and tossed in fermented apple vinegar with Chinese sausage.
Brussels Sprouts at The Vanderbilt ($5)
With crispy skins and a good bit of char, they're sprinkled with sesame seeds and finished with a sweet, spicy glaze of sriracha, lime, and honey. They sort of end up tasting like American Chinese food, but in a really, really good way.
Roasted Brussels Sprout Salad ($12) at The Good Fork
An ingenious twist on a Caesar salad: arugula and the roasted brussels come dressed in a creamy, anchovy-spiked caesar dressing. The whole thing is topped with a runny-yolked poached egg, bacon, and Parmesan. Pig and brussels sprouts are a well-traveled combination, with good reason, but the egg takes this dish over the top.
Fried Brussels Sprouts with Queso Fresco at Toloache, $8
We don't necessarily think of brussels sprouts as standard Latin fare, but Toloache's preparation of convinces us of brussels' versatility. The sprouts are fried and tossed with tangy sweet pickled red onions, and crumbled queso fresco, topped with upland cress micro greens. The queso fresco lends a creamy saltiness to the dish without taking away from the nutty crunch of the brussels sprouts, while the onions accentuate the vinegary contrast.