Now 15 years old, The Grocery on Smith Street shows some of its age, but the kitchen's precision and the staff's genial service never get old.
Cobble Hill, Brooklyn
Anyone can fry potatoes, roast vegetables, and braise meats, but few can do it as well as Brucie's chef Zahra Tangorra.
Fish Tales has been supplying Brooklyn's Cobble Hill community with fresh seafood since opening in 1996. The Court Street fixture has followed the neighborhood's growth over the following 17 years—rotating its offerings and boosting its grocery selection—but two concepts remain firmly rooted in the shop's inception: its dedication to high quality fish and superb customer service.
A massive ice cream sundae best shared with two or three of your sugar-crazed friends.
My favorite kind of restaurant is the neighborhood restaurant: a place right down the street that's short on frills but long on coziness, serves down-home but excellent food at fair prices, and where the quality never seems to suffer no matter how many decades old the restaurant is. Waterfalls Café is that kind of restaurant.
Slathering pimento cheese on a sandwich is such a brilliant idea. At Van Horn Sandwich Shop on Court Street in Cobble Hill, it makes an appearance on the "BLP."
Just down the street from his southern restaurant Seersucker and laidback coffee shop Smith Canteen, you'll find chef Rob Newton topping a bowl of pho with cilantro sprigs or making Vietnamese coffee popsicles at his new spot, Nightingale 9.
Levant specializes in Jordanian cuisine, putting a less-seen take on Middle Eastern classics like falafel, eggplant, and yogurt.
Sahadi's is without a doubt one of the city's best markets, an unbelievable collection of everything Middle Eastern and beyond. "Sahadi's is a Middle Eastern market wonderland," frequent shopper Erin says, "there are just no adequate words to describe it." Take a look around the shelves in our tour.
A delicately fried catfish and 'slaw sandwch is a pleasantly demure alternative to the big ticket fried chicken and pimento cheese at this Cobble Hill sandwich shop.
Cobble Hill's La Vara has a whole fried section of the menu. The very first: these formidable fried artichokes, drizzled with anchovy aioli.
A scoop of Strawberry ($4 for small) from Brooklyn creamery Blue Marble doesn't look like much in the cup, but don't be fooled by its understated facade—this is serious ice cream.
The Turkey Sandwich ($9) at Ted & Honey may not reach the heights of poultry greatness, but it's a solid union of mild smoky turkey, sharp dijon mustard, and plump, tender apple butter.
You want to be careful when labeling a sandwich a "cheesesteak." Doing so cues certain expectations of a particular type of sandwich. But since the Smith St. Cheese Steak ($12) is in Brooklyn, not Philly, I neutralized my expectations and decided to go with the flow.
You'll find these golden pastries alongside the croissants at Bien Cuit in Cobble Hill. See that dollop of mascarpone in the center? Smear it all around and make sure you get a bit in each bite.
An slice of plain chocolate cake is surprisingly difficult to find in NYC. Flourless chocolate cakes, molten chocolates, triple chocolate cakes, chocolate cakes with layered with buttercream and others with ganache and whipped cream: sure. But just plain chocolate cake? Rare! Luckily, they turn them out from time to time at One Girl Cookies.
There are good sandwiches, and there are great sandwiches. Then there are heroes. No, not those heroes. I mean sandwiches so good you take a bite and think, "wow, this is heroic." These sandwiches were born on a sandwich planet with far higher gravity than ours; a mere skip on Earth takes them into flight.The Slow Roasted Pork ($12) on Rucola's lunch and brunch menus is just such a sandwich.
Mile End's dinner menu is not for the faint of heart. A compromise among these hard-hitting carnivorous entrées and, well, a romaine salad, is the cod fritter falafel ($11), which gives traditional falafel a run for its money. Shaped like falafel, these cod fritters have a light, crisp crust (no grease!) with a flaky fish interior. You'll wish for plenty more in your order.
Spring is happening in New York, and we couldn't be more excited (no, really look at slide 1—we're really excited). Tender, green vegetables are the order of the day, and we've already started chowing down. Of course Spring still has a long way to go, so we haven't devoured all our favorite veggies yet, but these have made a fine start to the season. Click through the slideshow to see all the early seasonal dishes we've loved lately.