Editor's note: You've already seen our New York editors' neighborhood guides, in which the SE staff—Ed, Carey, Erin, and more—chat about their favorite places to eat in their own neighborhoods. But we're branching out to other food personalities. We've heard Tom Colicchio on the West Village; Eric Ripert on Midtown West; now here's Top Chef contestant and chef-owner Dale Talde on downtown Brooklyn and the surrounding neighborhoods of Boerum Hill and Cobble Hill.
Dale Talde seems poised to take over Brooklyn. A Top Chef Season 4 appearance put the Filipino-American chef's name on the map, and he's taking that name to the bank with Talde, an inventive Asian fusion restaurant that's been packed to the gills since its recent opening in Park Slope. Plans are already underway for a second Park Slope joint that will indulge Dale's passion for cheap beer and all-American bar food. Until then, he'll settle for Popeye's chicken and Chinese takeout close to home, in Downtown Brooklyn.
Pizza: I'm a classics kind of dude, so I order the Margherita at Sottocasa. They also have a really great arugula salad that has mad Parmigiano-Reggiano on it. It's basically cheese accented by arugula, and that's the way I like it.
Burger, cheap: Shake Shack. I love this place. It's a New York icon. I get a double ShackBurger and regular fries.
Burger, fancy: Two 8 Two. I really pig out here. I get a bacon cheeseburger and fries, and I almost always do takeout. While I wait, I pound a beer.
Fried Chicken: You know I love fried chicken, and Popeye's is my favorite for something quick. This one on Livingston is open late. My usual order is a three-piece spicy with mac & cheese, dirty rice and a side of ranch. I'm not ashamed at all to tell you how much I love ranch dressing.
Breakfast: Stur-dee Health Products. There's a shake here they say is made especially for men. It has almonds, rice milk, bananas, orange juice and non-dairy frozen yogurt in it. It's awesome.
Delivery food: Chuang Hing is where I do almost all of my takeout and delivery ordering. It's just awesome and it's the cleanest Chinese takeout joint I've ever seen in New York City. It's family-run and they take so much pride in what they do and it shows. My usual order is General Tso's chicken with pork fried rice, an egg roll and two Dr. Peppers.
Dive Bar: Downtown Ale House. The place has cheap beer and cheap whiskey. What more could you possibly want?
Date night: Henry Public. My girlfriend and I love going here and getting the bone marrow, oysters and a ton of cocktails.
Can't-miss spot in the neighborhood: Honestly, it's Mile End. They have a dope turkey sandwich. Everyone orders the smoked meat—but trust me, the turkey is where it's at. I also like the Montreal-style sesame bagel, toasted, with cream cheese. They're always busy, so you're gonna wait, but it's well worth it.