Wood-Grilled Snapper at Louies Modern
It was hard to pick just one dish from a recent dinner/tasting at Louies Modern highlighting some new menu items—with starters including crisp fried Gulf oysters and smoked salmon, entrees centered on a wood-oven half chicken, grilled loin of pork and filet mignon, and tempting desserts like Key lime panna cotta and ricotta cheesecake, the meal was a plethora of culinary riches. But one item to truly savor was the wood-grilled American red snapper, served with toasted Israeli couscous, leeks, tomatoes and a beurre blanc sauce. It’s a subtle and memorable winner.
Grilled Veggie Sandwich at Seasons 52
We recently tried the “knife and fork” grilled veggie sandwich at Seasons 52. It lives up to its billing, with plenty of fresh grilled vegetables marinated in aged balsamic vinegar, topped with gooey burrata and slipped in between a toasted ciabatta roll. A delicious—and virtuous—choice.
Veal Sweetbreads at Melange
Chef Lan Bradeen recently unveiled a slate of new items as part of the winter menu at her excellent downtown restaurant Melange, and we fell hard for the veal sweetbreads. Fried until crispy and set atop a delicate structure of smoked mushrooms and crumpets, the sweetbreads are delicate marvels. But what takes the dish from very good to mind-melting is the buttery vermouth-popcorn sauce drizzled around the edges of the plate. An unlikely, but winning, combination.
Bee Sting Pizza at Polpo Pizza Co.
Polpo Pizza Co. serves up some of the best 'za in town, and we were reminded of that on a recent sunny Wednesday at the Phillippi Farmhouse Market. Biting into the crispy, perfectly charred crust of Polpo's signature Bee Sting pie yields a flavor explosion, thanks to toppings including house-made tomato sauce and mozzarella, fresh garlic and basil, chili oil, spicy calabrese ham and hot honey. The pizza takes all of five minutes to cook thanks to Polpo's wood-burning oven; we highly recommend settling down at one of the market's picnic tables and enjoying it while you people watch.
Spinach, Bacon and Swiss Quiche at Of Kors
This quiche makes for an ideal breakfast—it's full of creamy Swiss cheese and spinach, and has bursts of salty pancetta baked into a wonderfully flaky crust. Pro tip: buy several more slices for dinner.