Some Recent Best Bites

There’s a lot of food in this world and I intend to taste all of it. And, hopefully, share the best best-bites with you. In order for a restaurant dish to earn a place on the Recent Best Bite Roster, it must be an exciting taste sensation that’s reasonably do-able at home. My hope is that maybe these restaurant best-bites will inspire you to use ingredients you may be familiar with in a new way or try something new altogether.

Here’s a quick sampling of what and where some of my favorite tastes du jour are.

The Grady @ Willie’s Dawgs – Who needs a new spin when you can do an old classic really well? This new Brooklyn joint has a menu-ful of variations on hotdogs and toppings, and the Grady epitomizes sloppy, All-American, frankfurter goodness. It’s an all beef hotdog, topped with grilled peppers, caramelized onions, jalapenos, mustard, mayo, and ketchup on a homemade Challah roll. If you can wrap your lips around a best bite of this, you’re in for a treat. The sweetness of the onions and the peppers balance the smoky dog and the other condiments. The mayo lends a nice creaminess. The Challah roll is nice, but it mostly acts as a vehicle to transport the ingredients from the foil wrapper to your mouth, which is not a bad thing at all. The Willie (dawg wrapped with bacon and cheddar on a Challah roll) is also swoon-worthy, but how much can a girl write about bacon?

Albondigas @ Las Ramblas - We ate a lot of really nice things at this tapas place in Manhattan, but this was my favorite do-it-yourself-able dish. The albondigas, a tasty Catalan take on the meatball, is full of roasted garlic and manchego and nestled lovingly in a creamy oregano dressing. The meatballs were flavorful and seasoned perfectly and the oregano dressing is a not-so-subtle hint that perhaps oregano has a higher calling than backup singer in tomato sauce.

Bruschetta @ Morandi – Bruschetta refers to the toasted bread, not necessarily the topping of tomatoes that we usually think of. And the folks at Morandi are doing an excellent bruschetta variation: toasty bread, hot off the grill, with fresh ricotta, pine nuts, and honey. It was an excellent starter, but it would make for a lovely, not-too-sweet dessert as well. I just loved the simple combination that coalesced into a taste greater than the sum of its parts. I suppose you could argue that assembling this one at home is more about knowing how to shop, then to cook, and I wouldn’t disagree with you. Mostly because my mouth would be too full.

That's the best and brightest of what I've been stuffing my face with. Let me know if you have a recommendation and I'll add it to my "Must-Bite" list!

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