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The Best End-of-Summer Dishes NYC

zucchini-pasta-with-tomatoes-and-feta-featuredFor most of us, Labor Day marks the sad, unceremonious close of summer, but in reality, the season doesn’t officially end until this Thursday, September 22nd.  And that’s really just a meaningless date — until it turns legitimately chilly, you should still have access to tomatoes, corn, zucchini and more, as evidenced by the menus at the following, autumn-avoiding restaurants.  So seize the next few weeks at Floyd Cardoz’ Paowalla, Casa Apicii & more…

Casa Apicii

Casa Apicii
62 W 9th St
West Village,New York 10011
(212) 353-8400

While chef & owner Casey Lane has been undoubtedly spoiled by the four season bounty of his native L.A., he’s made good use of New York’s local farms and greenmarkets; composing Salads with fresh greens and red plums, pairing balls of Ciliegine Mozzarella with peaches and honey, and mounding tubes of Rigatoni with anchovy-seasoned strips of zucchini.

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Paowalla

Paowalla
195 Spring St
Soho,New York 10012
(212) 235-1098

Inventive breads are just a starting off point for Floyd Cardoz’ new, elevated Indian restaurant, which pushes the envelope with Heirloom Radish and Cucumber seasoned with chat masala, Summer String Beans dotted with earthy lentils, and Cardoz’s famous Rice Flaked Halibut, atop an inspired, seasonal watermelon curry.

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Prune

Prune
54 E 1st Street
East Village,New York 10003
(212) 677-6221

Even 17 years later, it’s still a trial to snag a table at Gabrielle Hamilton’s East Village triumph, Prune.  Your persistence will pay off, however, in the form of a “Jersey Shore” Dinner slicked with Old Bay butter, sides like Warm Pole Beans with pickled grape tomatoes, and slabs of Alda’s Zucchini Tian; compressed layers of potato, summer squash, red onions and tomato, topped with seasoned breadcrumbs and baked in a cast iron pan.

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Faun

Faun
606 Vanderbilt Ave
Prospect Heights,New York 11238
(718) 576-6120

Original Vinegar Hill House chef, Brian Leth, has finally returned to Brooklyn.  And he’s giving nearby Olmsted a run for its money with highly seasonal, subtly Italian-inspired items, like Watermelon Salad with ricotta salata, irregular rags of Quadrucci Pasta tossed with tomato, basil and brown butter, and Blue Crab and cubanelle peppers augmented with cantaloupe from the restaurant’s own garden.

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Atoboy

Atoboy
43 E 28th St
Flatiron District,New York 10016
(646) 476-7217

A former Jungsik chef has put Korean banchan at the forefront of his chic Flatiron eatery, turning out highly creative, smartly structured small plates like Eggplant teamed with snow crab, tomato and lemon, Zucchini treated with an umami blast of seaweed and ginger, and summery Corn Kernels, bulked out with taleggio, bacon and doenjang.

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21 Greenpoint

21 Greenpoint
21 Greenpoint Ave.
Greenpoint,New York 11222
(718) 383-8833

Chef Sean Telo has taken a page from Dan Barber, by shining a spotlight on unloved, unattractive and often wasted ingredients, and transforming them into wholly appealing dishes, like an “Ugly Vegetable Snack,” featuring gnarled radish and carrot remnants swirled through carrot top pesto, Stracciatella cheese garnished with puntarelle and green tomato guts, and Fried Late Summer Eggplant doused in oil infused with assorted hot peppers.

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Osteria Morini

Osteria Morini
218 Lafayette Street
Soho,New York 10012
(212) 965-8777

Michael White’s casual, rustic, Emilia-Romagna-influenced trattoria is a constant, timeless classic, offering handmade pastas, like Shrimp Ravioli with cherry tomatoes and sugo, Salads made with plums, toasted almonds and wild arugula, and Tuscan Spit Roasted Porchetta, accompanied by summer vegetables in a pickled mustard seed vinaigrette.

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Cassette

Cassette
130 Franklin St.
New York 11222
(347) 682-411

This elegant, all-day restaurant pays homage to Catalonia with Eggplant Caviar Toasts, fans of Prosciutto layered atop sprouted rye with robiola cheese and peaches, and savory/sweet Cod Stew, furnished with okra, peppers, tomato, fennel pollen and dragon’s tongue beans.

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