NYC’s Best Summer Dishes – 2016
With all due respect to spring, summer is as exciting as it gets as far as food is concerned. A few milder weather delicacies remain, such as asparagus, peas and artichokes, but they’re complemented by all manner of heat-worshiping delights. We’re talking tomatoes, peaches, cherries, eggplant, squash, corn and more! Here’s a list of eateries that are putting that cornucopia of goodies to especially good use. From Nix and its Toybox Melon, topped with housemade cottage cheese, to Blue Hill and their Zucchini Carbonara, sauced with pullet egg yolk and pancetta!
Not only do they finally have their liquor license — allowing for fresh-from-the-garden cocktails like Tarragon with gin, yuzu, lime and soda, Strawberry with vodka, sherry and white balsamic and Rhubarb with tequila, tonic and campari — Olmsted’s entirely edible backyard is in full bloom; giving way to dishes such as Snap Pea Sushi, Thai Beet Salad with shiso, Parsley-Baked Pollack with cherries and Grass Fed Beef Bavette with eight-ball squash farcie, followed by Fruit Rouge Sorbet with strawberries, blueberries and raspberries for dessert.Read More
Formerly of Spring in Paris, Daniel Rose is serving uncompromisingly classic French fare at Le Coucou, his Little Italy collaboration with Stephen Starr. But that doesn’t mean dishes are heavy and fusty, as Rose is still keeping a careful eye on the seasons. He’s offering light, summer-friendly specials like Pickled Eggplants and basil, Lobster Salad with tomatoes and sauce Lauris, and Bourride with spot prawns, mussels and clams during dinner, followed by a very cherry dessert; ruby fruit poached in red wine and cardamom, and served with chiboust, a kind of cream pastry.Read More
Who would have predicted — the oyster bar aside — that Grand Central would become a haven for hip fine dining? The opening of Agern (the modern Scandinavian spot from Noma co-founder, Claus Meyer) adds major appeal to the prospect of spending a summer evening underground, with a duo of set, season-driven menus that currently includes a Land + Sea lineup (such as Potato Salad with rhubarb, ramps and egg yolk, Salt and Ash-Baked Beet Root with horseradish and huckleberries, and Roasted Lamb with dill and dandelions) as well as a Field + Forest selection; featuring Bitter Salad with preserved blackberries and almonds, Potato Bread piled with lovage, and a Rhubarb dessert paired with angelica and sorrel sherbet.Read More
Gristmill may not source its produce from the back yard à la Olmsted, but this Park Slope newcomer still operates 90% locally; obtaining everything but olive oil, salt and vinegar from small farms throughout the Northeast. That hyper-seasonal bounty is currently represented by Summer Squash Soup with purple onions, radish and basil, Beets and Their Greens tossed with edible flowers, and Cornbread baked with lump crab, dill, purslane and borage, as well as a selection of pizzas made from New York State grain, and topped with combos like peas, umeboshi flowers and stracciatella cheese, or fennel with bacon, dandelion and balsamic.Read More
Having helped usher in the current vegetable-forward craze, John Fraser is conscious about keeping his rep in tact at vegan/vegetarian Nix, with peak produce showcased in a salad of Market Lettuces, asparagus and pluots, Roasted Beets with sweet cherries and chevrotin, Potato Gnocchi bombed with green peas, cherry tomatoes and summer squash, and Toybox Melon, topped with cardamom sea salt and housemade cottage cheese.Read More
Not only are they within easy walking distance of the Union Square greenmarket, Dan Barber’s local-seasonal stalwart has all of Stone Barns’ farm at its disposal. Which means the current “Farmer’s Feast” menu is a veritable checklist of amazing summer eats; from Squash Ravioli with crabmeat and corn, Beans with pistachios, peaches and cheese, and Zucchini Carbonara with pullet egg yolk and pancetta, to Eggplant with peaches in bone marrow vinaigrette, Salmon with cucumbers and crushed green tomato, and Blue Hill Farm Pig with corn, sweet peas and strawberries.
This achingly hip, LES luncheonette (which made a guest appearance on Aziz Ansari’s “Master of None”) is chicer than ever, thanks to a recent summer revamp. Not only did the space get spiffed up, but the menu did as well, with a number of health-conscious, frequently Latin-inspired bites; such as Avocado Gazpacho with cumin yogurt and cucumber, Heirloom Tomatoes with nopales, boquerones and coriander vinaigrette, Corn Fritters swiped with esplette pepper and milk mayo, and Squid Poke, dotted with purslane, gooseberries and brazil nuts.Read More
Maison Premiere’s little sibling’s repertoire goes far beyond oysters and absinthe. Honoring all things wild, from the décor to the wine list, and course, the food, dishes tend towards shellfish, game and vegetables; think a Provencal Petit Farce of sweet onion, tomato, artichoke and eggplant, Chilled Lettuce Soup afloat with green garlic croquettes and crab, Hake wrapped in crisped kombu, and encircled by mussels and clams, and a Pig Head Confit for Two, served with white emargo beans and market fruit.Read More