Most of you know how much pleasure I derive from discovering a new and noteworthy restaurant, so I’m starting a new column this month that pulls together my greatest hits. Read on for the inaugural November edition of Caro’s City’s restaurant round-up.
Dudley’s – This charming little LES spot is the perfect place for when you aren’t in the mood for one specific type of food, but want to go share a few items that you know will all be delicious. Case in point: we posted up at the bar with a bottle of red and savored burrata, brussels sprouts, and a few pastas and were as happy as clams. Nothing is outside the box here, but sometimes that’s just what the doctor ordered.
Llama Inn – This Peruvian kitchen in Williamsburg is turning out some of the best food I’ve had in the city all year. The large format entrees are stellar, so make sure that you go with a bigger group so you can adequately share. The star of the show is the beef tenderloin stir fry, which you serve yourself in taco-form (scallion pancakes, no less) topped with french fries, pickled chilis, and some sort of condiment that I can only describe as crack sauce.
Hao Tea and Noodle – I can’t think of a better option for a chilly fall evening than a spicy bowl of dandan noodles at Hao. Other can’t-miss items are the chicken leshan, spicy pork belly and octopus, and clay pot dumplings. Not the best Asian meal you’ve ever had, but I was nonetheless impressed and the ambiance is spot-on.
Dirty French – I am normally quite weary of scene-y spots by big restaurant groups, but I ate my words (and a lot else) after dining at Dirty French. I would go back for the bread service alone, which is the softest flatbread that you dip in salty, lemony labneh. The lamb carpaccio was positively mind blowing, and we also loved a berbere-crusted cod. And don’t miss a side of pomme frites, which are thick-cut potatoes that you dip in an herb butter sauce that I almost ate with a spoon.
Lucali – The holy grail of pizza in NYC, this Carroll Gardens legend has been a bucket list item of mine for quite some time. They serve only 2 things there: one size of pizza pie, along with their daily list of toppings, and a calzone, which you can also have said toppings added to. It was the freshest, lightest, most delectable pizza experience that I’ve had outside of Italy, and even made the abominable wait worth the while.
Citizens of Chelsea – An Aussie cafe in NYC? What else is new. This seemingly ubiquitous restaurant type is not original, but it sure is yummy. The former Pushcart space has been converted into an airy, sunny cafe with a wraparound window seat that’s perfect for a cup of coffee (and a good book), and also a seating area where you can enjoy avo toast, or my personal favorite, the beetroot hummus toast.