Favorite dishes of 2016

I started with more than 60 and have narrowed it down as much as possible. In no particular order here are my top dishes of 2016, whatever ‘top’ means on any such lists. Largely these dishes are not representative of my favorite meals of 2016 and many are from what I would consider casual restaurants. They may not all be the best dishes technically but are the dishes that I could eat every day and often have cravings for. In the interest of fairness of I have disqualified the Au Cheval burger, the Humm Dog, Black Truffle Explosion, and Oysters & Pearls as well as all bread courses.

balsamic, truffle, artichoke
Luskus with Kitchen Table @ Bubbledogs
New York

osetra – plantain, papaya, rum

elvis tartine
Eating House

beef crudo
Momofuku Nishi
New York

farm egg baked in celery cream
Miller Union

foie gras and truffle macaroon
Osteria Francescana

sheep’s milk gnocchi
Jockey Hollow
Morristown, NJ

passionfruit semifreddo
Contra @ Gramercy Tavern
New York

carolina gold rice

Xiao Bao Biscuit

snap pea sushi
New York
pike quenelle

nam tok beans
Kin Khao
San Francisco

spicy tuna toast
New York

ko egg
Momofuku Ko
New York

general tso fried chicken
Chaan Teng
New York

Atlanta – 3/15/16 – Gunshow

If asked to pick one word to describe Gunshow it would have to be fun.  I absolutely love the dim sum concept when well executed.  And while I’m assuming there had to be quite a bit of influence from State Bird Provisions, Gunshow never feels like its copying but it just executing in a different way that is just as entertaining.  The menu is presented ahead of time but you don’t know in what order the dishes will arrive (except for the dessert options when you have finally signaled an end to your savory choices).  In an added twist, the chef responsible for each dish is the one who passes it around the dining room which made me feel quite guilty when I had to say no to a few.  But seeing the menu ahead of time also messes with your head a bit because based on menu alone I would have turned down a few dishes that my dining companion chose and ended up being my favorites of the night.  The cocktail cart was an unexpected surprise, but afterwards I couldn’t help but think that of course they would have a cocktail cart.  I probably haven’t had banana pudding in at least 20 years and I hope it makes a broader comeback if every version could be this good.  I absolutely cannot wait to get back here.

Ginza Highball – scotch, shiso genepy, sesame honey, pickled ginger, yuzu & absinthe ice
Scandinavian sour – botanical gin, aquavit, peychaud’s, dill, ligonberry, lemon, celery
Peruvian style beef short rib
“Radishes & Butter”
Corned beef tongue “Reuben,” fried russian sauce, caramelized kraut
Tartare de boef de kobe avec frites 
Berkshire pork belly bulgogi
Smoked trout pierogi, potato, marinated beet jelly
Wild caught cobia crudo, spring peas, smoked mussels, lemon
Warm old fashioned banana pudding

Atlanta – 3/14/16 – Miller Union

An absolutely perfect night for dining outdoors at Miller Union, especially when coming from the quite cold northeast.  I wish I remembered my server’s name because he was absolutely fantastic.  Incredibly knowledgable and perfectly attentive without rushing me in any way.  The signature farm egg baked in celery cream may have been a bit messy but was certainly delicious and its easy to see how this became a signature dish. And while not visible in my pictures, the coconut and pork belly rice accompanying my entree was amazing and perhaps should have been a side dish on its own as I wanted more.  So glad that I finally made it here!

 English bloodhound – gin, campari, grapefruit

farm egg baked in celery crew, grilled bread
grilled pork loin, coconut & pork belly rice, bok choy, scallion, pineapple
kale, escarole, apple, celery & pecan salad