Food Writer Julia Sexton's List of Five Favorite Recent Dishes in Westchester, October 2012

Here are the top five most delicious things that restaurant critic Julia Sexton has eaten or drunk all month. Again, it was a pretty indulgent month. Actually, they all tend to be.

(1) “Lobster boil” at Farmer & the Fish. When I ducked into this jam-packed joint, I happened to have been looking forward to our annual Truro, Massachusetts, vacation. Already, I was jonesing for basic, simply prepared lobster, and sliding those silken claws through fragrant pots of butter made me feel deliciously dirty (in a familiar way).

(2) Pigs’ ears at The Cookery. Forget that silk purse/sow’s ear nonsense: Pigs’ ears beat silk any day. Imagine what would happen if a salty, juicy pork rind met the best potato chip on earth and they had a baby. This was another get-down-on-your-knees-good pork dish from The Cookery.

(3) High and Dry Rye Saison Batch #7 at Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. Recently, I read that American rye grain supplies are running short because of the unforeseen rise in the popularity of rye whiskey and rye beer. Be warned: I’m going to get my share, and probably yours, too, if you’re not careful. This spicy, caraway-scented pilot beer is a perfect match for spicy food (it also makes a good preamble to a shot of Delaware Phoenix rye whiskey).

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(4) “Jerk” pattie at Jolo’s Kitchen. There I was, waiting for my Mean Green kale juice, when I spotted it. Everyone knows that I’m a sucker for Jamaican meat patties, those explosively crisp, savory pastries whose filling is usually stingingly spiced with Scotch bonnet peppers. Jolo’s is a vegan, Ital restaurant that adheres to Rastafarian foodways, so its meat pattie is tofu-based. Never mind—it’s also stunningly delicious. Look for an inexplicably meaty-tasty, firm pastry to yield to a richly sauced, highly spiced filling. It’s hot, crumbly, addictive—to be honest, I had two.

(5) Jicama Bolsa de Fruta at Paleteria Fernandez. I love the way fruit changes when you salt it and treat it as a savory ingredient. Watery sugars retreat to yield more complex flavors of orchard and earth. Take this standard Mexican snack of the (let’s face it) blah jicama. A dressing of salt, lime, and chili flakes turn the wan, vaguely apple-y tasting root into a lively snack that’s virtually impossible to stop munching on, straight from the Ziploc bag.


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