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10 Dishes We Loved in 2018


Gougères at UnWined

80 Rte 6, Baldwin Pl; 914.519.6190

Small-plates dining was a big trend in 2018. This wine bar from the owners of UnCorked Wines & Spirits embraced it with an entire menu of sharing plates, including these almost-custardy Gruyère cheese puffs that are the perfect salty snack to pair with a glass (or three) of wine.

Related: Small Plates Are the New Big Thing

Photo by Samantha Garbarini

Photo by Andrew Baranowski

Russ & Daughters Cinnamon Babka French Toast at Polpettina

102 Fisher Ave, Eastchester; 914.961.0061
147 Larchmont Ave, Larchmont; 914.341.1460

We did brunch at Polpettina for the Italian-inspired twists on classics like cacio-e-pepe-style scrambled eggs and porchetta BEC sandwiches. But our favorite dish was actually this French toast made with thick slices of cinnamon babka from NYC’s Russ & Daughters, drizzled with lots of miso caramel.


Photo courtesy of Walter’s Hot Dogs

All the Hot Dogs at Walter’s

937 Palmer Ave, Mamaroneck; 914.500.5029
186 Mamaroneck Ave, White Plains; 914.397.9406

With expansion into trucks and the opening of a second stand in Stamford, followed by a sit-down location in White Plains, could Walter’s maintain its quality? The answer is a resounding yes, and with the split, griddled dogs available outside of Mamaroneck, we ate even more of them in 2018.



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Mandarin Pork Shank at O Mandarin

361 N Central Ave, Hartsdale; 914.437.9168

Intricately carved décor, soup dumplings, and traditional Peking duck are just a few things we love about this Hartsdale restaurant. Added to the list in 2018: this braised, Flinstonian pork shank, spiced with plenty of peppercorns, that’s don’t-even-need-a-knife, falling-off-the-bone tender.


Photo by Samantha Garbarini

Duck Agnolotti at Único

10 N Central Ave, Hartsdale; 914.607.3363

Hartsdale scores another spot on this list with one of our favorite openings of 2018. While the menu at Chef Brian Sernatinger’s restaurant is an eclectic mix of international flavors, these agnolotti, with a smooth duck-confit-and-ricotta filling, shiitake mushrooms, and marsala-cream sauce, were easily the best pasta we had all year.


Photo by Andre Baranowski

Meat and Cheese Board from Graze New York

When this New Rochelle-based business dropped by our office for a shoot back in February, we fell on this board of assorted meats and cheeses like a pack of ravenous wolves. It doesn’t hurt, either, that each one of these party-read platters (there are also colorful vegetable and breakfast options) are beautifully presented.



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Lasooni Gobi at Little Drunken Chef

36 E Main St, Mount Kisco; 914.242.8800

We saw lots of cauliflower — roasted florets, rice, whole heads, shaved salads, and more — in 2018. Despite all the creative treatments, this traditional Indian dish of deep-fried florets in a sticky, garlic-chili sauce was our favorite iteration.


Photo by Ken Gabrielsen

Melanzana at Rafele Rye

26 Purchase St, Rye; 914.481.8417

Maybe it’s nostalgia that swayed us, but it wasn’t Chef Raffaele Ronca’s best-in-America cheesecake (according to Food & Wine) that won us over as much as this delicate eggplant parm. Slices of sweet eggplant (no breading in sight) are layered with just-acidic-enough tomato sauce and milky buffalo mozzarella for a superlative version (that’s just like the one my grandmother used to make).



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Oyster Taco at TRUCK

391 Old Post Rd, Bedford; 914.234.8900

Of the 50+ tacos we ate for our August issue, we loved the authentic birria at Restaurant Tecalitlan in New Rochelle, the tacos arabes at Yonkers’ Tacos El Poblano, and the chorizo tacos from Las Brisas and the pork chile verde at Taco Shack, both in Port Chester. But the taco that surprised us most was this briny, slaw-topped fried oyster version — served with a seasonal Margarita, of course — from hyper-local TRUCK in Bedford.


Photo by Samantha Garbarini

Spaghetti alla Carbonara at TVB by Pax Romana

171 E Post Rd, White Plains; 914.831.3303

More than a year after the first location closed due to a landlord dispute, Pax Romana reopened in White Plains, and we’re happy to report that the carbonara is still on the menu. Made with eggs, cheese, pepper, and guanciale, the creamy sauce coats each strand of fresh spaghetti in the most satisfying, stick-to-your-ribs way imaginable.


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