R5 Westchester Magazine Restaurant Critic Julia Sexton's Five Favorite Dishes of the Month

(2) Chicken Cettinad from Chutney Masala I’d been fighting a cold all week, but this chili-spiked dish with black peppercorns, fennel powder, and curry leaves hit the spot. It was spicy, but also balanced and resonant and just the thing when you’re feeling bad. Let’s just say that the leftovers did not live until morning.

Photo by James Sexton

(1) Brussels sprouts with stracchino cheese and house-cured bacon pie at The Cookery’s DoughNation pizza truck. I stopped by the Irvington Farmers’ Market to pick up a few things and there it was. Folks, I was helpless against this pie’s charms: the   crisp leaves of charred Brussels sprouts, the cow-y, gooey cheese, all perfumed by bacon and woodsmoke. It was a heavenly ode to autumn that my family and I shared by the river.

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Photo by James Sexton

(3) Dac Biet Pho at The Viet Nam Restaurant The scene was a cold, wet Sunday that we sacrificed to replace some kiddie gear at the Paramus IKEA. A dull mission on a good day, and then—nightmare—that IKEA is closed on Sundays! A blighted afternoon was salvaged by a visit to this modest, Formica-table restaurant in Spring Valley that just also happens to be a goldmine in Vietnamese food. Imagine a deep bowl of hauntingly spiced broth studded with mild, tender meatballs; rosy slices of beef; and pearly, soft beef tendons. Below are bouncy rice noodles and, above, a dreamy, perfumed vapor—this soup managed to be both deeply carnal and spiritual at once.

(4) 1997 Domaine Méo-Camuzet Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru This was a haunting wine, an enveloping wine, a wine that you thought about for hours after it left your tongue. On some level, a full week later, I’m still thinking about this opulent Burgundy, which just about justifies its price.

(5) Taleggio tortellini with sweet-potato purée, brown butter, and saba at 42 The Restaurant This was a sexy little dumpling that whispered butter in my ear. It tasted like a combination of the buttery-ness of butter, ur-butter, and butter to the nth degree. It wasn’t overly rich or fatty; it was just the silkiest expression of butter that I’ve ever tasted. Mmm. 

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