It’s hard not to feel a little bit deflated after the holidays. After all, almost every day from late November until the very beginning of January has been a whirlwind of family and food and decorations and Christmas shopping and cookie baking and tree trimming and caroling and presents and New Years Rockin’ Eve and the ball dropping in Times Square and kisses and champagne and then…what? Back to the grind until Groundhog’s Day? Luckily, there’s an upside to having very little to look forward to besides a few more months of freezing cold weather — you can eat the richest, creamiest, cheesiest, meatiest, most belly-padding foods you can find, and then hide out under a bulky sweater until March.
Floyd Burger at Union Hall
We love to sink our mid-winter sorrows in the medium rare recesses of the perfect hamburger. This version at Park Slope’s Union Hall is a delectable exercise in excess; a 9 oz. patty topped with bourbon caramelized onions, smoked bacon, fig and currant compote and a river of spicy beercheese.
702 Union St, (718) 638-4400
Feijoada at Beco
This Brazilian boteco turns out an excellent rendition of the beloved, national stew from their teeny tiny kitchen — a deeply savory cook-up of pork, sausage, and black beans, sided with rice, collard greens, toasted yucca flour, and oranges.
45 Richardson St, (718) 599-1645
Roast Beef with Mutz at John’s Deli
There are just some things you have to ignore at this circa 1968 deli on Stillwell. The B rating from the health department, the grimy microwave, and the reality that the famous tar-black gravy probably comes from a can. This guilty-pleasure sandwich is meant to be savored just as it was 45 years ago — DOH be damned.
2033 Stillwell Ave, (718) 372-7481
Chicken Soup with Pelmeni at Café Glechik
Eastern Europeans tend know their chicken soup, and this Russian-Ukrainian restaurant in Brighton Beach doesn’t disappoint. Instead of noodles, rice or matzoh balls, this comforting potage is dotted with mini pelmeni’s — traditional meat-stuffed dumplings with a puckered, paper-thin wrapper.
3159 Coney Island Ave, (718) 616-0766
Spaghetti Carbonara at Lunetta
Spaghetti and meatballs generally gets the shout-out when it comes to preferred Italian comfort foods, but carbonara (pasta drowned in egg, butter, cheese, black pepper and crispy pancetta) is the ultimate way to thumb your nose at calorie counting.
116 Smith St, (718) 488-6269
Iron Skillet Pork Chop at Dear Bushwick
You can’t even begin to call yourself British unless you specialize in no-holds-barred comfort food, and so far, we’re pleased with what we’ve seen (and eaten) at this brand new North Brooklyn pub. Sausage rolls, fried potato peels, and housemade country cheese curds all hit the spot, along with this sizzling pork chop with brussels sprouts hash and a fig/bacon vinaigrette.
41 Wilson Ave, (929) 234-2344
Risotto at Piccoli
The only thing that ups the comfort quotient of the creamy risotto’s at Windsor Terrace’s takeaway, Piccoli, is that they’re cooked just under al dente — perfect for bringing home, reheating, and scarfing in large amounts while under a blanket on your couch.
157 Prospect Park Southwest, (718) 788-0006
Lamb Meatloaf with Garlic Dirty Mash at General Greene
Even if you have a love/hate relationship with meatloaf, it’s hard to deny its supremacy in the comfort food canon. This popular Fort Greene restaurant updates the ground meat/buttery potato equation just enough to be interesting, without compromising its rustic, down-home appeal.
229 Dekalb Ave, (718) 222-1510
Chocolate Fondue at The Chocolate Room
Indiscriminately dipping foodstuffs into molten tubs of 61% Belgian chocolate tends to lift our spirits considerably, even if it means moving up a pants size the next day. And this happy house of decadent confections seriously one-ups the standard suspects when it comes to dippers. Instead of insipid strawberries and stale pound cake cubes, expect homemade marshmallows and graham crackers, peanut butter fudge, coconut macaroons, and — holy mother of god — chunks of orange cheesecake.
269 Court St, (718) 246-2600
Chicken Pot Pie at Pie Corps
Chicken soup is our go-to when we’re actively sick, but chicken potpie is our cure-all for just about everything else. Essentially, it’s Jewish penicillin jacked up with butter, flour and cream, and shoved in a flaky, handheld crust. What’s not to love?
77 Driggs Ave, (917) 721-3052