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Absinthe Julep, Maison Premiere, Williamsburg
This summer Cocktail
, made with Lucid Absinthe, Creme de Mures (a blackberry-flavored liqueur), sugar and mint, has a clean, refreshing flavor that will make you smile as you descend into madness.
Pickled Pig Tongue, M. Well's, Astoria
The tangy, vinegary blast from the pickled pig tongue from Chef Hugue Dufour (formerly of Montreal's acclaimed Au Pied de Cochon), simply presented with a streak of mustard, is the best way to wake up your taste buds at the start of a long meal.
Red Mustard Greens with Guanciale, Egg Yolk and Botarga from Roberta's, Bushwick
A lot of people don't realize the pizzas are probably the least exciting things on the menu at Roberta's. Case in point: This amazing salad, made up of pleasantly peppery red mustard greens, tiny bits of guanciale (“face bacon”) and subtle botarga served over runny egg yolk.
Ravioli Stuffed with Mozzarella, Chicory and Pancetta from Roman's, Fort Greene
Roman's might be my favorite restaurant from the Marlow & Son's empire, and the handmade, supple ravioli stuffed with a savory mix of mozzarella, chicory and salty pancetta might be my favorite dish on their menu.
Red Wattle Country Chop from Vinegar Hill House, Dumbo
The meat cut from the Red Wattle pig, a large breed with a funny-looking wattle hanging from its neck, is leaner and juicier than most kinds of pork, almost like a good steak. Here it's cut into thick slabs and served with a slightly sweet bacon-filled sauerkraut.
Compost Cookie from Momofuku Milk Bar, Williamsburg
When it comes to dessert, I don't like a lot of pomp. Just hand me a cookie, in this case made from Christina Tosi's masterful everything-but-the-kitchen-sink recipe (chips, pretzels, chocolate, etc.), and I'll be happy.