Best Dishes of 2018

A roundup of the best things I ate in 2018 (with two from 2017 that made the cut because they’re so dang good and I didn’t do a 2017 “best of” list)

  • Emmy Burger

    • Where I Ate It: Emily (West Village)
    • How Much It Costs: $26 (includes curly fries)
    • Why It’s So Freakin’ Delicious: It’s huge so it’s good to share (along with some of their great Detroit-style pizza).  The bun is nice and soft (unexpected from a pretzel bun) and the sauce/cheese/juicy meat combo just melts together for an oozy doozy of a burger.
  1. Cacio e Pepe

    • Where I Ate It: Fiaschetteria Pistoia
    • How Much It Costs: $16
    • Why It’s So Freakin’ Delicious: The hand rolled spaghetti (that you actually see them rolling) makes all the difference.  Not overly peppery or overly saucy so it might not be the most traditional version, but it’s one of the best.
  2. Nduja (Spreadable Salami)

    • Where I Ate It: Charc
    • How Much It Costs: $9
    • Why It’s So Freakin’ Delicious: It tastes like chorizo but has the consistency of a pâté.  It is a very unique component to add to your charcuterie plate.
  3. Spring Onion Vinaigrette and Hamachi Crudo

    • Where I Ate It: Himitsu
    • How Much It Costs: $22 for the spring onion vinaigrette (the sauce itself doesn’t cost that much; it’s part of a fully composed dish of crispy skin ocean trout with bok choy, snow peas, and charred scallion) and $16 for the hamachi crudo.
    • Why It’s So Freakin’ Delicious: While it’s called a vinaigrette, it’s blended/emulsified in a way that it has a velvety thickness.  The spring onion flavor is bright but not too much of anything.  It doesn’t lean too bitter or sweet.  It would pair perfectly with just about anything.  The crudo was a perfectly composed dish.  Some spice, some sweetness, and some tartness.  It all worked really well and the yellowtail was of great quality.
  4. Chilled Cucumber Soup

    • Where I Ate It: Pammy’s
    • How Much It Costs: $15
    • Why It’s So Freakin’ Delicious: It’s the creamiest cucumber soup I’ve ever had.  And, I mean, burrata makes everything better (how this works in a soup I don’t know, but it does).  And a little crab and the freshest fresh peas.  It is the best soup I’ve ever tasted.
  1. California Burrito

    • Where I Ate It: Lucha Libre
    • How Much It Costs: $10.95 (for the Surfin’ California one)
    • Why It’s So Freakin’ Delicious: Most of our San Diego eating fell in the realm of tacos, but we heard so many people talking about the California burrito that we had to try one. It’s a normal burrito with french fries inside. GENIUS. All burritos should do this. The texture is a perfect complement to all the meat and goop going on inside that tortilla. Lucha Libre makes a really good one because 1) they offer and surf and turf variety 2) the proportions and seasoning are just right 3) there’s a salsa bar. My friends who live in San Diego are partial to JV’s California burrito, and I wish I had gotten a comparison, but I was more than satisfied with Lucha Libre.
  1. Bocce Bread

    • Where I Ate It: Bocce
    • How Much It Costs: $12 (I think…it’s currently closed for the season and I couldn’t find the price online)
    • Why It’s So Freakin’ Delicious: It’s like the fluffiest pizza crust cloud with amazingly delicious ricotta to spread on top.