11 E. 53rd St., nr. Madison Ave.; 212-308-1099
In his first year at the helm of Alto and L’Impero, Michael White has been reinvigorated since leaving Fiamma, and is producing throwback food of majestic decadence. This dish, originally created for Victor Emmanuel III, the last king of Italy, was a standard of the San Domenico restaurant in Emilia-Romagna, and has an unmistakable grandeur: It’s a milk-fed Mennonite veal rib chop, served in a pancetta-vodka cream sauce with onions and radicchio. But White adds a modern touch as well, cutting off the chop’s gorgeous “cap,” a small but exquisite muscle prized for its tenderness and flavor, and gently braising it, cooling it, and searing it up as rosettes served alongside the massive chop. It’s the veal dish of the 21st century, coming to us straight from the culinary world of the nineteenth.
Best Veal Chop
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).