- Irving Mill
116 E. 16th St., nr. Irving Pl.; 212-254-1600
Young chefs used to make their bones concocting arcane foie gras recipes and whipping up fancy French veloutés. Not anymore. Just ask Ryan Skeen, at the Union Square restaurant Irving Mill, who was nominated for a James Beard award on the strength of one dish. His inspired “charcroute” plate is a charcuterie for the Golden Age of Pork, a genius meathead dissertation on the bountiful possibilities of head-to-tail cooking. For a mere $22, this festival of fatty goodness includes two pork sausages (boudin noir and blanc), two kinds of cooked pork (glazed shoulder, melting pork belly), a rasher of deep-fried pork ribs tossed in salt and pepper, and little jellied squares of classic French-style pig’s-head terrine. Most artful of all, however, are the crispy pig’s trotters, which are deboned, rolled in a golden bread-crumb crust, and cut in dainty, eminently digestible squares, like some twisted pork addict’s version of a freshly baked brownie.
From the 2009 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
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).