2 Lexington Ave., nr. 21st St.; 212-777-2410
Forget about pizza and barbecue and all those fancy overhyped burgers. For our money, roast chicken is the ultimate restaurant comfort dish in this farm-obsessed, postmillennial era, and our favorite variation of it is the crackly, spicy, impeccably rendered pollo alla diavola served at Danny Meyer’s new Gramercy Park trattoria, Maialino. The city’s best roast chicken is served at an Italian joint? Yup. To give his organic bird some extra kick (“devil chicken” is the Italian translation), chef Nick Anderer coats it in olive oil overnight, then sizzles it in the oven at 400-plus degrees. He deglazes the skillet with chicken stock and his own special “pickling liquid” and splashes the mixture over the crackly brown skin. It’s a classic take on a classic dish—perfect with a mound of Tuscan greens and potatoes—with just the right amount of sweetness and spice to make things exciting.
Best Roast Chicken
From the 2010 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).