New York Magazine

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Best of New York 2012 • Eating

Best Baba Ghannouj

  • Wafa’s

    100-05 Metropolitan Ave., nr. 70th Ave., Forest Hills; 718-880-2055

    Mayonnaise is the very worst thing that can happen to an unsuspecting baba ghannouj. The second worst? Undersmokiness. That’s not an issue at Wafa’s, where chef-owner Wafa Chami and her apprentice sons light an eggplant-dedicated wood fire and char-grill jumbo specimens until they turn black on the outside and fall-apart-tender within. Skinned and put through a grinder, the melting flesh gets blended with fresh lemon, salt, and a touch more tahini and garlic than a meeker palate would deem appropriate. The result is a textbook-perfect Lebanese take on the classic eggplant purée, and a highlight of Chami’s meze selection. Perhaps one out of every 50 customers finds the smoke level off-putting, says Chami’s eldest, Youssef, “but we would never consider changing the recipe.” Or, perish the thought, adding Hellmann’s.

From the 2012 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine

Order the Issue Today

Cover of New York Magazine's Best of New York issue

Order This Issue

Other Best Of Guides

Where can you find the city’s top dog groomer? Last-minute tailor? Beef tongue? We eat, drink, dance, shop, shvitz, and trampoline our way around the city, not to mention poll scores of in-the-know colleagues, hard-partying friends, opinionated family members, and, this year, a team of guest expert bloggers to bring you answers to all of the above questions, and hundreds more, in the form of our annual “Best of New York” issue.