80 Wythe Ave., at N. 11th St., Williamsburg; 718-460-8004
Sean Rembold’s French fries ($6) are dispatched from his open kitchen dark and caramelized enough that you might mistake them for sweet-potato fries—a resemblance that so enraged the innate pommes frites sensibilities of a table of northern Europeans one recent night that they took their serving as a personal affront. For the rest of us, though, the stack of locally sourced, crisp-yet-creamy skin-on spuds seems kind of perfect: twice-fried in the traditional fashion, with an especially leisurely break between canola-oil dips; seasoned aggressively, as all fries should be; and served with the requisite bowl of housemade aïoli. If there is a secret, it’s a counterintuitive one in this local-and-seasonal era. Rembold finds that the less fresh his “wintered” potatoes are, the sweeter they taste. This might not be an epiphany of Noma’s “vintage carrot” magnitude, but the cellar age of your French-fried potato is something to contemplate the next time a craving strikes.
Best French Fries
From the 2013 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).