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Nachos
Pork Slope

247 Fifth Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11215 nr. Carroll St., Park Slope; 718-768-7675
The key to the success of Dale Talde’s Loaded Nachos ($12) is spreading out his house-fried chips like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle and lavishly serving the snack on a plastic cafeteria tray big enough to use as a sled. That way every perfectly crisp tortilla chip gets some love. Some carry all the elements and flavors (super-spicy bean-and-beef chili, a Sriracha-¬enhanced cheese sauce, piquant house-pickled jalapeños) while others boast a bit of this and a hint of that.

Photo: Victor Prado

Oysters
M. Wells Dinette

522-25 Jackson Ave. at 46th Ave., Queens; 718-786-1800
These oysters Bolognese ($8) came to Chef Hugue Dufour in a vision one night. The next day, still craving those elusive figments of his imagination, he went to work creating them—first spooning a meaty pork-and-beef sauce over some oysters, then dabbing them with a persillade puréed with bread crumbs and briefly baking them in the oven. The result is deliciously rich and briny—the physical manifestation of what clams oreganata can only dream of becoming.

Courtesy: M. Wells Dinette

Bar Food
Aska

90 Wythe Ave. nr. N. 11th St., Williamsburg; 718-388-2969
Depending on what’s on hand in his kitchen that day, the bar menu at Fredrik Berselius’s ascetic, Scandinavian-themed Williamsburg restaurant might include platters of plum-soft beef cheeks or oysters “foraged” from the coves of Long Island. If you have just one dish, however, make it the classic “potatis” potato dumplings ($6), which Berselius and his chefs stuff with a savory mash of cabbage and pork and serve, the way they do in the farm kitchens of Sweden, with smoky spoonfuls of farmer’s cheese and a sweet touch of lingonberry.

Photo: Victor Prado

Breakfast
BrisketTown

359 Bedford Ave. nr. S. 4th St., Williamsburg; 718-701-8909
Far from the epicenter of midtown power breakfasts, in a neighborhood better known for late nights than early mornings, smoked-meat maestro Dan Delaney has created what might be the best way to start the day since biscuits met gravy: Lush, fat-streaked meat, mingled with cheesy scrambled eggs cooked with crème fraîche, pickled red onion, and a smoky chile-and-tomato sauce, all wrapped up in a flour tortilla. Time-pressed commuters can even get theirs to go, wrapped in foil like a bodega egg-on-a-roll, and at $4 it costs about the same.

Photo: Corinne Durand

Cake
The Marrow

99 Bank St. nr. Greenwich St.; 212-428-6000
Like all of the best desserts, this regally portioned dish at Harold Dieterle’s latest restaurant has something in it for everyone. The cake itself ($10) is cut in slabs large enough to feed a small party of lumberjacks, and contains enough dense, molasses-¬rich sweetness to satisfy the most jangly, strung-out sugar addict. There’s a cup (or two) of Sixpoint Brewery’s Diesel stout mixed into the batter for boozehounds, and a fresh snap of ginger to evoke the joys of your favorite (okay, our favorite) childhood cookie. All of this comes topped with slices of roasted pear and scoops of house-made honey ice cream, which dissolve right in.

Photo: Melissa Hom

French Fries
Reynard

80 Wythe Avenue, 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. 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.

Photo: Melissa Hom

Pizza Slice
Williamsburg Pizza

265 Union Ave. nr. S. 3rd St., Williamsburg; 718-855-8729
This is the type of old-school place whose slow decline hand-wringing slice hounds have been bemoaning for years: gas oven, paper plates, and a deeply satisfying, classic New York slice ($2.50) made with aged mozzarella and San Marzano tomatoes. Manager Nino Coniglio’s own fresh mozz and grandma pies might be even better. The ultimate, though, has got to be the square kale-sausage-and--Taleggio slice. It’s Old Brooklyn meets New on delectable terms.

Photo: Dominic Perri

Soft-Serve
Nicoletta

160 Second Ave. nr. 10th St.; 212-432-1600
Bob Truitt, currently desserts honcho of Michael White’s restaurant group, has never concocted a single more primally satisfying sweet as the fior di latte soft-serve ($5) at Michael White’s East Village pizzeria. Based on Truitt’s standard gelato recipe, the stuff is milky and soft, creamy and rich, but not excessively so—in short, it’s the perfect sensorial canvas for toppings that range from simple chocolate sauce to a more elaborate lemon meringue constructed from curd, streusel crumble, and meringue that Truitt’s minions blowtorch and oven-dry.

Photo: Melissa Hom

Nachos
Pork Slope

567 Hudson St., New York, NY at 11th St.; 212-989-3956
Located in the historic waterfront district, the Bridge Café was erected in 1794 and stands as the oldest original tavern in the city. Since its first days of business, it has served as a brothel and a favorite spot for river pirates and other ruffian seafarers who have been said to still visit the bar. Shiver me timbers! It was also the workplace of the notorious Ms. Gallus Mag, a six-foot-tall Irish bouncer who bit off the ears and fingers of unruly constumers and kept them on display in glass jars. Maybe the ghosts return to claim their missing appendages?

Photo: Shanna Ravindra

Nachos
Pork Slope

567 Hudson St., New York, NY at 11th St.; 212-989-3956
Built in 1817, this designated landmark has been a boarding house, smugglers’ den, and a pub since it first opened its doors. It was a popular gathering place for sailors in the nineteenth century, including a particularly unlucky one named Mickey who was struck by a car on the street outside and died instantly. But he hasn't travelled far since, and rumor has it he still comes by to spontaneously ignite the fireplace or zap the power from patrons' cell phones, which suddenly go dead. The bar's website asks that you let them know of any ghost sightings, so speak up if you spot him.

Photo: Carmen Lopez and A.J. Wilhelm; Corbis

Fall Fashion Features

The Beefcake in the Backcourt
Big, fake, and fully able to outshine its surroundings.Big, fake, and fully able to outshine its surroundings.

 

The Beefcake in the Backcourt
Big, fake, and fully able to outshine its surroundings.Big, fake, and fully able to outshine its surroundings.
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