Appetizer: Baby Scallops on Green-Apple Brunoise with Fresh Wasabi, Yuzu, Olive Oil, and Sea Salt
1 Central Park W.
Scallops this sweet and rare inspire daredevil tricks. What makes this work is the wasabi smack and yuzu citrus.
Intermezzo: Shad Roe out of its Sac With Bonito Flakes and Dried
Hot Pepper with a Shot of Icy Aquavit
I’ve been eating for decades and never encountered anything like Thomas Keller’s shad in the nude. The aquavit is my idea.
Entrée: Hawaiian Escolar Slowly Poached in Olive Oil
with Salad of Lettuce Hearts and Tomato Confit
Its mother would not recognize this white tuna with all the silken sweetness it picks up in Eric Ripert’s hands.
Four-Part Citrus Tasting
Citrus is what I crave after so many tastes. Johnny Iuzzini’s unforgettable quartet features grapefruit gelée with blood-orange segments and honey-ginger ice cream, and that’s just for starters.
Amuse-Bouche Edamame with Thai-Basil Lime Oil
113 Ludlow St.
I’d go all-Asian. These are the plumpest, freshest soybeans in town, imbued with a zesty citric zing.
Galangal-and-Coconut Soup with Chicken Lemongrass, and Kaffir Lime
60 Thompson St.
A coconut-creamy, chili-fired tom kha gai to put all others to shame.
64-13 39th Ave., Woodside
Unrestrainedly spiced and fully flavored—one of countless reasons to make a Woodside pilgrimage.
Salad: Mung Chaat
8 E. 18th St.
A crunchy, palate-cleansing construction of pappadam (lentil wafers) and mung beans.
Dessert: Sesame Sundae
246 E. 44th St.
Il Laboratorio del Gelato’s sesame ice cream layered with caramel, toasted sesame seeds, and chunks of dense, rich halvah.
Zuppa: Cappellitti in Brodo
141 E. 57th St.
The opening bid in my ultimate pastivore’s tasting menu: delicate veal-stuffed dumplings in a capon broth so rich and soothing, just looking at it can cure a cold.
Housemade Spaghetti with Tomato and Basil
45 Tudor City Pl.
The essence of Italian cooking: a simple dish that transcends its simplicity.
Secondo: Orecchiette with Sweet Sausage and Rapini
110 Waverly Pl.
It’s almost impossible to pick just one Babbo pasta, but if forced, I’d go with the exquisitely chewy orecchiette.
Contorno: Potato Gnocchi
403 E. 12th St.
Marco Canora’s signature side: rich, buttery, and as light as cotton candy.
240 Central Park S.
Not a pasta, but a good way to end the starchfest: It’s served warm with dark chocolate, hazelnut, and whipped cream on top.