209 East 49th Street, 212-751-4545
There’s only one quesadilla on Pampano’s menu, but since Richard Sandoval is the presiding chef, you can bet your weight in Taxco silver it’s memorable. The only thing wrong with these crackling wedges of sweet-and-sour red snapper cocooned in a velvet swath of crema fresca and Oaxacan cheese is that they invariably leave you turning your nose up at the scorched flour tortillas with flavorless gummy fillings that impersonate this dish elsewhere around town. If you ever want to enjoy another foil-wrapped burrito or chimichanga again, stay away.
From the 2004 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).