Best Fried Chicken
45 East 22nd Street
Like two feet of snow on the ground and bullet-shaped tail lights, great fried chicken seemed destined to became a faded memory of lost youth.We'd crunched our way from Sylvia's to Bubby's and always come away disappointed-until Beppe. At this ocher-washed Tuscan newcomer, chef Cesare Casella dredges the bird with a lemony herb-infused batter that comes out softer and tastier than the usual coat of armor, leaving the chicken impossibly moist and shot through with mild but savory flavors we'd almost forgotten. The same batter is applied to fried green tomatoes and yellow squash, and it's all served with black-eyed peas and collard greens-the whole sunny concoction a tribute, Casella proudly explains, to both his grandma and the American South. It couldn't be more loving-or satisfying.