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Best Pot Stickers

  • JJ’s Grand Tofu

    37-05 31st Ave., Astoria; 718-626-8888

    In Manhattan, the humble dumpling, like so many other citified simple things, has gotten grand. Jean-Georges started it all, puffing his up with foie gras at 66. Now, at Buddakan, gussied-up dumplings filled with edamame primp and preen in a broth of Sauternes. But just when the dumpling trumpery threatens to get out of hand, JJ’s Grand Tofu, a tiny Japanese fusion outpost on an emerging avenue in Astoria, offers an edamame pot sticker that’s sophisticated but not stuffy. The pot stickers ($5.95 for four) come simply steamed, sauced with squiggles of reduced cream and a glaucous slick of wasabi oil, the bracing rush of the latter cutting through the former’s richness. And if your edamame exposure has been limited to squeezing the peas singly, like rosary beads, from salted pods, you may be surprised at what a meaty purée they yield. Leave it to the outer boroughs to prove that fusion needn’t be froufrou.

From the 2007 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine