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Best Pork Belly

  • Fatty ’Cue

    50 Carmine St., nr. Bedford St.; 212-929-5050

    Dining trends used to migrate from Manhattan out to the wilds of Brooklyn, but these days it’s the other way around. Consider the case of Zak Pelaccio’s signature Coriander Bacon, which has morphed over the past year or two from a local Williamsburg delicacy to the bacon of choice among Manhattan’s pork fiends. Pelaccio’s chefs cure their heritage-pork belly in a mix of palm sugar, coriander, Thai chiles, and salt, smoke it over hardwood, then braise it to melting, candied softness. In Brooklyn (currently closed for renovations), the bacon was plated with yellow curry and limp wedges of toast, but in the new West Village branch of Fatty ’Cue, it’s measured out in half-pound slabs, sliced in pink, fatty squares, and plated on a butcher block with a pot of fresh-made salsa verde. The regal Manhattan version costs a few dollars more than the Brooklyn one ($5, to be precise), but it’s worth it.

From the 2012 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine