10 Top Bites from The Village Voice’s 6th Annual Choice Eats Tasting Event Slideshow
March 20, 2013
This Second Avenue Mexican restaurant impressed with its elegant "tamalitos," topped with diced butternut squash and a top-notch mole sauce.
Tabata Noodle Restaurant
Great ramen can officially be found in Hell’s Kitchen, apparently, and it could also be found at this event. The folks at Tabata had cups of noodles at the ready, and ladled in a hearty, creamy, umami-rich ramen filled with chunks of chicken to order.
John Brown Smokehouse
It’s not easy to make really good pastrami, and the offerings at this Long Island City relative newcomer were straightforward and delicious. The well-smoked, well-seasoned, thick-sliced piece of pastrami stood on its own, but was only helped by a tangy slaw.
The folks at Resto know their way around a pig, and they showed off their charcuterie skills with a house-made coarse-ground country pâté. A sweet tomato jam balanced it out, and a crispy fried pig ear was draped over the top, because, why not? The fact that it all sat atop a housemade Ritz cracker was just icing on the cake.
This newcomer is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the city’s more creative Chinese restaurants, and their tofu ribbons with cilantro, mint, and chile oil were chewy and addictive, and were quite possibly the night’s top vegetarian option.
Sara Jenkins knows her way around a pig, and the preparation served at her sandwich shop of the same name is a marvel to behold. In this case, it was sliced, chopped, and piled onto crostini, making sure that each one got a piece of crispy skin.
The pig train rolled on at this show-stopping beauty, which was quite possibly the most photographed centerpiece of the night. A whole pig was slow cooked by the folks behind this Lower East Side cult favorite, and the skin was some of the crunchiest we’ve had. No additional frills were needed.
Bobwhite Lunch and Supper Counter
This tiny East Village restaurant is best known for one thing: fried chicken. As opposed to trying to fry chicken to order and keep it crispy, they made a brilliant move: serve it cold, and call it a "mini fried chicken picnic." If it’s this good cold, we can only imagine how good it is right out of the deep-fryer.