Among other great dishes, Minetta Tavern in Greenwich Village has made its reputation during the past few years on its fabulous Black Label Burger, dry-aged côte de boeuf with roasted marrow bones, and potatoes, man, its potatoes — frites, Anna, Aligot, and punched. But the crowds, and the 6 p.m.- or 10:30 p.m.-only reservations aren't for everyone. The newly launched lunch service solves this, bringing with it one of New York's great new sandwiches.
A halved, toasted baguette with its top half dipped in jus, the Minetta Tavern French dip features boldly red slices of nearly ¼-inch-thick, juicy meat. Slices are gently tucked in and speckled with fresh horseradish (you may want to ask for a little more) and presented with a bowl of jus for dipping. This jus is not a consommé, not a broth, but a thick jus with dense beefy flavor.
Given the shape of the sandwich, the first bite or two is tough to dip, but the beef is juicy enough to tide you over until it fits. The only thing this beautiful, proudly bloody sandwich would benefit from is a touch of salt, and there's a little bowl of large salt flakes on the table for you to adjust as you see fit. And for these reasons this dish made my list of most memorable meals of 2011.