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Editors and Chefs Pick: The Best Things We Ate This Week in NYC March 14–21

From cacio e pepe frittelle to oxtail fried rice
March 21, 2017
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by Zagat Staff

Welcome to Best Things We Ate which features weekly dish picks from around NYC from Zagat editors, chefs, influencers and users. To submit an entry, please email zagatsocial@gmail.com with your 100-word write-up and high-quality photo for consideration. And don't forget to check back every week to see what we're eating!

Photo by Asia Coladner

Uma Temakeria x Black Seed temaki/sushi burrito
Why choose between everything bagels and sushi burritos when you can have…both? Temaki specialist Uma Temakeria has teamed up with Black Seed bagels to create a limited-edition hand-roll that is essentially a lox bagel sandwich in sushi form. Featuring beet-cured salmon, miso cream cheese, cucumbers, pickled scallions and housemade everything furikake, it’s a tasty, elevated version of a classic Philadelphia roll. Also offered as a sushi burrito, these rolls are available at both Uma Temakeria locations (Chelsea and Gotham West) through April 9.

—Abigail Abesamis, content editor at Google/Zagat, @westminsterabby on Instagram

Photo by Evan Sung

Cacio e pepe frittelle from Lilia in Brooklyn
I've been hearing a lot about this place ever since it opened, and better yet, most of the hype has come from cooks and servers and sommeliers and everyone else in the industry. Everyone talks about the pasta, and rightfully so, it's great. I walked in on a Monday expecting the place to be quiet, and there was a two-hour wait for tables so I snuck a seat at the bar with two grocery bags full of beers for the kitchen. Sixty seconds later, they dropped two smoking hot pillows of golden puffed frittelle in front of me while I was still figuring out how many pastas I can eat by myself (answer: five. What? I didn't eat family meal that day!).  

They were a take on cacio e pepe (sheep’s milk cheese, black pepper) — the simplest dish on the planet and one that I obsess over whether I'm eating out or cooking in — and a whole new take on this combo that was even more memorable than the perfectly cooked and sauced pastas. The fried cheese gave way to a crispy crust with a completely hollow center, almost like a hot balloon of doughy cheese with a peppery zing. I still don't know how they were able to form the ball only to have the center disappear, leaving you with the fumes of that sharp cheese and salt and pepper crust. I almost ordered three more for dessert.

—Tapas Bar executive chef Anthony Sasso (inside La Sirena), @asassonyc on Instagram

Photo by Michelle Golden

Premium classic curry at Goemon Curry
I've always been a fan of Cocoron's handmade soba noodles, and now I'm happy to discover that I love the Japanese curry at its sibling spot, Goemon, too. You can go traditional and load it up with carrots, potatoes and tonkatsu, or get a little crazy with mayo and cheddar cheese. It's not the prettiest dish, but it's surprisingly complex, and like any good comfort food hits all the pleasure centers in your brain. My six-year-old and I were fighting over it like it was chocolate cake.

—Michelle Golden, senior content strategist at Google on Dining, @michellegoldenunicorn on Instagram

Photo by Steve Hill

Oxtail fried rice at Blue RIbbon Sushi Bar & Grill
Years ago I fell in love with the oxtail fried rice at Blue Ribbon. Basically, it's fried rice, braised oxtail, daikon, fresh scallions and an omelet filled with bone marrow. It started as a special treat I would allow myself every once in a while...until it became a part of my diet. When I lived uptown by the Time Warner Building location I started getting it to go, claiming it was the perfect size and meal for post-service. Being one of the only places open late up there made it a staple in my weekly routine. Now, living on the Lower East Side and being the chef at ACME, I grab this rice to go at least two times a week. Often when I call and say "Brian" the person on the other end just says "oxtail fried rice extra hot sauce, 15 minutes." I once tried to add up how much I spend a year on fried rice from Blue Ribbon...needless to say the answer did not make me proud, but I'll probably order one on my way home tonight.

—Brian Loiacono, executive chef at ACME, @BrianLoiacono on Instagram

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