Two items on the menus at the Muramotos around town make the cut for our reviewers' favorite eats.
Anyone's diet can use dishes both untried-and-new and tried-and-true. Here are 10 of our favorite foods from the course of a year's restaurant reviews, in alphabetical order.
They'll surprise you, then appease you.
- Ackee and codfish at David's Jamaican Cuisine
David's follows the standard recipe: boiled ackee, sauteed onions and tomatoes, and salted cod. Black pepper and salty fishiness are the dominant flavor notes....David's ackee and codfish should be considered a city culinary treasure for its uncommon and authentic nature....For the first time in the history of Fringe Foods, I joined the Clean Plate Club. (Kyle Nabilcy)
- Apple RumBurger at Alchemy Cafe
A one-third-pound patty layered with applewood-smoked bacon topped with a sweet onion rum relish, Wisconsin cheddar, lettuce and tomato, all on a beautiful homemade raised roll. (Jerry Minnich)
- Bahia fish stew at The Cabana Room
A rich and aromatic tomato base...included bay scallops, shrimp and red sea bass, all enlivened by chiles and almonds. (Jerry Minnich)
- Curry coconut cream sauce at Kushi Bar Muramoto
"I could keep a bottle of this curry coconut cream sauce in my fridge," my date remarked. "And put it on everything, from rice to noodles." It really is that good. (Adam Powell)
- Bagels at Gotham New York Bagels and Eats
There is a subtle sweetness to them, a satisfying crunchy crust and a brown patina that is the sign of a real, well-loved, artisanal bagel, and each rendition has its own distinctive tones. Maybe best is the sesame seed bagel, because each sesame seed is a little world of nutty, toasted flavor. (Raphael Kadushin)
- Fried chicken at Doug's Soul Food Cafe
The fried chicken is dipped in egg and flour batter and deep-fried in vegetable oil. The crust is substantial and delicious. There are few finer things in the world than a properly prepared wing of fried chicken, and the difference between a poorly prepared fried bird and a good one is akin to the difference between Boone's Farm and a Chteau Lafite Rothschild....this is a must-order. (Adam Powell)
- Gumbo at Liliana's Restaurant
The ingredients were authentic New Orleans, melded with fire and love. They included tasso, a hot-smoked Cajun "ham" (actually a shoulder butt) cured with cayenne and garlic; lardon, which is simply a small strip or cube of bacon; and andouille, the classic Cajun (originally French) pork sausage made with coarse pork and chitterlings, smoked with peppers, onions and wine. (Jerry Minnich)
- Lamb stew at Restaurant Muramoto
Tender lamb tossed with tomato, zucchini, bell peppers and onion, in a dusky, complex, subtle curry. (Raphael Kadushin)
- Pizza at Pizza Brutta
The crust that comes out of that oven is perfect: light, pillowy around the edges, and almost airy in the center, with just enough delicate chew.... If sweet, freshly peeled tomatoes are used as a base, they are used sparingly -- though a large number of Brutta's pies are white, which means they are merely crowned with a virgin olive oil that sets off the refined flavor of the kitchen's toppings. (Raphael Kadushin)
- Pumpkin ravioli at Harvest
Wrapped around sweet pumpkin puree and shining with sage butter, the fat ravioli were, simply, perfect. (Raphael Kadushin)