Chef-Owner Billy Durney offers his unique spin on classic barbecue that’s inspired by the mix of cultures found in his home borough of Brooklyn. "It really is a melting pot," says Jonathon Sawyer, who is a fan of the Korean Sticky Ribs and the Lamb Belly. Michael Symon was won over by the inventive Lamb Belly Banh Mi. A buttery baguette comes slicked with a honey-tinged hot sauce and loaded with cilantro, pickled vegetables and smoked lamb belly that Michael says “literally melts in your mouth.”
Don’t let the tiny size of this eatery fool you. It delivers a mighty wallop of meaty goodness with its Mega Threat sandwich. This super-stuffed beauty features American cheese and numerous meats (including slow-roasted beef, turkey, ham and sausage), which come piled high on a tasty roll.
Chef-Owner Dena Marino uses locally sourced produce to create dishes bursting with modern Italian flavors, like her restaurant’s signature Paccheri. The indulgent pasta dish starts with housemade Italian sausage, which is cooked in white wine before being coated in mascarpone cheese to ensure maximum creaminess. To balance out the heaviness, Marino serves the sausage and pasta with broccoli rabe and pickled onions. Buon appetito!
This warehouse-turned-restaurant serves authentic Italian eats (think gelato, thin-crust pizzas and fresh pasta) to California locals. Stop in to try the carbonara. This simple yet indulgent pasta dish is composed of wide tagliatelle noodles that are made from scratch. Once ready, the noodles are cooked in a bacon-grease-lined pan — along with pancetta and a pepper-laced mixture of whisked eggs and Parmesan cheese — until all the flavors are blended.
The process of eating Mama Toscano's handmade toasted raviolis could take less than five minutes. But the process of making one takes at least three days. On The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Alex discovered this St. Louis regional specialty, which fortunately (for Alex) is available only by ordering.
At this no-frills, family-owned shop in operation for more than 40 years, practice makes perfect — perfect cinnamon rolls, that is. Before baking, the inside of the rolls is slathered with butter, cinnamon and sugar to ensure a gooey center and irresistible cinnamon flavor in every bite. The finishing touch is the homemade cream cheese frosting that incorporates 30 pounds of cream cheese and a whopping 50 pounds of sugar per batch.
This nautical-themed spot serves seafood dishes and other delectable creations like the fried chicken sandwich. This beauty stars a crispy battered chicken breast nestled on a buttered bun that’s been slathered with a creamy aioli. A topping of tangy slaw with jalapeno completes this tasty creation.
Craving a mouthwatering taco or two? Head to this unassuming eatery and order the Carnitas Tacos. These tasty beauties are filled with shredded pork that is first roasted and then quickly seared to give it a bold crispiness before being piled onto corn tortillas and dolloped with cool guacamole.
This Venezuelan joint with a playful, vibrant vibe offers classic staples from the home country, including a pork and cheese arepa that has Richard Blais hooked. A slightly sweet dough made from corn flour, water, salt and oil is formed into a tiny cake that’s grilled until crisp, then sliced through the middle and stuffed with salty, tangy Guyanese cheese and succulent shredded pork.
This old-school Italian hideaway is famous for its simplicity — cash only, BYOB and no official website — but it doesn’t need the frills. After all, the standout Italian classics are what draw the crowds. Alex Guarnaschelli recommends the Veal Parmigiana, a tender, breaded bone-in veal chop that’s blanketed in a melty layer of buffalo mozzarella and finished with a housemade marinara sauce.
As Duff discovered, breakfast just isn’t breakfast without chicken. Roscoe's waffles with fried "chix" and maple syrup may be an unusual pair, but they’re a "genius" combo. David Alan Grier’s go-to dish is The Oscar, which features fried chicken and buttery grits, along with a biscuit and fried egg.
This homey restaurant has put itself on the map with The Showstopper, a Maryland take on traditional surf-n-turf. Duff can’t get enough of this craveworthy dish, which features a half-pound crab cake composed of jumbo lump crab. The crabmeat is dipped in a creamy egg mixture laced with Old Bay seafood seasoning, then baked until golden brown. Adding to the decadence is a full rack of smoky, tender baby back ribs.
On The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Frank Bruni says no self-respecting maple lover could ever dislike Locanda Verde's Maple Budino pudding. When paired with the apple butternut sorbet, it's like walking through a Vermont forest. Cheese lovers, however, should try the Sheep's Milk Ricotta Crostini.
This meat-centric restaurant is much more than a traditional steakhouse; it’s a carnivore’s paradise. Diners can choose from a selection of cuts that includes pork rib eyes, veal chops and New York strip steaks. And the dessert is just as indulgent as the main course. Opt for the chocolate and banana brioche bread pudding. This treat proves to be an irresistible combination of textures and flavors, with a crisp crust, gooey center and creamy scoop of ice cream perched on top.
Carnivores and veggie lovers alike are sure to find a pie to satisfy at this pizzeria, which serves both beefy and meatless varieties. Actress Judy Greer’s go-to is the Greek Pizza, which comes smothered in zesty tomato sauce, mozzarella and feta. Greek oregano and black olives round out the pie.