Arctic Char Plate at Littleneck
"A couple friends and I went to Littleneck the other week for brunch, but we were too late, and it was closing the kitchen to prep for dinner. I know one of the owners, though, and while we were drinking mimosas and figuring out where to go, he gave us a small plate of arctic char, creme fraiche, dill, buttered baguette-toast, and sliced hard-boiled eggs. That was probably the fanciest I've felt in a while. Then last weekend we went back, on time, and I got the regular-sized version of that dish. It was still great. Arctic char...I could eat that forever."
Littleneck, 288 3rd Avenue (at Carroll Street); Brooklyn; 718-522-1921.
Hummus at Damascus Bakery
"The roasted red pepper hummus from Damascus Bakery on Atlantic Avenue is pretty perfect. Smooth and creamy and exactly right. I eat it with a spoon, usually. Or, with some of the cucumber salad. Also the labneh is great. Everything it has is so good. It's almost too much."
Damascus Bread & Pastry Shop, 195 Atlantic Avenue (at Court Street); Brooklyn; 718-625-7070.
Photo: Courtesy of Littleneck
"The deviled eggs at Flatbush Farm Bar come with little mound of pickled hot peppers (I think that's what they are), and a dab of the yolk mixture on the bottom to keep them in place. Four to an order. If there's a dish I've ordered the most this past year, it'd probably be this one, by a ridiculous margin."
Flatbush Farm Bar, 76 Saint Marks Avenue (between 6th and Flatbush Avenues); 718-622-3276.
"The Texas-sized frozen pina colada at Dallas BBQ, with an extra shooter or two. And at any location, but the one on Livingston Street if I had to pick. I guess it's technically disgusting, but it's also so wonderful. And huge. Wonderful and huge."
Dallas BBQ, 180 Livingston Street (at Smith Street); Brooklyn; 718-643-5700.
"I had some perfect toro belly at Bohemian the other night. Although I think all toro belly is perfect, and Bohemian's hidden and mysterious-seeming (to me, at least!), and I'd never been there before, so it was all kind of heightened. But also, the toro belly was perfect. There's a cool toilet there, too. It took me by surprise!"
Bohemian, 57 Great Jones Street (at Bowery); unlisted.