It’s top 10 season, and arts critics everywhere are whipping up lists all across the web. As for the restaurant beat, The New York Times’s own Pete Wells filed his Top 10 New York Dishes of 2019 and wouldn’t ya know it but three Lower Manhattan joints made the cut!
Wells, on the clam chowder at Bar Wayo:
Three excellent clam chowders washed up on our shores this year. The spicy red one at the Fulton and the satiny white one at TAK Room take care of Manhattan and New England, but the smoky, translucent one at David Chang’s Bar Wayo, made with bacon, butter and dashi, stakes out a new territory of its own ($14).
For the gruyère fritters at James Kent’s Crown Shy:
I keep hoping that one day I’ll go to a cocktail party and they’ll be passing trays of these little snacks, which are essentially warm churros filled with cayenne-laced cheese sauce. I’ll stand by the kitchen door and pick them off one by one, like a sniper. In the meantime, I’ll act like a normal member of society and order them at Crown Shy ($14).
Pier 17’s The Fulton, for its whole sea bass in pastry crust (photo above):
This fish-within-a-fish, painstakingly detailed down to the last fin, is a premodern showpiece from a chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, known for his streamlined modernism. You might expect it to emerge from under a silver dome in “The Crown,” but here it is on a pier in the seaport district, all the more appealing for being out of place ($120).
Not unrelated, when Crown Shy was awarded a Michelin star earlier this year, the prestigious food guide also hailed its fritters and described the restaurant’s art deco space as “a feast for the eyes, no doubt, but the real star at this buzzy location is the exquisite meal to follow.”
You can check out the rest of Wells’s 2019 NYT picks here.