Dyker Heights' best (and only) restaurant does an amazing thing with giant ravioli and fried. It's perfectly crispy on the outside and all multi cheese melty inside. Slap some sauce on it and it's more exciting than losing your virginity. For a throwback redsauce joint, New Corner is remarkably veggie friendly. The sauteed Broccoli Rabe and String Bean Marinara could easily make the list on their own.
9- Kimchi Nori Roll: Franchia, NYC.
Who needs to explain why spicy Kimchi sushi is awesome? Not this guy.
8- Mushroom With Egg American Style: Wo Hop, NYC
There is a lot of confusion as to how one would order this dish, but it's worth any hassle you'll potentially have to go through. For whatever reason Wo Hop makes the best omelet in the city. There is zero hyperbole in that statement. It's like they use magic unicorn eggs, dipped in awesome and generously sprinkled with salt to make their omelets. The hard part is getting this instead of the dreaded Egg Foo Young. Make sure to include the phrases "American Style", "Not Foo Young" and "Omelet Style" when ordering.
7- Bourekas: Gazala Place NYC.
If you've never tried Israeli Druze food, you really should. The salads, spreads and hummus are good enough to put Gazala on the list, but their Bourekas are next level good. I can't say enough good things about this place. If you dig Mediterranean food and haven't check this place out; you're missing out.
6- Gnocchi Aurora: LaMarca NYC.
Possibly the strangest and best pasta spot in the city. It looks like a 70's cafeteria with Arbus photos and they have a "you get what we give you" policy when it comes to bread and salad (which come with every meal.) The Gnocchi is the star of the show here. It's the ultimate winter dish. Potato dumplings in a tomato cream sauce with white pepper and vodka, topped with smoked Buffalo mozzarella tastes like winning.
5- Cheese Riceballs: Lenny and John's, Brooklyn.
While most Americans don't even know the joys of riceballs, NY vegetarians have to see them dangled before them in most pizzerias, unable to partake because they are always filled with meat. Lenny and John's is a classic late night drunk pizza joint in the ass end of Brooklyn, but they have meatless riceballs and that makes them champs.
4- ChongQing Spicy Potato: Grand Sichuan, NYC.
I could have went with the Vinegar Potato or the Lotus Root with Black Bean Sauce from Grand Sichuan and either would be a legitimate #4 on this list, but the ChongQing Spicy Potato is an explosion of hot and flavorful in every bite. I honestly can't figure out what's in it (maybe 5 spice?) but it's an absolute must have.
3- Lasagna: Pure Food and Wine, NYC.
Proof that pasta is nothing more than a carrier for other flavors. Raw zucchini and basil-y goodness, and you don't feel like you ate a lead weight like you do with traditional lasagna.
2- Tomato Salad: Spartan, Brooklyn
Tomato, red onion, olive oil, salt, pepper and feta; that's it. For whatever reason Spartan gets better tomatoes than anyplace I've ever eaten at. Once you try this, it will forever ruin you; you'll never be able to look at a pale tomato and consider eating it again.
1- Stone Ground Grits w/ pickled shitakes and a tempura poached egg: Dirt Candy, NYC
It's not even remotely close. This dish is like a Secretariat winning a race by 30 lengths; there is just no competition for it. Every element is perfect.