THE BBQ HUNAN FISH DISH AT HUNAN KITCHEN: This dish will blow your head off. Have it spinning around the room, punching the walls even but then when you calm down, swill iced water (which will do nothing for the heat, by the way) you won't want to stop eating this, until you will. Then you'll take most of it home to look forward to eating it the next day. The tinge of spicy cumin with crunchy nuts, warm yellow potatoes and succulent fish is divine.
NOTE: If you show up at the restaurant and don't remember what the dish is called, just ask for 'the fish dish' and they'll know what you mean.
Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan, in Flushing, Queens. NY
- THE 'MARTHA' PIZZA AT OVEST. Mozzarella, Prosciutto, Truffle’ Pate’, Basil... (with no tomato sauce base). I love the way the truffle oil clings to the prosciutto, like a warm fragrant blanket. I tried to get this delivered but it's not as good. You just have to go there.
- Ovest Pizzoteca, Chelsea, NY
THE LENTIL SALAD AT HARTWOOD. I think of most lentil dishes as heavy (Winter-like even) but this salad manages to be refreshing and weightless. It has lentils, wide slivers of ricotta salata, plums, lentil sprouts and the key ingredient: pickled grapes.
Hartwood, Tulum, Mexico