Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Announcing: THE 2008 FORKIE AWARDS

You’ve waited all year, and here they are… in all of their glory!

What the hell are the Forkies?

Well, the Forkies are the awards delved out by myself, sole owner and proprietor of Fork New York. I spend all year roving the city looking for good eats, and well... this is where I can share with you what I think is the best of the best. Lets get started.

To view the 2006 Forkies (there was no 2007).... click here!

To view the 2008 Top 10 Dishes Not To Miss.... click here!

To view the 2008 Top 10 Dishes Under $10... click here!

Best Steakhouse in New York City

This is a debate that will never see a clear cut winner… but for my money in this year, the winner is CRAFTSTEAK. With perfect bone marrow, a killer wine list (many by the glass), both corn and grass fed beef and the most incredible mushrooms in Manhattan, this place is simply pushing all of my buttons.

Runner(s) Up: Keen’s, Quality Meats

Best Chinese Food In Manhattan:

Easy. Szechuan Gourmet on West 39th is making some of the best Chinese food, well, anywhere. Yes, it is somewhat of a hole in the wall… but when you walk in for pork dumplings in chili oil and see Matthew and Sara Jessica noshing in the corner, the place must be doing something right.

Runner Up: Wu Liang Ye (midtown location)

Best Street Food:

Tough one. Of course the famous Chicken and Rice Cart at 53rd and 6th holds a special place in my heart… but the truth is the Biryani Cart on 46th and 6th has claimed my #1 spot this year, simply for their perfect, buttery King Koti rolls.

Runner Up: Moishe’s Falafel (east side of 46th and 6th)

Best Morsel To Put In Your Mouth:

Easy. Ever had a rice ball from Faicco’s Pork Store in the West Village? If not, quit reading this blog, hop in a cab and get there. These gems are fantastic right of the deli shelf in this Italian butcher shop… but even better is getting them home into a warm oven and serving them with a little homemade marinara on the side.

Runner Up: Hen of the Woods Mushrooms at Craftsteak

Best Pizza – Non-Traditional:

And the winner is….. Two Boots. I was sad to see the Rockefeller Plaza store close, but thrilled when I moved to Chelsea and realized they now delivered to my door. The toppings are amazing, but even better is the crunchy, sandy, cornmeal crust.

Best Pizza – Traditional:

Yes they are a dime a dozen, but my money is on the Grandma’s slice at Rosa’s Pizza on 27th and 7th. Ive always loved their stuff but when my movers told me that they drive in from Brooklyn for the stuff, I stopped what I was doing and ordered a large.

Most Delicious and Filling Sandwich:

For those who need 2 pounds of food in their stomach, head to Olympic Pita… the schwarma and falafel masterpiece on 38th. Their pita is good, but their homemade lafa bread, fired in their own stone ovens… are amazing. Filled with hummus, fresh chicken, red cabbage and onions…. well, there you have it.

Runner Up: The #1 Combo from Lenny’s (any location).

Best Sweets:

Beard Papas Cream Puffs. Don’t get me started.

Best Hunk of Cheese to Impress:

And the Forkie goes to…. Murrays Cheese in the West Village, and their wheel of Roomano. That’s right, ROOMANO… and aged gouda with crunchy flecks of magic. Teamed with Eli’s Rosemary and Olive Crackers (also sold there) and you’ve got one heck of an appetizer at your next shindig.

Runner Up: Robusto, at Whole Foods in Time Warner Center, anything from Artisinal

Best Restaurant Appetizer:

Italian eatery Cesca on West 75th has been a neighborhood mainstay for years… and while they aren’t known as an “elite” destination, their Cauliflower Fritti may be one of the best dishes in New York City. Think crisp, fresh cauliflower, delicately battered and fried, sprinkled with fresh lemon juice and served piping hot. For me, a cocktail and a bowl of this stuff is all I really need in life.

Best Baked Item:

Love them or hate them, Empanada Joe’s has an impressive little pie that can hit the spot. Although some of the flavors can be hit or miss, the beef are worth the trip and are sold in boxes of a dozen if you have a crowd at home.

Runner Up: Cheese puffs from Murray’s Cheese

Best Turkish Joint Nobody Knows About:

I still believe Zeytin is serving NY’s best Turkish food, but Akdeniz on West 46th is a terrific place to discover. Their falafel is moist and crisp, their hummus tangy and nearly perfect… and their kababs delicious. The kicker? It’s all affordable.

Best Item to Bring Home and Grill:

I hesitate to write this, as I consider it my secret… but the parsley and cheese sausage at Faicco’s Pork Store in the West Village (home of the rice ball) may be the best sausage in New York City, period. Buy it in their “ring”, bring it home and grill it. The flavor is one of a kind… and that’s coming from a crazy sausage eating Cajun like myself.

Runner Up: Dry Aged Rib Eye Steak from Ottamanelli's on Bleeker.

Best Falafel:

The king, and still champion… Maoz. With a new location on the Upper West Side, more New Yorkers are starting to become believers. If you haven’t tried it, you owe it to yourself to make a visit.

Runner Up: Olympic Pita

Best Slice of Old New York:

Keen’s may have years of history… but a trip to Frankie and Johnnie's in Midtown is like falling into one of the Godfather movies. Yes, years ago you needed to whisper a password through the front door… but today, after a climb up the stairs – a delicious pre-theatre steak awaits… and a decent crabmeat cocktail at that.

Runner Up: Peter Lugar in Brooklyn.

Best Bar to Close A Deal:

Stone Rose in the Time Warner Center may be the sexiest bar in Manhattan. The drinks are crazy expensive, but the view over Central Park is worth the coin…. and the snacks are good as well.

Runner Up: Mini Bar at The Muse on 46th.