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  • Roasted vegetables at Tenpenny

    Roasted vegetables at Tenpenny
    Chef Chris Cipollone's seasonal-vegetable plate looks like an edible diorama: Its various components are prepared in different ways and arranged in a gorgeous tableau. A summery iteration featured toothsome roasted carrots, pickled ramps, poached fava beans and dehydrated fennel---a delicious and textural collage, almost too pretty to eat, dusted with freeze-dried ranch powder. An autumnal incarnation with root vegetables debuts soon. The Gotham Hotel, 16 E 46th St between Fifth and Madison Aves (212-490-8300, tenpennynyc.com). $16.

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Maitake con Pecorino Sardo at Birreria

    Maitake con Pecorino Sardo at Birreria (Eataly)
    Common wisdom dictates that beer food should skew meaty, but this vegetarian drinking dish is a convincing counterpoint. Tender roasted maitake mushrooms rest on a rich bed of Pecorino Fiore Sardo (a smoked sheep's-milk cheese from Sardinia), folded into tangy crme frache. Pea greens and slices of raw asparagus provide a bright foil for the creamy, smoky combo---a fine match for the house-made ales at Eataly's rooftop brewpub. 200 Fifth Ave between 23rd and 24th Sts (212-937-8910, eatalyny.com). $15.

  • Photograph: Daniel Krieger

    Brucie; Tagliatelle; 100 Best Restaurants

     

    Tagliatelle at Brucie
    The menu at this Cobble Hill favorite rotates with the seasons, but this pasta dish---a darling of the fiercely local clientele---isn't going anywhere. Chef-owner Zahra Tangorra dresses her house-rolled strands of tagliatelle with brussels sprouts, halved and fried until the crispy petals are a deep brown. A rich tomato butter, made with sun-sweetened San Marzanos, and a dollop of creamy burrata make for an irresistible combination. 234 Court St between Baltic and Kane Sts, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn (347-987-4961, brucienyc.com). $16.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Green-bean salad at Porsena

    Green-bean salad at Porsena
    Singling out a salad at a restaurant with so many extraordinary pastas seems unfair, but this brilliant starter stayed with us. Sara Jenkins's haricots verts dish is all about texture: Crisp stalks of blanched green beans, fried almonds, and slivered raw fennel and celery heart join forces in this crunchy, satisfying tangle. Lightly pickled red onions, a red-wine vinaigrette, and a sprinkle of sea salt and subtle Szechuan peppercorns make it sing. 21 E 7th St between Second and Third Aves (212-228-4923). $8.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Green falafel at Tam Falafel and Smoothie Bar

    Green falafel at Tam Falafel and Smoothie Bar
    To fashion the falafel's platonic ideal, ground chickpeas are blended with cilantro, parsley and mint, formed into golf-ball-size spheres and deep-fried a dark mahogany. The crunchy exterior conceals a fluffy core, with a nutty, herbaceous flavor complemented by silky hummus and tahini sauce. 222 Waverly Pl between Perry and W 11th Sts (212-691-1287, taimfalafel.com). $6.25.

  • Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

    Margherita at Giuseppina's

    Margherita at Giuseppina's
    Pizzaiolo Chris Iacono---brother to Lucali owner Mark---does the family's legacy right with these finely wrought specimens. Supple pies, blistered in a hand-built, wood-fired oven, are adorned with a slick of tangy tomato sauce, Lioni Latticini's creamy Buffalo and low-moisture mozzarellas, a sprinkling of Parmesan and freshly torn basil. 691 Sixth Ave at 20th St, Sunset Park, Brooklyn (718-499-5052). $20.

  • Photograph: Noah Devereaux

    Sauteed green peppers at Hunan House

    Sauteed green peppers at Hunan House
    The star of this dish is fu ti, a long and slender variety of green pepper from China's Hunan province. The exotic cultivars don't need much embellishment---they're flash-sauted until the skin blackens, then tossed with a serious dose of garlic and pungent fermented black beans. The additions lend an earthy note to the spicy bite of the peppers. 37-40 Northern Blvd between Linden Pl and Union St, Flushing, Queens (718-353-1808). $8.95.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Purani delhi ki papri chaat at Dhaba

    Purani delhi ki papri chaat at Dhaba
    A layer of fried wheat discs (papri), piled with chickpeas (chana) and diced potatoes (aloo) compose this multicolored Indian street snack, striped with tart tamarind sauce, tongue-tingling mint chutney and cooling yogurt. A sprinkling of chopped raw white onion and cilantro adds zip, while a shower of sev (crunchy chickpea-and-rice threads) contributes extra crunch. 108 Lexington Ave between 27th and 28th Sts (212-679-1284). $6.

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

    Vegetarian taco at Tacos El Bronco

    Vegetarian taco at Tacos El Bronco
    Two crunchy, griddle-warmed tortillas serve as the base of this towering taco. While the fluffy rice, creamy refried beans, lettuce, tomatoes and radishes are fresh, it's the over-the-top addition of creamy guacamole, a grilled spring onion, a shower of cotija cheese and luscious drizzles of crema that elevate the taco from humdrum to extraordinary. 4324 Fourth Ave at 44th St, Sunset Park, Brooklyn (718-788-2229, tacoselbronco.com). Small $1.50, regular $2.50.

  • Photograph: Noah Devereaux

    Crispy Chinese watercress salad at Sripraphai

    Crispy Chinese watercress salad at Sripraphai
    If you're looking for light fare, look elsewhere---the star green in this salad is lightly battered and deep-fried to gently temper its bitterness. Lime and chilies add tartness and heat to two versions of the salad: a vegetarian take featuring king oyster mushrooms, tofu and peanuts; and an omnivorous one with tender shrimp, slices of squid, chicken and cashews. A note to the meat-averse: Ensure that the kitchen swaps the traditional fish sauce for a mushroom-based soy sauce by requesting the dish "true vegetarian" style. 64-13 39th Ave between 64th and 65th Sts, Woodside, Queens (718-899-9599, sripraphairestaurant.com). Vegetarian $9.50, with meat $10.50.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Freshly made scooped tofu at EN Japanese Brasserie

    Freshly made scooped tofu at EN Japanese Brasserie
    Unpasteurized Japanese soy milk gives this delicate, silken dish its nutty flavor. Fresh batches are made several times a day and served warm with wari joyu (a soy-dashi mix). At dinner, try the chilled, strained rendition, which needs nothing more added to it than a sprinkle of arajio sea salt. 435 Hudson St at Leroy St (212-647-9196, enjb.com). Dinner $11, lunch $9, weekend brunch $8.

  • Photograph: Noah Devereaux

    Flor de calabaza quesadilla at Mexico 2000

    Flor de calabaza quesadilla at Mexico 2000
    In this diminutive bodega's kitchen, fresh masa is pounded into a thin, flat oval and griddled till it crisps and blisters. It's topped with mounds of silky, delicately perfumed sauted squash blossoms, crumbly cotija cheese, crema and shreds of lettuce, then folded in half like an oversize taco. Forget the fork; use two hands to tackle it. 367 Broadway between Hooper and Keap Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-782-3797). $4.

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Fresh mozzarella at Eataly

Roasted vegetables at Tenpenny

Roasted vegetables at Tenpenny
Chef Chris Cipollone's seasonal-vegetable plate looks like an edible diorama: Its various components are prepared in different ways and arranged in a gorgeous tableau. A summery iteration featured toothsome roasted carrots, pickled ramps, poached fava beans and dehydrated fennel---a delicious and textural collage, almost too pretty to eat, dusted with freeze-dried ranch powder. An autumnal incarnation with root vegetables debuts soon. The Gotham Hotel, 16 E 46th St between Fifth and Madison Aves (212-490-8300, tenpennynyc.com). $16.

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