My 10 Favorite NYC Dishes of 2010

10. Smoked Meat Poutine at Mile End -- It's hard to imagine an American restaurant improving on this working-class Montreal standard, but Boerum Hill's Mile End has done the trick, by garnishing the poutine with another Quebecois specialty, smoked meat, in addition to curds, fries, and gravy. The result is scrumptious. 97A Hoyt Street, Brooklyn, 718-852-7510

9. Coconut Utthapam at Sapthagiri -- Newark Avenue has been the go-to spot for excellent South Indian food for nearly a decade, and newcomer Sapthagiri offers an expanded menu, including dosas filled with the rice porridge called upma, a sub-specialty in Swaminarayan food, and the wonderful coconut utthapam shown above, which tastes of its sourdough batter and fresh coconut -- a beguiling combo, if ever there were one. 804 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, New Jersey, 201-533-8400

8. Cool Beef Shin at Manzo -- Among the welter of amazing beef appetizers at Manzo, many of which showcase the Razza Piemontese Beef now being produced in Montana, the pressed boiled brisket, thin-sliced raw carpaccio, and beef shin are foremost in my mind, but the shin ruled all, with its open texture, veins of fat, and garnish of pickled quince and homemade cracker. Eataly, 200 Fifth Avenue, 646-398-5100

7. Pepper Shrimp at Maima's -- Eating a bowlful of these huge shell-on shrimp is like putting a bazooka to your head and pulling the trigger -- the dish is that hot. Paired with a plate of beaten rice at this Liberian canteen just south of downtown Jamaica, there are no more sublime crustaceans in the city, but only if you crave spicy food. The vector of hotness here is the spice known as grains of paradise -- which have more in common with Sichuan peppercorns than chile peppers. 106-47 Guy R. Brewer Boulevard, Queens, 718-206-3538

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