Cafe Cluny's Meatballs Alsatian, One of Our 100 Favorite Dishes

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Feldman

No. 22: Meatballs Alsatian from Cafe Cluny

Phillip Kirschen-Clark channels northeastern France for this refined take on a hearty, homestyle European classic.

It's been a pleasure watching Kirschen-Clark, the talented and formerly peripatetic chef of Café Cluny, settle into his role at the popular West Village restaurant. True to his word, much of the menu has remained the same in an effort to appease regulars, but gradually the chef has incorporated personal touches that he's acquired over a long history working under Ken Oringer, Wylie Dufresne, and even hustling underground at subterranean Jimmy's No. 43. It's a good thing, too, because then regulars would miss out on outstanding plates like Cluny's Meatballs Alsatian, a fancypants take on choucroute garnie. A mixture of dry-aged beef and heritage pork simmered in Riesling gravy, the highbrow balls come doused in more of the sweet, savory wine sauce. Brimming with robust flavor, the orbs break apart with a fork's touch. Underneath, a tangle of sauerkraut strewn through with bits of tender boudin blanc and crisp lardons. The whole deal gets a scattering of fried rosemary leaves and an anointment of tart lingonberries to drive home the Eastern European influence. Kirschen-Clark may have finally found a home in Café Cluny. With dishes like this, we certainly hope he's here to stay.

Later this year, we'll pen our Best of New York issue, our annual love letter to what's great in this town. When that paper hits the streets, you'll find our picks for the very best this city has to offer when it comes to dozens of cuisines, restaurants, dishes, and drinks. Until then, you can get a taste of our contenders as we count down, in no particular order, our 100 favorite dishes from around the boroughs, a list of laudable eats worth tracking down right now.

No. 100: Taqueria Lower East Side's carnitas
No. 99: Tartine's steamed mussels
No. 98: Malu's Cookie Monster ice cream
No. 97: Coppelia's Havana salad
No. 96: Falansai's clay pot catfish
No. 95: Uncle Boons' Khao Soi Kaa Kai
No. 94: ABC Cocina's salted caramel "impossible" flan
No. 93: Shu Jiao Fu Zhou Cuisine's peanut noodles
No. 92: Distilled's country-fried duck and waffles
No. 91: Calliope's octopus salad
No. 90: Charlie Bird's diver scallop crudo
No. 89: Silver Moon Bakery's fig and pepper bread
No. 88: Stage Restaurant's egg, cheese, and sausage on a roll
No. 87: Manzanilla's Marbella's Full Moon
No. 86: Bia's Cary Ga
No. 85: La Newyorkina's pineapple jalapeño paleta
No. 84: Empellón Taqueria's skirt steak tacos
No. 83: Sugar Sweet Sunshine's pistachio cupcake
No. 82: El Chivito d'Oro's skirt steak
No. 81: Saro Bistro's satarash
No. 80: Oda House's adjaruli khatchapuri
No. 79: Hill Country Chicken's pie milkshake
No. 78: Fletcher's Brooklyn Barbecue's chili mac
No. 77: The Musket Room's steak and cheese pie
No. 76: Battery Harris' Baked Patties
No. 75: Legend's Dan Dan Noodles
No. 74: Pure Thai's Nakorn-Patom duck noodles soup
No. 73: Melt Bakery's Morticia
No. 72: Calexico's Baja Fish Taco
No. 71: Sushi Dojo's Omakase
No. 70: Bear's smoked whitefish
No. 69: Locanda Verde's corn ravioli
No. 68: Ghenet's Ghenet Combination
No. 67: Ample Hills Creamery's ice cream
No. 66: Burger & Barrel's Burger
No. 65: Radegast's Munich pretzel
No. 64: Mighty Quinn's Burnt End Baked Beans
No. 63: Cho Dang Gol's spicy galbi jjim
No. 62: Tacos Mexico's chorizo taco
No. 61: Pork Slope's loaded nachos
No. 60: Pine Box Rock Shop's bloody mary
No. 59: Franny's antipasto plate
No. 58: Num Pang's curry red lentil soup
No. 57: Khe-Yo's Jurgielewicz duck salad
No. 56: Dough's doughnut (any doughnut)
No. 55: King Noodle's ma po tofu fries
No. 54: Terri's green power smoothie
No. 53: Estela's beef tartare
No. 52: Pho Grand's pork chop pho
No. 51: Stella 34 Trattoria's chocolate gelato
No. 50: RedFarm's spicy crispy beef
No. 49: Bhojan's daal tadka
No. 48: Pig and Khao's khao soi
No. 47: The Grand's handmade pierogies
No. 46: Dominick's Deli's Dante's Inferno
No. 45: The Queens Kickshaw's deep-fried squash blossoms
No. 44: Black Tree's squash blossom sandwich
No. 43: Nan Xiang's xiao long bao
No. 42: Jones Wood Foundry's bangers and mash
No. 41: White Bear's wontons
No. 40: The Harrison's toasted couscous and farro salad
No. 39: Katja's sausage sampler
No. 38: Magpies' strawberry-balsamic magpie
No. 37: Bunker's pho ga
No. 36: Fritzl's Lunch Box's burger
No. 35: Biang's lotus root salad
No. 34: BrisketTown's brisket
No. 33: Bronx Ale House's alehouse nachos
No. 32: Shinobi Ramen's mabo ramen
No. 31: Pok Pok NY's papaya pok pok
No. 30: Land of Plenty's Szechuan Pork Dumplings
No. 29: Financier's pistachio macaron
No. 28: Arancini Bros' Nutella arancini
No. 27: Di Fara's calzone
No. 26: Atera's bone marrow
No. 25: The Mermaid Inn's brunch bread basket
No. 24: Hospoda's fried cherries
No. 23: Xe May's Lam'bretta

Know a dish we shouldn't miss? E-mail us.



Location Info

Cafe Cluny

284 W. 12th St., New York, NY

Category: Restaurant


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