Billy Lyons' Best Bites of 2013
Whether grabbing a table for two for a fancy date night or shuffling up to the bar for a solo encounter, dining out in the city this year gave me a lot of great memories (as well as pounds I can now work off starting in January). Here are the 10 best bites that came my way during 2013, ones I'm dead set on repeating next year.
Courtesy Michelle McSwain/Nitehawk Cinema Dinner and a movie? Or a movie themed dinner?
The bar was set low for my duck schnitzel order at this restaurant: I'm used to thinking about nothing more than what I'll be drinking out of in a German restaurant, and I chose this dish because I wanted to say "schnitzel" in a super sexy voice to see how my date would react. I'm glad I did, because I spent the rest of the evening in awe. Harold Dieterle's duck version was superb, and I was excited even if my server wasn't wearing traditional lederhosen.
Courtesy Maysville Crispy Grits with Kentucky ham and bourbon aioli
9. Maysville, Crispy Grits
Though I've had my fair share of grits, Kyle Knall's crispy square rendition topped with Kentucky ham might be the best, thanks both to taste and presentation: ham and bourbon aioli are stacked atop the perfectly structured cornmeal square. This dish proves that having breakfast on a dinner menu -- and doing so without the stereotypical fried egg -- is a stroke of genius.
Billy Lyons Spicy Abura Soba
8. Ramen Yebisu, Spicy Abura Soba
Though ramen soup gets most of the attention these days, the brothless mazemen at this tiny counter cannot be passed up -- you'll have to ask for extra noodles with your order because they go down quickly. They're mixed with a thin piece of seaweed, a poached egg, pork, and scallions, creating the dish's well balanced appeal. Bonus: This is a great place to dine alone.
99 Bank St., New York, NY
17 W. 26th St., New York, NY
126 N. 6th St., New York, NY
325 Bowery, New York, NY
50 Commerce St., New York, NY
189 Spring St., New York, NY
84 Havemeyer St., Brooklyn, NY
136 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn, NY