The 10 Best Pastrami Dishes in NYC That Aren't Sandwiches
3. Rye pasta at Alder, (157 Second Avenue, 212-539-1900)
When Wylie Dufresne opened this modern pub, the followup to his world renowned Lower East Side laboratory wd-50, one of the most talked about dishes was this clever sandwich-cum-pasta anchored by rye noodles as malty as Scandinavian brown bread. Chef Jon Bignelli folds in a mustard sauce, pastrami shavings, and diced green tomatoes before sprinkling the tangle with powdered pastrami jerky. Thanks to the kitchen's proprietary tricks, the end result tastes like a pastrami sandwich on steroids, or better yet, a pastrami version of The Hulk, only you'll love him when he's angry.
2. Meat knish at Pastrami Queen, (1125 Lexington Avenue, 212-734-1500)
Before this Queen was slinging serious cured beef on Lexington Avenue, she was a he, and the Pastrami King reigned along Queens Boulevard. On the mainland since 1999, the meat comes piled high into sandwiches for $16 or layered with sauerkraut inside bloated potato knishes for $23. But a slightly smaller, all-meat knish costs just $9.50, and its mixture of coarsely chopped pastrami and corned beef baked inside a dough crust is simply a brilliant idea. Imagine your favorite deli sandwich concentrated into a sort of meatball or hache en croute. Sliced into sections, you might mistake it for French country paté. Split it open and dip the edges into mustard or Russian dressing for an undeniably filling sub-$10 meal.
1. Octopus pastrami at Bâtard, (239 West Broadway, 212-219-2777)
Lauded hospitality expert and veteran restaurateur Drew Nieporent tapped Austrian chef Markus Glocker for his newest restaurant, a third-time's-a-charm European darling plugged into the Tribeca space that formerly held Montrachet and Corton. Glocker's food doesn't go for gut punches, but there are plenty of exciting tastes, from tender veal wrapped in brioche to beets paired with red currants. One of the chef's more playful preparations is his octopus "pastrami" ($27.50 if part of the minimum two-course prix fixe), which finds a block of cephalopod held together by the animal's natural gelatins. Slice into the nautical mosaic and load your fork with the dish's remaining elements: potatoes, mustard, shredded ham hock, and croutons soaked in the ham hock braising liquid. It might not be kosher, but we'd love to see it sliced thin and stacked high, like something served at SpongeBob's local delicatessen.
529 Hudson St., New York, NY
1125 Lexington Ave., New York, NY
230 W. 4th St., New York, NY
363 Greenwich St., New York, NY
120 Essex St., New York, NY
271 Smith St., New York, NY
157 2nd Ave., New York, NY
239 W. Broadway, New York, NY