The Best Dishes Our Editors Ate in February

Standouts include a deep-fried golden pave and a cheesecake in the shape of a lemon.

Lemon Cheesecake from Bad Roman

Christian Harder

As much as we love the excitement of planning our next meal, snack, or restaurant outing, it’s nice to take some time to appreciate the delicious things we’ve already eaten. That's why this February, our editors made a conscious effort to really slow down and savor each bite, whether we were out at restaurants or in our kitchens. A variety of standout dishes impressed our editors this month, from tiramisu ice cream cake to New Orleans-Style Jambalaya. Read on for the best dishes we ate in February.

Lemon Cheesecake from Bad Roman (New York, NY)

“Shaped like the most perfect lemon in the grocery store, this cheesecake is exactly why it's so fun to order dessert at the end of a big meal. I loved the graham cracker crumbs (instead of a crust), and the cake itself was a perfect balance of sweet and tart.” – Oset Babür-Winter, Senior Drinks Editor

Ice Cream Sundae and Devil's Food Chocolate Cake from Porter House (New York, NY)

“Steakhouse sides get all the love, but steakhouse desserts don't get nearly enough credit for being consistently delicious and comforting. On a recent trip to Porter House, the steakhouse from quintessential New York chef Michael Lomonaco, I refused to choose between the devil's food chocolate cake and the ice cream sundae, and I'm so glad I didn't. The vanilla and caramel ice cream sundae, packed expertly with chunks of brownie, cookies, meringue, and maple-soaked walnuts, became the bite of my dreams once I doused it all in hot fudge. And nothing goes with a sundae like a giant piece of cake to wash it all down.” – Maria Yagoda, Senior Editor

Ice Cream Sundae Mashup and Devil's Food Chocolate Cake from PorterHouse

Courtesy of PorterHouse Bar & Grill

Everything from Johnny’s Homewood (Birmingham, AL)

“Every single thing on the plate was so good, I did not want the experience to end.”  – Ameila Rampe, Senior Food Editor

Crispy Okra from Tatiana by Kwame Onwuachi (New York, NY)

“I'm still trying to break down how they achieved the textural feat of this okra. Crispy as advertised, sure — but a thick, sweet (but not overly so) honey-mustard-peppa-sauce glaze did nothing to dampen it, as so often happens when sauce meets shard. A fellow diner exclaimed, ‘This is candy!’ in a way you never expect from okra, but then again, okra can do anything. Then again, I suppose so can Kwame.” – Kat Kinsman, Executive Features Editor

Steamed Egg from Porcelain (Brooklyn, NY)

“This jiggly, luscious steamed egg ate almost more like silken tofu. It was topped with loads of black vinegar, chili oil, scallion, and crunchy peanuts, making it ultra savory and spicy. I keep dreaming about that perfect bite – a clean spoonful of the egg scooped on top of a small pile of rice, letting it soak up every last bit of that addictive saucy, oily situation.” – Amelia Schwartz, Associate Editor

Grilled Cabbage with Sunflower Seeds and Dill from Claud (New York, NY)

“Every dish at Claud surprises and delights with exceptionally executed flavor, but cabbage may not sound as tempting as the inevitably irresistible chicken liver agnolotti, delicate mushroom mille-feuille, and rich escargot croquettes. I am still daydreaming about the char, seasoning, and texture that made the humble wedge stand out and beckon for a repeat visit.” – Ashley Day, Updates Editor

Grilled Cabbage with Sunflower Seeds and Dill from Claud

Karissa Ong

Dim Sum from Asian Jewels (Queens, NY)

“I think few textures are better than steamed bun texture. These steamed custard buns (and all the other steamed buns I had at Asian Jewels) were perfectly done — the ideal balance of fluffy, chewy, soft, bounciness that constitutes steamed bun heaven. The sweet egg custard filling was so rich and flavorful, and it was literally oozing out after I took my first bite. This was only my second time having steamed custard buns, and I am already convinced that they're a perfect food.” – Merlyn Miller, Social Media Editor

Leah's Cabbage and ‘On My Way Home Mussels’ from Leah and Lousie (Charlotte, NC)

“Everything from Leah & Louise is a 10/10 but I genuinely can’t stop thinking about their smothered slow-roasted cabbage and mussels. The cabbage is stuffed with smoked sausage and smothered with pepper honey in a rich sauce … unreal. The mussels on the other hand are cooked in this delicious butter, lemon, and Worcestershire sauce paired with some dream cornmeal brioche. I couldn’t stop eating them and once I was finished, I was savoring that brioche to sop up the leftover sauces.” – Alexandra Domrongchai, Editorial Fellow 

Leah's Cabbage from Leah and Lousie

Peter Taylor Photography

Tiramisu Ice Cream Cake from Bad Roman (New York, NY)

“This tiramisu ice cream cake was so creamy, with silky coffee ice cream and soft espresso-soaked cake. Sliced and presented like a layer cake, it was a whimsical twist on the classic Italian dessert. The dessert menu at New York's buzzy new restaurant Bad Roman echoes the ethos of the restaurant as a whole: playful takes on red sauce Italian classics that are expertly executed but not taken all too seriously (dessert aperitifs are served in glasses hot glued to cars, and the focal point of the restaurant's over-the-top interior is a massive warthog sculpture wearing a neon collar). As an ice cream fanatic, I loved ending my meal this way.” – Lucy Simon, Editorial Assistant

New Orleans-Style Jambalaya 

“This jambalaya by Anna Theoktisto was just what my husband and I needed on a chilly Fat Tuesday night. I love that she has you make a quick shrimp stock while you prep the other ingredients — it reduces your cooking waste and adds so much flavor to the dish. Searing the andouille sausage and bacon together rendered so much good, smoky fat to use for cooking the bell pepper, celery, onions, and rice, and using spicy smoked paprika gave the jambalaya just the right kick. This recipe is a definite keeper.” – Chandra Ram, Associate Editorial Director

Potato Pave from Bar La Fête (Birmingham, AL)

“One of the appetizers that's always on the menu at this new downtown Birmingham wine bar is the Potato Pave: deep-fried, golden, crispy, bite-sized cubes stacked, thinly shingled potatoes. It's served with an herbed creme fraîche that's like the fanciest ranch dressing you've ever had. I order it every time and every time, I love it.” – Karen Shimizu, Executive Editor

Tiramisu Ice Cream Cake from Bad Roman

Christian Harder

Hot Chicken Sandwich from Eugene's Hot Chicken (Birmingham, AL)

“The quest for fried chicken sandwich glory, specifically ones with some kick, is a saturated battlefield. While there is a range of spice levels at Eugene’s Hot Chicken, the sandwich isn't just piquant for piquancy's sake. Two massive tenders are fried to crackling perfection and one bite reveals white meat that is so moist it glistens. What sets this sandwich off is that the layers of spice, smokiness, and acidity don't sit atop the chicken's exterior. Those layers also penetrate the inside of the tenders with gusto. A little coleslaw, pickles, and a fluffy potato bun combine the whole thing for a massive bite. No one looks cute eating it, but everyone looks fantastic enjoying it. Bonus points if you get it with the fried pickled okra as a side!” – Andee Mckenzie, Assistant Food Editor

Omakase Menu from Sushi Noz (New York, NY)

“The dinner I got to enjoy was a collaboration between chef Nozomu Abe and chef Brian Lockwood (former head chef at Eleven Madison Park). The meal consisted of 15 incredible courses featuring classics from Abe and dishes that Lockwood prepared using ingredients and methods employed by Abe. Every course was a dream, but highlights included hay-smoked baby bluefin with fermented koi jalapeño sauce, rockfish with buttermilk-mussel jus and shiso blossom, and the most perfect chocolate tarte from Lockwood.

I also tried grilled blowfish shirako, a.k.a. blowfish semen, which was, if not my favorite thing to eat, certainly a memorable bite! The best thing about the meal was how you could taste the craftsmanship and attention to detail that went into every single morsel. It was also such a treat to be right in front of the chefs in a gorgeous, intimate setting and to be able to ask them about their techniques and inspiration. While this dinner series was short-lived, be on the lookout because chef Lockwood is coming back for another collaboration with chef Abe this summer!” – Sam Gutierrez, Senior Social Editor

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