Each Friday afternoon, this list will track five of the best things Heavy Table’s writers, editors, and photographers have recently bitten or sipped. Have a suggestion for the Hot Five? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Braised Meatballs from The Bachelor Farmer
As the other Scandinavian-inspired items on this list will attest, now is the time to dine on hearty Nordic fare. The meatballs at The Bachelor Farmer are profoundly rich and tender, swimming on a bed of potato puree and backed up by sweet-tart cranberry compote and delicately spiced, thinly sliced pickles. This is some sensei-level comfort food jujitsu.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Contributed by James Norton]
Apricot Soleil from Rustica Bakery
Rustica was smart to distance this treat from the gummy, canned-pie-filling connotations of a grocery store Danish. We love the balanced sweetness and visual effect of the sunny, tart half apricot perched atop the thick layer of wholesome, vanilla-flecked pastry cream and flaky pastry — all of which miraculously holds together without glopping on your clothes. We paired the pastry with a Verdant Laoshan black tea for a not-too-sweet mid-week pick-me-up.
[Debuting on the Hot Five: | Contributed by Maja Ingeman]
Kimchi and Mac and Cheese
Among the leftovers from our epic Pasty Laboratory were a small container of scratch mac and cheese and a large jar of kimchi. As it turns out, the sharp, bright, funky kick of kimchi is a perfect foil for the rich warmth of mac and cheese. And so, these two foods — seemingly unrelated — are revealed to be secret best buddies.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Contributed by Becca Dilley]
Barbecued Goat Tacos from La Huasteca
The Barbacoa de Chivo tacos at La Huasteca consist of big scoops of roasted goat with cilantro, onions, and chili sauce served on doubled-up corn tortillas with lime wedges on the side. In terms of quantity, the two tacos made for a solid $4 lunch. In terms of taste, the goat has the presence and emotional warmth of a pot roast — tender, rich, deeply flavored. This robust and comforting foundation is the perfect pedestal for bright notes of flavor like the acidic tang of lime juice, the crunch of fresh onions, and the heat of salsa. When you eat these tacos, you become happy.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Reviewed by James Norton]
Most of the menu at Fika at The American Swedish Institute
Isabel Subtil writes: “Saturday morning, beautiful day, awesome temperature … it really felt like spring! All we wanted to find was great light (the dream of all food photographers) and simple, tasty food. We found it at the ASI: The plating is so beautiful that your eyes need a moment before the first bite. The flavors are simple but intense. Pictured are beet terrine, salt cod and potato fritter, gravlax, and a macchiato.” Amy Rea writes: “I had the country sausage smorgasar (below). It’s like it’s trying to pretend to be lowly comfort food, when it’s so much more than that — the mild sausage with creamy mustard, the poached egg, the crispy, sour pickled cabbage. Dang. Now I want another one.”
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Contributed by Amy Rea and Isabel Subtil]