Our critics scoured the city to find its most essential eats, from fried shrimp to tofu toast.

 

OH MY! CARAMEL PIE at Beatrix

Humble pie this ain’t. Beatrix’s signature dessert is baked slow and low for three hours and allowed to set overnight so that the caramel custard achieves a dreamy consistency, which lands somewhere between pudding and fudge. Put that in a twice-baked shortbread cookie shell and top it with vanillabean- flecked whipped cream, and it’s no wonder this outsells Beatrix’s equally famous chocolate cake.

 

COWBOY STEAK at RPM Steak

RPM knows what to do with a bone-in rib eye: dry-age it for 28 days, sear it until it develops a smoky char, then embellish it with nothing more than the granular crunch of gray sea salt. The waiter brings the meat with the bone intact like he’s working a dinner party for cavemen and not a bunch of suits paying $83 for the privilege of slicing into the buttery pink flesh. Regardless of your place on the evolutionary timeline, it’s 24 ounces of pleasure.