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Brooklyn’s best bites in 2012

for The Brooklyn Paper

Whether standing, sitting, or eating on the go, after a year of living in Brooklyn, most borough residents can boast that they’ve eaten everything under the sun.

In case the blur of food has left you in a daze, here’s the most delectable dishes of 2012:

1. The Scuttlebutt Sandwich at Saltie, Williamsburg

You start smiling as soon as you order this sandwich. “I’ll have a Scuttlebutt for here, please” — it’s fun to say. You’ll keep smiling as you wait for your sandwich in the adorable bite-sized shop, outfitted with nautical gear and staffed by a friendly, eager-to-please staff. But you’ll have to smile and chew at the same time once your Scuttlebutt arrives and you take a bite. Sandwiched between two homemade slices of meaty Italian focaccia, the Scuttlebutt carries olives, capers, herbs, pickles, feta, hard-boiled egg and a slathering of fabulous aioli. Bright, balanced and briny, it’s one happy sandwich.

[378 Metropolitan Ave. at Havemeyer Street, in Williamsburg, (718) 387–4777, www.saltieny.com].

2. The Finocchio Flower Power Pizza at Krescendo, Boerum Hill

Though she rose to fame as a pastry chef, Elizabeth Falkner has made a name for herself and her restaurant Krescendo with the Finocchio Flower Power. Falkner, who won the 2012 Naples World Pizza Cup, is bound to gain a legion of adoring fans thanks to the pie, which is topped with panna, provolone, braised fennel, fennel fronds, fennel sausage, fennel pollan, and fiori di finnochio. It’s a celebration of fennel in all its forms, but with a light, flavorful dough charred just right in their wood-burning oven, it’s really a celebration of pizza in its highest form.

[364 Atlantic Ave. between Hoyt and Bond streets in Boerum Hill, (718) 330–0888, www.krescendobrooklyn.com].

3. The Miso Ramen at Naruto Ramen, Park Slope

It’s well known that not all ramen is created equal. Park Slope’s crowded ramen joint Naruto Ramen serves big bowls of the good stuff that wont break the bank like Momofuku Noodle Bar or some of the other trendier spots in town.

My favorite at Naruto is the miso variety, which adds depth to an already flavorful soup stock. Atop the soup and chewy ramen noodles sits a fish cake, roast pork, boiled egg, radish, and scallions and nori. For $9 (they have great deals Tuesday–Thursday as well), this might be some of the best ramen in town.

[276 Fifth Ave. between Garfield Place and Second Street in Park Slope, (718) 832–1111, www.narutoterakawa.com].

4. The Onion Quiche at Ovenly, Greenpoint

It has been said that if eggs were as rare as truffles, they would be even more valuable. The lovely Ovenly in Greenpoint, an oasis of baked goods quietly placed along the industrial Greenpoint waterfront, proves this saying true. While the tiny outpost is better known for some of the city’s best oven-made sweets, the savory items stack up too. The onion quiche sitting on the counter always catches my eye, and proves itself a perfect treatment of the delicate egg. It has rich, creamy eggs baked into a light, flavorful quiche. No easy feat, but Ovenly bakes magic every time.

[31 Greenpoint Ave. at West Street, in Greenpoint, (347) 689–3608, www.oven.ly].

5. The Agnolotti, Hunter’s, Smith Street

Agnolotti, the folded ravioli hailing from the Piedmont region of Italy, are not easy to come by in the States. Particularly hard to come by are the agnolotti that stand up to their Italian-made cousins. But at Hunter’s Brooklyn in Cobble Hill, the tiny morsels are prepared with winter squash, sage, pumpkin seeds and Brussels sprouts — and they recall Northern Italy in every bite. Warm, buttery, and comforting, this dish is an escape to Italy right on Smith Street.

[213 Smith St. between Baltic and Butler streets in Cobble Hill, (718) 246–2221, www.huntersbrooklyn.com].

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