Comfort food No. 1: Brasilina’s Beef Stroganoff
This classic, creamy beef stroganoff from Russia, whether served by your grandmother or your lunch lady, has always comforted us. But you may be surprised to know that it’s a staple in many Brazilian kitchens as well. In Hell’s Kitchen, the romantic, contemporary restaurant Brasilina cooks up a slightly exotic version with strips of filet mignon topped with crispy fried onions. When it’s served, your waiter will flip the bowl over a mound of fragrant jasmine rice. Only the Brazilians could make stroganoff this sexy.
836 Ninth Ave.
Comfort food No. 2: Dassara Ramen’s Mushroom Ramen
A newcomer to the ramen scene that’s been simmering away in Manhattan and Brooklyn, Carroll Gardens’ Dassara is creating its own Brooklyn-variety ramen. “Our concept aspires to at least raise the question of what a regional New York ramen style would consist of,” says owner Josh Kaplan. You may have already heard of their Deli Ramen, which tucks tiny matzo balls and strips of Mile End Deli’s smoked meat into a bowl of fresh noodles and chicken broth. But we love the vegetarian version: a variety of wild mushrooms and a soft-poached egg float in a broth enriched by a secret ingredient: butter.
271 Smith St., Brooklyn
Comfort food No. 3: Paprika’s Pizzoccheri
In one of the few quiet spots on St. Mark’s Place, Paprika serves cuisine of the Valtellina region of Italy, which takes its cues from Switzerland and Austria. Pizzoccheri is a cozy bowl of handmade buckwheat noodles tossed with potatoes, garlic, casera cheese and Savoy cabbage. It’s comforting and rich, but not heavy; the double serving of carbs is lightened by the cabbage. In a menu full of unusual dishes, the pizzoccheri, by its humble description, is easy to overlook. But don’t — these homespun noodles tossed with slightly sticky cheese are memorably soothing.
110 Saint Marks Pl.