Best Tableside Dish

Mozzarella at Jasper's Restaurant

The dish prepared tableside with artful flourish — Caesar salad, cherries jubilee, steak Diane — was once a fine-dining staple. But a recent revival at Jasper's Restaurant (which abandoned most of its signature tableside dishes when it moved to its 103rd Street location a decade ago) has become one of the best-selling dishes of the house. Chef and co-owner Jasper Mirabile Jr. and his nephew, Jasper III, wheel a cart bearing a metal bowl of cheese curds, a pitcher of hot water, and some Sicilian sea salt to perform the miracle of turning the curds and steaming salt water into a satiny ball of fresh mozzarella. The cheese is stretched like taffy, rolled into a ball, sliced and served with seasonal vegetables and crusty ciabatta. It's heaven on a plate.

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