While you may be swayed to dally over the sculptures and paintings adorning the lobby of the Art Hotel, sandwiches trump art, so head straight for the fourth floor instead, where Fire, the hotel's restaurant, resides. Once there, take a seat at one of the tables against the floor-to-ceiling windows and get ready to try one of the best sandwiches around: Fire's croque monsieur.
Now, you might think a croque monsieur is just a glorified grilled cheese, but this hot, gooey construction — created here by chef Chris Jakubiec — offers so much more. First, the chef sources toothsome sourdough bread locally from the Grateful Bread Company. Then he layers on slices of genuine Swiss Gruyere, a nutty, sweetish cheese that proves neither pungent nor bland, making it the perfect choice for melting inside the sandwich. It also happens to work well for broiling on top of the dish, which he does to give the finished sandwich a brown, crackling top that breaks away into even more silky cheese.
To further enhance the umami richness of the sandwich, Jakubiec throws in applewood-smoked ham from Tender Belly, which gives even more depth and the perfect meaty, salty touch. And if you're feeling extra fancy, add a fried egg to the mix and make it croque madame. Don't pass up the golden fries that come with this sandwich, and be sure to ask for a side of spicy mayonnaise for dipping. Then sit back, peer outside and take in the bustle of Broadwa, bite by bite. After you've had your fill of this little work of art, you can marvel at the rest of the hotel at your leisure.
Hungry for more? All the dishes in our 2016 countdown are linked below.
No. 100: Masala Beef at Biju's Little Curry Shop
No. 99: Bacon Shrimp and Grits at Bacon Social House
No. 98: Porchetta and Kimchi Sandwich at Brider
No. 97: Squab-and-Sunchoke Tortellini at Abejas
No. 96: Housemade Burrata at Viand
No, 95: Schweinshaxe at Rhein Haus
No. 94 Kimchi Jeon at Seoul BBQ
No. 93: Zuppa Pomodoro at Parisi Italian Market & Deli
No. 92: The Ocean Salad at Sushi-Rama
No. 91: The Signature Bowl from Churn & Burn
No. 90: Green Chorizo at Los Compadres
No. 89: The Diavola Calzone at Pino's Neighborhood Pizzeria
No. 88: Biscuits and Green Chile at the Noshery
No. 87: Chirashi at Izu Sushi
No. 86: Brisket and Ribs at GQue Championship BBQ
No. 85: The Tornado at the Chowder Room
No. 84: Korean Fried Chicken Wings at Yong Gung
No. 83: A Meatball Hero at Lil' Ricci's New York Pizzeria
No. 82: Shakshuka at Stowaway Coffee + Kitchen
No. 81: Late-Night Ramen at Brazen
No. 80: Potato Tacos at El Tejado
No. 79: Corned Beef Heart at theWay Back
No. 78: The Fried Bologna Sandwich at Snarfburger
No. 77: Sweet Corn Mezzaluna at Bar Dough
No. 76: Duck Confit at Table 6