James Beard Awards, we absolutely felt zero twinges of jealousy (though we do think the Philly shut-out this year was rather absurd). In fact, when we bit into one of chef Pat Cancelliere’s empanadas at Italian Market BYO 943, we couldn’t have cared less about what was going down in other cities, much less at the table beside us. That’s how transportive these flaky pockets of meat are.
It’s actually thanks to the chef’s mother (contributor of the South American side of Cancelliere’s Italian-Argetntinian heritage), who visits the kitchen regularly to whip up the Tucuman style treats. Fried to a bubbling golden brown, the dough provides a crispy, ethereal crunch, essential to a good empanada. It’s what’s in the middle, however, that really makes the difference.
Ground beef is both sweet and spicy, the flavors woven together with the addition of egg. Pulled chicken brings a lighter bite, just as full of umami, with bright bits of olive. And you’ve never had a ham-and-cheese like this jamon y queso, salty parmacotto layered with tangy crucolo. The sampler ($10) lets you try all three. Definitely the best way to start your dinner, or swing into the sunny white-tiled dining room to enjoy the trio as your next lunch (267-687-2675).