This year, if you’ve not been eating pedigreed steak and tacos, deliriously good seafood and small plates that transport you to the Mediterranean, then I’m sorry, but you need to start over.
It’s always exhilarating to release the list of the best new restaurants, which is now online. They’re the ones that, in a year of eating—of sampling, canvassing, savoring—rose above others and filled me repeatedly with delight. It’s not always the fanciest that impress most. This year, some of the dishes that nearly edged out the Restaurant of the Year—see which one it is here!—were served on real estate the size of a corn tortilla.
Memorable moments included the night at Town Hearth when I discovered that a former classmate now works for an agency that cannot here be named, and we sat for a moment in silence contemplating the ribs of a righteous steak before he mentioned casually that he’d already scoped out the places in the vast theater of chandeliers where one might take cover, starting with the submersed yellow submarine: water brakes bullets. There was the evening at Revolver Taco Lounge, when I listened to pieces from the Mexico City orchestra on vinyl while admiring the back room’s dramatically spot-lit revolvers and stone molcajetes. There were other evenings, unforgettable for other reasons.
We continue not to be a city that does terribly well with desserts, though when the newcomers’ contributions were noteworthy, I noted it. Meanwhile, the best service in both high-end and low- was warm and efficient, genuine without seeming forced.
There are the things I didn’t get to write about. The frozen margarita at José, which merits its own story. The lovely things Richard Patino is doing with the spirits list at Sachet.
And some of the spots on this list have only gotten better since I filed copy for the December cover. Which is why I say, read on. And stay hungry. And know we’ve got you covered. Including best seats, ballistically speaking. Should you be so moved, we are having an event on Nov. 27 where you can taste each of the 10 restaurants in one place. Here are more details on that.