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Introducing the Eater 38

In our tireless quest to keep you surgically attached to the pulse of the NYC dining scene, we often find ourselves fixated week-to-week on those venues that have just opened—and those from which the loudest buzz emanates. These, the Nobu 57s and Cookshops of our fair city. The grind of this process steals our focus away from a smaller group of venues – 38, to be exact – upon which the constant flow of newbies is mostly based. It is these older venues that, with all due apologies to Thomas Keller, define New York City's eating culture, not their newer peers.

In this spirit, we’re excited to announce the Eater 38, a new site feature and our answer to any question that begins, “Can you recommend a restaurant…” This highly elite group will cover the city, span myriad cuisines and, collectively, satisfy all of your restaurant needs, save for those occasions when you absolutely insist on spending half a paycheck. Over time, the list will change, but we’ll keep the total number steady at 38. The only hard and fast rule of engagement at the start is that a restaurant must be open at least six months to qualify for inclusion on the list.

We'll announce the first member of the Eater 38 shortly, and we suspect its selection will come as no surprise. (The bigger question: With his current tally of nine New York venues, is it conceivable that JGV will be snubbed completely?)

Now let's eat.

Want to nominate a venue for 38 consideration? Can’t believe a venue has placed? As always, your feedback and suggestions are welcome.

[Special hat tip to Budapest blog, which inspired this concept. Eater 38 logo by Jonathan Van Gieson.]