As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, bloggers, and readers. This year, we asked the group seven questions, from Meal of the Year to Top Standbys. Meals of the Year, Biggest Dining Surprises, Neighborhoods of the year, and the Year in One Word have already dropped. All will be answered by the time we turn off the lights on Wednesday. The answers here are in no particular order; all responses cut, pasted and unedited:
Ippudo, repeatedly named here as Standby of the Year 2008
Q: Name yourr top restaurant standbys of 2008?
Andrew Knowlton, Bon Appetit: Frankies 457 Spuntino in Brooklyn; Redhead in Manhattan
Ken Friedman, The John Dory: Suenos, Momofuku Ssam Bar, Craftsteak (best sliders in town.. by a mile)
Oliver Schwaner-Albright, New York Times: I worship the lobster roll at Mary’s Fish Camp. And I try to have the pho at Nam Son at least every other week.
Kate Krader, Food & Wine:. Spotted Pig - April's really got the menu in an awesome place, and it's always fun to be there; Ssam Bar - it's my favorite restaurant in the world, and was even before they put milk bar and the candy pie next door; Gottino - addicted to the walnut pesto; Del Posto - have rediscovered it. the inoteca prix fixe menu is the best deal in new york, mark ladner's cooking is perfect; PDT/Crif Dogs - the wylie dog, waffle fries with cheese and jalapenos (we're hearing about danger tots for next year, tater tots topped with chili, cheese, bacon, sour cream, etc - and of course magnificent cocktails. Plus, there's Johnny Iuzzini tending bar on sunday nights.
William Tigertt, Freemans: Lupa, Ushiwakumaru, and Lure
Matt Rodbard, Metromix: All-year: Schiller’s, Lucali, Ippudo. Lately: Momofuku Bakery, for the take away pork buns.
Steve Kamali, Kamali Logistics Management: Sant Ambroeus, Soho House, Nobu
Danyelle Freeman, Restaurant Girl: I wish I had time for standbys. But when I can, I sneak over to the Burger Joint in the Parker Meridien or Bar Pitti or Sushi Yasuda. I have an expensive Yasuda habit.
Ed Levine, Missionary of the Delicious: Ouest, Grand Sichuan International on 24th and 9th, Kefi
Ryan Sutton, Bloomberg: Bar Boulud: It's a Balthazar for Lincoln Center : Crowded and communal. Probably the only restaurant this year that gave us something we almost completely lacked: outstanding charcuterie. My ex-girlfriend once tried to make me leave before I finished my tasting platter of meats. Now you know why she’s my ex-girlfriend. Don’t touch my pate-grand mere.
Rachelle Hruska, Guest of a Guest: Blue Ribbon
Zach Brooks, Midtown Lunch: Noodle Bar/Ssam Bar. Despite all the Momofuku hype, I'm still amazed by how good it is each and every time.
Adam Kuban, Serious Eats: Veselka
Steve Shaw, eGullet: Burger Bar at Beacon, the great unsung burger destination. The Beacon Burger, at $12.95, is 8 oz. of grilled Niman Ranch Certified Natural Black Angus beef on country toast with (on the side) grilled red onion, lettuce, tomato, house-made pickles and ketchup, and very good garlic fries. I have been going almost weekly for the past year. You can only get the burgers at the 6-seat counter from noon through 2:30pm.
Gabriella Gershenson, TONY: I think my staff would nominate Ippudo. They always seem to be looking for an excuse to go back. I have to admit, there is something quite appealing about a one-bowl meal.
Alexis Loinaz, Metromix: Standby restaurant of '08? Ippudo. Oh, that garlicky, porky, porky broth.
Mary Rambin, NonSociety: Casa Mono, Nobu Next Door, Little Owl
Noa Taffet, Stilettos on Cobblestone: Spotted Pig (lunch), Little Owl, Dell'Anima
Bret Thorn, Nation's Restaurant News: Grand Sichuan (on Bowery and Canal), Rhong Tiam, Aquavit (the café section in the front).
Robert Sietsema, Village Voice: The glorious prix-fixe lunch (and discounted wine list) at Perry St.
Steve Plotnicki, Opinionated About Dining: Momofuku Noodle Bar
Brooks of Sheffield, Lost City: For me, Lucali. I live nearby. It never fails to satisfy. And I love pizza.
Cia Bernales, Writing with My Mouth Full: Momofuku Ssam. I can't deny getting on the David Chang bandwagon. The food is consistently tasty and satisfying. Plus, can you really find better pork buns? Standby hole-in-the-wall? I can eat Lahore's Pakistani food everyday, no problem.
Staff, Eat Me Daily: Diner
The Cutty, The Dash Feedbag: Convivio. There's never a time when I'm not ready to eat one or another of the spaghettis, and if I'm hobnobbing with bigwigs, or just really hungry, I can get the big proteins, like the brasato of short rib that I am currently crushing on.
Kludt: Lupa, Frankies
BL: Balthazar, Spotted Pig, Upstairs at Bouley
LS: Haven't referenced last year's list, but I bet it looked pretty much like this year's. Standbys are standbys for a reason. 1. Schillers; 2. Frankie's 17; 3. Lure
Do feel free to add your own answers to the comments.