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 eight questions, from Meal of the Year to Top Newcomers. All will be answered by the time we turn off the lights at the end of the week. Responses are related in no particular order; all are cut, pasted and unedited herein.
Eataly, one of Ryan Sutton's favorite places. [Krieger, 8/24/10]
Q: What were your top restaurant standbys in 2010?
Ryan Patrick Sutton, Bloomberg restaurant critic: This year my two standbys were newbies. Two instant classics. Ma Peche and Eataly. Ma Peche is what we white shirts needed in Midtown, a place for cheap $10 lunches, $510 beef dinners with investment banker clients (I actually made the bankers pay for their shares because, quite frankly, they could afford it), or a whiskey and coke after work with a buddy. And maybe some black truffles and gnocchi on the side.
As for the orthographically challenged Eataly, it pretty much makes the obnoxiously packed Whole Foods irrelevant. No lines for killer focaccia, no lines at the checkout for when you buy white truffles at cost. (That's because everyone incorrectly wants to wait 60 minutes to eat at the crummy pasta place in the rear). And you can walk around with a Negroni while you shop. That's right. You can booze and browse. That's pretty crunk.
Talia Baiocchi, wine writer: Casa Mono, Marea, Joseph Leonard.
Jay Cheshes, restaurant critic for TONY: Bar Pitti and Morandi for neighborhood pasta, Sunshine 27 for dim sum, Barrio Chino for Mexican, EN Japanese Brasserie for Japanese.
Bret Thorn, Nation's Restaurant News: Red Hot in Park Slope for Chinese delivery. Antonio’s on Flatbush & 7th Av for pizza (slices only — they undercook their pies). Stumptown’s becoming a standby. The coffee deserves the hype.
Gabriella Gershenson, Saveur: Eataly, The Breslin, Shake Shack, Grand Sichuan.
Kate Krader, restaurant editor Food & Wine: Torrisi, Breslin, Locanda, Momofuku Noodle Bar, Ma Peche, Marea, Frankies Spuntino, Lotus of Siam, Bar Boulud, Frannie's.
Marc Shepherd, NY Journal: I don't really have them. If restaurants were relationships, you'd say I'm a one-night stand. But the ones that come to mind are Minetta Tavern, Anfora, and Terroir Tribeca. I suppose it's significant that two of them are wine bars.
Adam Roberts, Amateur Gourmet: The New French (sometimes twice in one day; their tuna sandwich at lunch is addictive), Grand Sichuan (for the soup dumplings, Gui Zhou chicken, & Chinese broccoli) and Pearl Oyster Bar (sure everyone knows about their lobster rolls, but at night Rebecca Charles make a killer bouillabaisse.)
David Sax, writer, author Save The Deli: Mile End, Lucali's, Kappa Sake House (Park Slope), Joe Doe, 2nd Ave Deli, Kevin's (Red Hook), Joe's Pizza (5th Ave Park Slope), Grand Central Oyster Bar, Jin Fong, Miriam, Menkui-tei.
Josh Ozersky, columnist, Time Magazine: : As always, it's my shame and my burden that I don't have standbys — I don't get to go back over and over again to the restaurants I like best. If I had my druthers, I would have DiFara, Gramercy Tavern, Le Bernardin, Seersucker, Perilla, Torrisi, and ten other places on heavy rotation. In point of fact I probably ate most often this year at Morini, Alto,Eisenberg's, Veselka, Burger & Barrel / Lure, RUB, Bill's Gay 90s, La Dinastia, Le Rivage, Bar-Bo-Ne, and Hearth/Terroir.
Matt Rodbard, Metromix: Buttermilk Channel, The Commodore, Pure Thai Shophouse as of late.
Aaron Stern, photographer, DJ, event producer: Bar Pitti, Joseph Leonard, Raoul's.
Michael Williams, AContinuousLean.com: 21 Club, P.J. Clarke's Sidecar, Eisenbergs, Ippudo, Keens, Sakagura, Emporio, Spotted Pig, Il Bagatto, Il Mulino, Joseph Leonard, Max (TriBeCa).
Amanda Sidman, writer NY Daily News: Café Gitane, dell’anima. And I really love The Meatball Shop.
Chris Stang & Andrew Steinthal of Immaculate Infatuation: Momofuku Ssam, Lucali, Torrisi Italian Specialties, Raoul's, anything Blue Ribbon.
Randy Goldberg, UrbanDaddy: Ippudo, Gramercy Tavern, Maialino (for breakfast. Love it for breakfast.), Mary's Fish Camp, Ditch Plains, Locanda Verde, PJ Clarke's.
Andrew Knowlton, restaurant editor, Bon Appetit: Prime Meats, Seersucker, Roberta's, Bar @ Keens Steakhouse, Hibino, Szechuan Gourmet, Fort Defiance
Robert Sietsema, Village Voice critic: Grand Sichuan St. Marks, Ramen Settagaya, Corsino, M. Wells, Tulcingo del Valle.
Leventhal: Breslin (but only in the opera box), Locanda, Ma Peche, Cascabel.
Solish: Diner, Rubirosa, NY Noodle Town, Roberta's, Ippudo, Freemans.
Joshua David Stein, Eater National: Nothing too glamorous here. Many meals at Sel de Mer in Brooklyn, almost daily lunches at Motorino. Cafe Cluny when I find myself in the West Village. The Breslin though probably tops the list in terms of frequency of visits. And if you add Stumptown, that one building accounts for 80% of my disposable income. This explains my high cholesterol and shakiness.
Kludt: I found myself at the wonderful La Nacional quite a bit this year, Motorino, Frankies.
Do feel free to add your own answers to the comments.