Welcome back to The Bib, food52 and Eater's first ever restaurant competition, where notable New Yorkers whittle down a list of New York's best new restaurants. Every day during the Bib, one of 15 chosen judges will explain why one restaurant, narrowed down from a giant list of '09 and '10 openings by our Bib Panel, defeated the other in a comparative tasting.
So far, The Awl's Choire Sicha advanced M. Wells, musician Brian Chase advanced Maialino, writer Regina Schrambling chose Ma Peche, actress Zoe Kazan moved Marea forward, College Humor co-founder Ricky Van Veen favored Kin Shop over Takashi, WSJ Magazine Editor-in-Chief Deborah Needleman picked Locanda Verde, and fashion designer Peter Som prefered Red Rooster. Now Passion Pit's Michael Angelakos judges Torrisi Italian Specialties and Rubirosa.
Assuming the role of a critic, I must have a certain set of criteria to judge my victims accordingly, right? A great dining experience is as much about the ambience or aura, if you will, as the food. Scenes and settings are not something I have any particular preference for -- as long as it feels right and it's part of a thoughtfully conceived package, I’m happy. Beyond the decor, we're talking about seating arrangements, sound, even lighting. Many dinners have been ruined by claustrophobia-induced anxiety attacks, or the music being just too damn loud.