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The Eater 38 Summer 2016 Update: What Was Added and What Was Dropped

Notes on recent changes to Eater's guide to the essential New York restaurants

Nick Solares

Every three months, the Eater 38 gets a fresh update. After poring over comments, emails, and tips from friends and readers, the Eater editors take a good, hard look at the list and ponder which restaurants need to be re-evaluated, and which could be added to the map. After an intense period of professional eating, note-taking, and debating, the list is whittled down to the 38 restaurants that reflect what's exciting and essential about dining in New York.

Occasionally restaurants leave the list because of dips in quality or changes in personnel, but more often than not, they're moved off the map to free up space so that other amazing restaurants can bolster the all-star team. With that in mind, here's an annotated guide to the summer 2016 Eater 38 adds/drops. What you will immediately notice is that we have switched several restaurants within their respective groups. This is done to not only to keep the map fresh, but also to either recognize the fine work of the chefs at related establishments, or to commemorate particular milestones. Here are the switches:

The Spotted Pig continues to be a seminal restaurant and one that is an indispensable part of the story of dining in NYC. But by its very nature, it needs to offer a sense of permanence that extends to the menu. After much debate, we have decided to shift the limelight to The Breslin which has evolved into the city’s most accomplished and inspired destination for carnivorous eating, with a special nod to the fine work of chef Christina Lecki.

Momofuku Noodle Bar continues to offer the perfect example of what makes dining in the East Village so much fun, but over at Momofuku Ssäm Bar Mathew Rudofker has matured along with the restaurant itself.

— Andrew Tarlow’s Diner still serves as the template for the 21st century Brooklyn restaurant. But Marlow & Sons next door offers what is arguably an even more refined vision of the Tarlow aesthetic.

Lafayette is still the most serviceable restaurant between Houston and 23rd Street, but down in Soho, The Dutch has just reached the crucial half decade mark and has become the quintessential American restaurant downtown needs.

And here are the add/drops:

—  Tori Shin is NY's finest yakitori restaurant, but it was added to the 38 as a last minute replacement for Sushi Dojo following the departure of David Bouhadana. Cosme is still the vibrant, buzzing restaurant that got it on the 38 in the first place. But both restaurants are making way for two stately establishments from accomplished chef, that have both recently achieved the significant 10 year mark:

— John Fraser’s Dovetail celebrated the decade mark last year. Having anticipated the vegetable-forward trend and by continuing to uphold the ethos of fine dining, Dovetail offers one of the city’s most civilized eating experiences.

—Michael Lomonaco’s Porter House Bar and Grill opened a decade ago (as Porter House NY). It was an ambitious endeavor as the same space had housed the failed V Steakhouse (a rare misstep by Jean-Georges Vongerichten). But for Lomonaco, it was a comeback after the tragedy of 9/11: He was the chef at Windows on the World. Ten years down the road, Porterhouse has become one of the city’s grand restaurant.

Fu Ran still offers affordable and downright tasty specialties from the Dongbei region in far northeastern China, but we are making room for Bamboo Garden, which offers great dim sum.