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 winter 2017 Eater 38 adds/drops:
— We are shaking things up a little downtown. Fedora, like all of hospitality whiz Gabe Stulman’s restaurants, represents much of what is great about casual dining in NYC, but the time has come for it to drop off the list as the restaurateur focuses on his new project.
— Ballato is loved by many denizens of the surrounding neighborhoods but, upon consideration, was deemed a little too clubby for all. It, along with the still easy to recommend Russ & Daughters, are dropping off the list to make room for some new points of view.
— Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong still offers a great group dining experience with quality cuts of meat. After a long stay on the list, we are replacing the restaurant with a different version of Korean barbecue to shed light on what else is available in the neighborhood.
— Up in Queens, Ganesh Temple Canteen is also gracefully bowing out. Harlem hit The Cecil, which closed last month, is also coming off the list.
What was added:
— Chef Enrique Olvera’s Cosme has become a global destination and is a natural for re-inclusion on the list.
— The pendulum has always swung between Momofuku Noodle Bar and Momofuku Ssam Bar, with a recent revamp of both the decor and the menu of the latter we are putting the former on the list until we can fully evaluate the changes.
— Spicy Village offers some of the best bang-for-your-buck food in a neighborhood that is increasingly pricing out budget dining.
— Perhaps no restaurant has captured the editor’s imagination more than Greg Baxtrom’s Olmsted this year, making it a natural for the 38.
— As mentioned, we are swapping Kang Ho for New Wonjo: A Korean barbecue restaurant that cooks with real wood charcoal, which meat aficionados prefer over electric or gas.
— In Hell’s Kitchen, we added Gazala Place, a Middle Eastern restaurant specializing in the esoteric cuisine of the Druze tribe, and Sake Bar Hagi, the late-night downstairs den serving Japanese bites and beer. Further east in Midtown we welcome the innovative and upscale Indian Accent to the 38.
— Last but by no means least, SriPraPhai is the Thai restaurant every New York neighborhood needs.