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In 2022, you still loved steak.
Skirt Steak

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Eater New York’s 10 Most-Read Stories of 2022

In the third year of the pandemic, readers responded to industry drama, new openings, restaurant reviews, and Michelin stars

It’s been a weird year of eating, New York — made weirder by the fact that most of you were back at it in full swing. Dining out. Trading reservations. Still not getting into Bonnie’s. And generally, clicking almost everything we wrote about sushi, steakhouses, and Michelin stars. At the start of 2022, proof of vaccination was still required to dine indoors. But as the year wore on, we started to see the beginnings of life beyond COVID, and what it might look like for restaurants and diners. Our team dug into the city’s broken reservation culture and interviewed some of the key players behind it. We debated the city’s best restaurants and revived our list of the worst.

Over the course of the past 12 months, we’ve published hundreds of stories chronicling this year’s dining scene. These are the 10 you read most in ascending order:

Anna Delvey, the 31-year-old con artist, wears sunglasses after being released from ICE custody.
Anna Sorokin is launching a dinner series out of her apartment while under house arrest.
Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

10. Anna Delvey Is Launching a Dinner Series out of Her East Village Apartment While Under House Arrest

A spokesperson for con artist Anna Delvey promised to invite us to the first night of the dinner series she’s planning to run out of her East Village apartment while under house arrest — as long as we didn’t break this story. Anyone have a plus-one?

Tonburi caviar sits next to lettuce wraps and vegan creme fraiche
Tonburi caviar at Eleven Madison Park.
Getty Images/Gary He

9. Eleven Madison Park Easily Costs Hundreds More With New Tipping Policy

Eleven Madison Park kept its three Michelin stars as a vegan restaurant, but at what cost? Eater’s chief critic Ryan Sutton can tell you. In January, the fine dining institution announced that it would end its longstanding no-tipping policy the following month, and patrons would soon have the “option” of leaving a gratuity. “Eleven Madison Park is effectively having customers shell out a lot more for the nightly tasting by bringing back tipping,” Sutton wrote at the time. How much more? At 20 percent gratuity, he estimated the cost of dinner would increase by around $130 per person, before optional wine pairings.

A sign with the words “reserved” is placed on a granite countertop at a Manhattan restaurant.
Groups for trading reservations online have become more common.
Kena Betancur/Getty Images

8. Finance Bros Gamed the System for Hot Reservations — Until They Got Caught

We didn’t know it at the time, but this story about three former investment bankers was a warning shot in the reservation wars to come. The trio had created an online group called #FreeRezy, where they amassed and distributed prime reservations to some of the city’s most exclusive restaurants. Resy became aware of the group in January, likely as a result of Eater’s reporting, and shut it down — but not before it grew to some 700 members, including band members of the Chainsmokers and Kings of Leon.

A chef stands on the roof of an historic building that used to be the epicenter of fish sales for the five boroughs.
Jean-Georges Vongerichten opened the Tin Building in August.
Gary He/Eater NY

7. Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Massive Seaport Marketplace Is Now Open

In August, the restaurateur Jean-Georges Vongerichten opened the doors on his massive Seaport marketplace, a 53,000-square-foot food hall with six full-service restaurants, six fast-casual spots, and four bars spread out over two floors. Eater’s senior critic Robert Sietsema gave the Tin Building a thumbs up after three early visits, noting that the “average is higher here than many other food courts in town.” It better be: Eater’s been counting down the days on the market for the last five years.

A light-filled restaurant interior with backless stools positioned around a dark bar and patterned tiles on the floor.
Mena, a Tribeca restaurant that maintained its vaccine mandate through the spring.
Daniel Krieger/Mena

6. A Running List of NYC Restaurants and Bars Still Requiring Proof of Vaccination

In March, mayor Eric Adams lifted the pandemic-era policy requiring New Yorkers to be vaccinated in order to dine inside restaurants and bars. Restaurateurs across the city kept the requirements in place, citing the safety of staff and customers, and this list of businesses checking for proof of vaccination ended up being one of our most-read stories of the year. (To note, it also became a cheat sheet for the city’s anti-vax protesters.)

A steak with a massive bone at its center on a plate at Peter Luger in Brooklyn, New York.
Peter Luger may have lost its laurels, but it’s still one of the city’s great steakhouses.
Eater NY

5. Ask the Critics: What’s the Best Steakhouse in NYC?

This fall, we launched a new series, in which Eater critics Robert Sietsema and Ryan Sutton debate, then rank, the merits of various eating establishments in a single category. We kicked things off with steakhouses in October, then followed up with sushi a month later. Expect more from our critics in 2023.

Xiaolongbao dumplings at Din Tai Fung’s London Taiwanese dumpling restaurant now open in Covent Garden
Xiao long bao at Din Tai Fung.
Tomas Jivanda/Eater London

4. Globally Renowned Taiwanese Chain Din Tai Fung Announces First NYC Location

When will New York’s first outpost of the Taiwanese dim sum chain Din Tai Fung open to the public? Your guess is as good as ours — the last we heard was fall 2023 — and if this story is any indication, it should be one of the biggest restaurant openings of the coming year.

Preparations of Takeout Orders At Black Sheep Restaurants’ Outlets Amid Hong Kong’s Dinner Dine-In Ban.
Grubhub’s “free” lunch program was a disaster.
Getty Images

3. Is Anyone Surprised Grubhub’s ‘Free’ Lunch Program Was a Disaster for Restaurant Workers?

Put a finger down if you remember when GrubHub offered 8 million New Yorkers “free” lunch during the same afternoon, crashing its own app, and flooding unprepared food businesses across the city with hundreds of orders. The promotion, intended to put money in the pockets of local restaurants, left owners scrambling to process orders. (Also: it sucked for business.)

Servers walk through Balthazar’s high-ceilinged dining room.
Balthazar become the subject of national headlines after owner Keith McNally banned late-night host James Corden from its premises.
Daniel Krieger/Eater NY

2. Keith McNally Bans, Then Unbans, James Corden From Balthazar

In October, Soho’s Balthazar restaurant became the subject of national headlines after owner Keith McNally banned British late-night host James Corden from its premises for mistreating staff and demanding free drinks from servers. (Among the grievances: ordering an egg yolk omelet.) Corden was banned from the French restaurant, then unbanned, and finally banned once and for all, after apologizing for the alleged incidents — then denying their significance in an interview with the New York Times a few days later.

Assorted fluke preparations, in green shiso wrappers, in scallop shells, and in pastry shells, sit on a two-tiered platter
Fluke six ways at Saga, one of two new restaurants awarded two Michelin stars this year.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

1. Michelin Announces 2022 Stars for New York City

Michelin, the European tire company and occasional publisher of controversial restaurant rankings, announced its awards in person this year, doling out stars at a ceremony in Hudson Yards hosted by... actors Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka? Nevermind that. Eleven Madison Park kept its three stars, Semma became the city’s only Michelin-starred Indian restaurant, and modern Korean spots won big.

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