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The 38 Essential New York Restaurants, January '11

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It's time to update the Eater 38, your answer and ours to any question that begins, “Can you recommend a restaurant?” This highly elite group covers the entire city, spans myriad cuisines, and collectively satisfies all of your restaurant needs, save for those occasions when you absolutely must spend half a paycheck. Every couple of months, we'll be adding pertinent restaurants that were omitted, have newly become eligible (restaurants must be open at least six months), or have stepped up their game.

This time around, after much reflecting and poring over reader emails and comments, we're switching out L&B Spumoni Gardens (it made a brief appearance during summer, and is still an area icon, but is no longer 38 material), Diner (off its game), and Convivio (it will have to earn its spot back in a post-White era). In their places go Franny's, a long clamored for addition, Rye, an excellent restaurant and cocktail haven for Williamsburg, and Balaboosta, as we've been slowly falling for what Einat Admony has been putting out at for the past nine months.

For those of you readying the pitchforks because your favorite restaurant isn't on the list, wouldn't it just be more productive to nominate it for inclusion? State your cases for (or against) restaurants in the comments or in the tipline.

Additions and Subtractions:
· November, 2009: 15 East dropped, Casa Mono added
· January, 2010: Little Giant, Nougatine, and Co. dropped; Prune, Marea, and Aldea added
· March, 2010: Barbuto and Sapori D'Ischia dropped; Joseph Leonard and Minangasli added
· July, 2010: Ippudo, Prune, and Vinegar Hill House dropped; Yakitori Totto, L&B Spumoni Gardens, and Bar Boulud added
· October, 2010: Frankies 457, Peasant, and Marea dropped; Prime Meats, Torrisi Italian Specialties, and Salumeria Rosi added

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Locanda Verde

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Blaue Gans

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Oriental Garden Restaurant

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Torrisi Italian Specialties

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Balaboosta

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Balthazar

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Raoul's Restaurant

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Blue Ribbon Brasserie

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Momofuku Ssam Bar

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Minetta Tavern

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Spotted Pig

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Joseph Leonard

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Little Owl

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Strip House New York

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Casa Mono

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Socarrat Paella Bar

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Gramercy Tavern

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Esca Restaurant

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Sushi Yasuda

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Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto

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Yakitori Totto

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Chin Chin

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Le Bilboquet

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JG Melon Restaurant

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Maz Mezcal Mexican Restaurant

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Bar Boulud

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Gennaro Restaurant

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Dinosaur Barbecue

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Roberta's

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Fette Sau

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Prime Meats

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Al Di La

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Franny's

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Sripraphai Thai Restaurant

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Minangasli

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Locanda Verde

Blaue Gans

Oriental Garden Restaurant

Torrisi Italian Specialties

Balaboosta

Balthazar

Raoul's Restaurant

Blue Ribbon Brasserie

Lupa

Momofuku Ssam Bar

Minetta Tavern

Spotted Pig

Joseph Leonard

Little Owl