In place of a weekly review, Pete Wells names his favorite restaurants of the year. They are, in order: Sushi Nakazawa, Carbone, Betony, Uncle Boons, Hanjan, Mighty Quinns Barbeque, the Elm, Estela, Pearl & Ash, and Alder.
It's a fun list that may as well serve as a blueprint to what's coming next for New York restaurants: After years of West versus East Coast boasts, sushi counters like the one at Nakazawa signal the arrival of Tsukiji-worthy fish; meanwhile, the sophisticated Thai cooking at Uncle Boons makes the conversation less about authenticity and more about skill. Over in Williamsburg, in the dining room at the Elm, coincidentally the only restaurant on the entire list that serves a hamburger (and only at brunch), Paul Liebrandt is tearing down and rebuilding his ideas about fine dining on the daily. "[H]e can make flavors do things that nobody else can," writes Wells; check the whole thing out here. [NYT, Related]