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Perla

Posted on Dec 31, 2012 in Best Of, Hottest Newcomers

Chef Michael Toscano exercises his gift for nose-to-tail cooking at Gabe Stulman’s rustic Italian bistro, Perla.  You can find seldom-seen cuts running through his selection of antipasti (Crispy Testa and Pigs Ear with grilled onions and cannellini beans, Veal Tongue with crispy capers, Tokyo turnips, and tonnato sauce), as well as primi (Garganelli with tripe and prosciutto, Pappardelle with cockscomb stew), although oddly, not necessarily in his hearty assortment of secondi.  No matter, Lamb Breast with radicchio and sunchokes, Quail with cauliflower and brown butter sugo, and Saba Glazed Duck with pickled golden raisins and quince are every bit as interesting (and...

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Acme

Posted on Dec 31, 2012 in Best Of, Hottest Newcomers

The name on most restaurant scene-sters lips this year (or the ones that can ably pronounce it, anyway,) was undeniably Mads Refslund.  Formerly of the world-famous Noma in Copenhagen, Refslund wove a world of culinary adventure into plates as inauspicious sounding as Radishes (listed on the menu under the heading Raw, and served with an oyster-parsley dip), Farmers Eggs (Cooked), an assemblage of cauliflower foam-filled shells over chicken wire, Salt-baked Carrots (Soil), with sliced lardo and blood orange, and a deceptively straightforward Roasted Bass (Sea/Land), flavored with wild onions, thyme and...

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Battersby

Posted on Dec 31, 2012 in Best Of, Hottest Newcomers

You can’t throw a locally-sourced egg without hitting a seasonally-minded restaurant in Brooklyn nowadays, but Battersby is hardly just riding the coattails of a passing fad.  You’ll want to return time and again for well-conceived dishes like Veal Sweetbreads A La Meunière with Caesar Dressing, Hake with Chickpeas, Chorizo and Preserved Lemon, and Pappardelle with Madeira, Taggiasca Olives and Duck Ragu, but this being Brooklyn, their menu changes as frequently as the culinary...

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Atera

Posted on Dec 31, 2012 in Best Of, Hottest Newcomers

Not since wd-50 has a NYC restaurant so aptly justified the use of molecular gastronomy in modern American cooking.  Executive Matthew Lightner walks an intriguing tightrope at this ambitious Tribeca restaurant, taking foraged, decidedly back-to-the-land ingredients (sorrel, parsley root, wildflower honey, hickory nuts), and engineering them into unique exercises of form and flavor (fried “lichen” is presented on a wooden box of hot stones, a charred leek is anointed with “hay ash” and dolloped with sheep’s milk...

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Mission Chinese Food

Posted on Dec 31, 2012 in Best Of, Hottest Newcomers

Does “Americanized Chinese Food” conjure up visions of uninspired, overseasoned beef and broccoli in brown sauce, or gloppy, MSG-laden chicken chow mein?  Danny Bowien blew those misconceptions out of the water when he opened the first East Coast outpost of his popular San Francisco restaurant this year.  What the team behind Torrisi and Parm did for nostalgic 1970s Italian in NYC , Bowien did for throwback Chinese, delighting patrons with Salt Cod Fried Rice, Kung Pao Pastrami, Tingly Tea Smoked Chicken, and of course, Broccoli Beef Brisket with Smoked Oyster...

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