Wow! What an amazing year it has been here in the NYC restaurant industry. With the economy going nutty, it has been quite the year. The year of the burger, the pizza, and the banh mi. Restaurants have evolved with the economy. I have had some great meals this year, some were pricey, and some were cheap. I had some memorable dishes, and some forgettable ones. And so, without further ado, here are my top meals and dishes of 2009.

Top 5 Meals:

1. Tasting menu with wine pairings at Alto, cooked specifically for me and food personality Josh Ozersky, by chef Michael White. This meal consisted of the best and most amazing pasta dishes I had ever had in my life.

2. Lunch at Jean-Georges. Mind-blowing.

3. All meals at Momofuku Ssam and Noodle Bar. Still my favorite all round NYC restaurants.

4. Casa Mono. My favorite tapas spot in NYC delivers every night.

5. Tasty-Hand Pulled Noodles. This Chinatown noodle spot is so satisfying and great, and so cheap, it is one of the best bangs for your buck in NYC.

Most Memorable Dish:

Caviar Egg toast from Jean-Georges. The perfect bite.


Runner Up:

Pate de Fegato from Sorella. Might stop your heart, but truly delicioso!


Best Burger:

The Little Owl: The Little Owl only serves their burger during lunch. But, it is the BEST burger in NYC, hands down.


Worst Dish:

The Brooklyn Diner's Mac and Cheese is tagliolini pasta, Parmigiano Reggiano and ham. Next to the dish on the menu it says "Best of New York, NY Magazine". This cannot be further from the truth! It was the worst dish of the year, and totally unacceptable. It gives new meaning to the term "Tourist Trap". I want my $18.50 back.


Best Sushi Experience:

Omakase at Sushi Azabu. Sublime.

Best Newcomers:

There have been many new restaurants that have opened up this year that are great. Here are some of my favorites that are worth checking out: (in no particular order)

Locanda Verde
East Side Social Club

Have an amazing and magical 2010 everyone!!