Wow! What another truly magical year. I've had some amazing and delicious bites, and wonderful culinary adventures. Here are some of the highlights:
Top Ten New Restaurants of 2014
10. Marta - Danny Meyer and Chef Nick Anderer's Roman-inspired joint won me over with their #awesome pizzas and then some, like their pasta stuffed meatball. #yesplease
9. Cosme - Chef Enrique Olvera came from Mexico City, and showed New York City his take on Mexican cuisine. He does wonders with the use of corn, and is serving the dessert of the year too. It's unlike anything you've ever had.
8. Upland - Chef Justin Smillie came from il buco Alimenatari, and gave us what he gave us there- pure #awesomeness. This California-inspired, with hints of Italy joint is great!
7. Donostia - My love affair with Spain was answered by this all day pintxos joint, serving bites of Spanish joy all day long. #magical (Note- their second outpost is open in the Gansevoort Market)
6. The Nomad Bar and Aldo Sohm Wine Bar - Bars serving great food is the next big thing. The Nomad Bar, sister to the Nomad Restaurant, gave us chicken pot pie with truffle and bone marrow. Also, one of the best burgers of the year. #yesplease. Aldo Sohm Wine bar, sister to Le Bernardin gave us great wine paired with perfect food. Upscale/Downscale = #Love.
5. Dumpling Galaxy - I'm a self-confessed #dumplingaddict. I'm #obsessed. Dumpling Galaxy was/is my heaven. Located in Flushing, Queens, and serving over 100 different types of one my true #loves. #stillsingle
4. Ivan Ramen - Ivan Orkin's #Ramen #Masterpiece is #Awesome. Every ramen is straight up #perfection. Everything else on the menu is wonderful. It's a #magical ramen joint that satisfies all #ramenaddicts.
3. Russ and Daughters Cafe - The Russ and Daughters institution lives on with this sister cafe where you can now sit down. It's a throwback, it's amazing, and everything on the menu is spectacular. It doesn't matter what you order, it's all good- I know, because I've tried everything! I love this place. This is New York! Pure #Magic!
2. Tuome - Chef Thomas Chen's East 5th Street ingredient driven contemporary American menu with Asian influences captured my taste buds and heart after my first visit. I love what this guy is doing. It's smart, charming, and delicious.
1. GG's, El Rey, and Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream - my pick for restaurateur of the year is Nick Morgenstern. He opened up three of the best new restaurants of 2014, all with mind-blowing bites. Take GG's, where Morgenstern and Chef Bobby Hellen are turning out delectable pizzas, like the 1986 with spicy sopressata, fennel agrodolce, pickled peppers, and arugula. It's sweet, spicy, and a #fuckingawesome pizza pie. But there is more than just pizza at GG's (a more intimate Marta), they have one of the #best burgers I had all year. Pan-Seared with white cheddar, melted onions, secreto sauce (whatever that is). and served with fries. It blew me away. And then there is Morgenstern's desserts. He serves three at GG's, utilizing his also, 2014 smash hit ice cream parlor Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream. I found myself many nights stopping by GG's for their chocolate chocolate chip ice cream cookie sandwich. #Heavenly. Also at GG's is the BEST Brownie Sundae in NYC. Get it! But, Morgenstern also gave us El Rey Luncheonette. This small cafe not only serves delectable coffee but the best Kale salad I had all year. Nick Morgenstern became my hero. A mini-empire has sprung.
Another Restaurant of the Year
Mission Chinese Food- At the time of me writing this, the new (and improved) Mission Chinese Food has been open for less than a week. I stopped in last night, and am going back tonight. Why? It's unbelievable. Mission Chinese Food could be the restaurant of the year. It's late in the game, so I am dedicating it's own section to it. Danny Bowien's new space on East Broadway is the perfect space to dine on Chinese like you've never had before. I'm excited for Mission Chinese, because if they are turning out mind-blowing fare after being open for less than 7 days, who knows what will happen a month from now. I recommend getting down there quick. It's the next big restaurant, that people are going to be talking about all of 2015. It's #fuckingawesome and I #Love it. #Magic!
Little Park- Andrew Carmellini's new Tribeca Restaurant is Awesome.
Bowery Meat Co.- I think about their Bowery Steak and Duck Lasagna daily.
Gato - Bobby Flay's restaurant is wonderful.
Cherche Midi - Steak Frites, Burger, Frogs Legs - my meal here was outstanding
Flinders Lane - not enough people talked about Flinders Lane this year. It's a great spot.
The Eddy- The Eddy had the best bang for your buck tasting menu in 2014.
Juni - Chef Shaun Hergatt's refined cooking should not be overlooked.
All'onda- Chef Chris Jaeckle's uni pasta gets me every time.
Decoy - Decoy is also one of my restaurants of the year. Their peking duck and then some, is absolutely perfect amazingness. #fukyea!
Restaurant That Has Been Open For Some Time But Should Not Be Missed
Commerce - Chef Harold Moore is turning out great food at Commerce. One of NYC's best restaurants. Every meal I had there this year has been fabulous. Don't skip NYC's best coconut cake either!
Meal Of The Year
Honestly, I've had so many amazing meals this year, would be hard to pick just one. Every sushi Omakase (at the bar only) at Sushi Dojo has been spectacular. Chef David Bouhadana is killing it. Sushi Dojo is my jam and I love it! My meal at Chefs Table at Brooklyn Fare this year was pretty fucking awesome too..Every meal I had at RedFarm this year was also outstanding. My weekly lunches at Cafe Mogador are always terrific (minus one servers lack of sense of humor).
But, the meal of the year, was my meal of my lifetime. And it didn't happen in NYC. It happened in the countryside of San Sebastian, Spain. It was at Mugaritz. My meal at Mugaritz was like nothing I had ever experienced and it was the true definition of #Magic.
2015 is sure to be even more amazing and more magical than 2014! The big trend of 2014 was Markets. The Gotham West Market, Gansevoort Market, Brookfield Place.I forsee more of these food markets opening up, and shaping our NYC culinary landscape. It's going to be an exciting year for sure. Also, keep your eyes and ears open for more Foodie Magician on TV!
Thanks for an amazing and magical year! See you guys soon!
The Foodie Magician