Wow! What another truly magical year it's been. 2016 was absolutely incredible. The NYC food scene was better than ever. It was definitely the year of the Poke. It seemed every week a new poke spot was opening up. They are still opening, we shall see if it dies down in 2017.
I had some amazing meals in NYC and around the country in 2016. Below are some of my favorite spots that opened this year, and some hidden gems people need to know about.
Le Coucou was the all round best restaurant to open in NYC in 2016. I know the NY Times agrees. Daniel Rose's french masterpiece was just incredible. Lilia in Williamsburg was also outstanding. Chef Missy Robbins is killing it out there. In fact, for me, this was also the year of the Woman. #GirlPower reigned surpreme in a lot of kitchens in NYC this year. The ladies at King another great spot to open up are bringing delicious fine dining to King Street. April Bloomfield's Salvation Burger brought us one of the city's greatest burger joints. Although she recently left the restaurant, Liz Johnson, brought us one of the best to open up this year, Mimi.
The opening of the first New York outpost of Sugarfish was the opening of the year for me though. This cult favorite sushi joint from LA, is the best bang for your buck sushi in America. With their huge cult following (me, included), which has lined up since day one at their flatiron location. It is exactly the same as LA, which is to say, awesome!
Mr. Donahues, from the team behind Uncle Boons was also a very special place to open up. A bar with 8 seats, and a "meat and two" menu, where you pick your protein, and get two sides with it. There is no place like it in NYC, and it's amazing.
The first speakeasy restaurant also opened this year, DinnerTable which is in the back of the bar The Garret East in the east village, was an awesome spot top open this year. Although, they recently changed chefs, this place is a place you need to check out. Like dining in someone's grandma's kitchen, I loved this place this year.
John Fraser did magic with vegetables at Nix which opened this year. Vegetable Heaven.
The best sushi I had in NYC, and maybe ever was at another LA import, Sushi Zo. It's not the cheapest ($200), but it's the best. All you sushi addicts need to go!
The homemade cracker bread at Gaia is incredible, her $7 panini are amazing, her pastas and everything on the menu is magical, and cheap. This restaurant is a gem, and my pic for not only one of the best restaurants in NYC, it's one of the best restaurants in the entire World. Trust me. Go. And if you don't like it, I'll pay for your lunch.
Fish Market looks like a dive bar, acts like a dive bar (the bartender comes around with shots of Jameson to your table), well, it is a dive bar in the Seaport District. But, there is something special happening in the kitchen of this dive bar. There's an old Malaysian women they call "Mama" cooking amazing fare. A mix of Malaysian and Asian, to American bar food, this is another NYC Gem! Order the drunken seafood soup, and all is right in the World.
Looking ahead to 2017, you will find me traveling a lot more, throught America, and the World. I think the poke craze will continue but die down a tad. I think it will be the year of the sandwich, and we'll find more sandwich shops opening up, like High St. on Hudson. Also, I predict some more markets and food halls, a craze that is still hot in NYC.
Wishing everyone a truly magical holiday and New Year. See you guys soon!
The Foodie Magician