This year, once again, the Bests are places I thoroughly insist you go to and the Worsts are places that I don't think deserve your money. I spent a bit more scratch on average this year per-reviewed-meal than in the past, I spent a goodly amount of time out of town, and I ate out a little bit more often at some regular haunts rather than travel around town, so I resolve that in 2014, I will add more diversity to my list of menus. That being the case though, I do plan to eat that Porchetta sandwich more often. I hope that everyone had a great 2013 and will have a great 2014!


Best Restaurant

It should come as no shock that, of the meals I've written about this year, that Public would be my pick for restaurant of the year. It did everything right. The right decor, the right attitude, the right staff, an offbeat menu prepared perfectly. It's expensive, no doubt about it, but it's cheaper than many of the other Michelin starred joints, and it's worth every penny.

Best Bar

An amazing beer list and flat-out delicious food are the first reason these guys get "best bar". Now couple that with the fact that it's huge and smack in the middle of Brooklyn and yet manages to feel like the kind of place you'd find in small-town Germany. Some people might find the unending stream of strollers somewhere between surprising and annoying, but in my book, it's all about being a welcoming, neighborhood place. ... that you can get drunk in. ... with the kids.

Best Burger

Why is this the best burger? Are you actually asking me how a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich with a quarter pound of beef that uses a glazed doughnut for a bun could be the best burger I ate this year? Hang your head in shame, sir,

Best View

It may be on a desolate stretch of Long Island City and the food might not be anything to write home about, but the view! I mean, come on! Go on a nice day, order a cocktail, and sit outside with the skyline stretching as far as the eye can see and you're bound to impress anyone you're with no matter how much they gripe about the trip. And then you'll get laid.

Best Place to Take Relatives from out of Town

Maybe you have relatives with a few bucks to drop from somewhere over thataway who are in town for a spell and you want to recommend a restaurant that will make them feel like they're eating in a movie but hesitate to go someplace trendy where everyone's either fresh out of college or a $500-an-hour escort. Where every dish comes with its own utensils and waiters randomly arrive with amouse bouches between your courses. Where dining on Central Park West away from the tourist throngs of Columbus Circle in a setting of revered moneyed elegance would be a highlight of their trip. If that sounds like something you'd like to suggest to an aunt or an uncle with perhaps a cough cough hint hint that they could pay for you meal (because you probably can't afford to eat here yourself), then I suggest that you suggest Picholine.

Best Sandwich

It's pork, slow roasted to perfection. Served with an IPA. Sure, that sounds like it could be any one of a hundred sandwiches. But in this case, my mouth waters every time I think about this one.


Winner of the coveted "Fuck You" award.

As I mentioned in my review, Tolani took advantage of myself and my girlfriend by telling everyone who bought an online deal that they were getting two tasting menus for the price of one, and then cut the portions in half. I feel somewhat bad for encouraging no one to eat there and for hoping that they soon close in tearful, heart-wrenching ruin because, even thought they kinda financially raped us, the food itself was very good. Still, they did kinda financially rape us. And rape is, in a very real way, sort of like saying "fuck you".

Winner of the "At This Point, Please Just Get One Thing Right" award.

I still can't believe Paradou, the Meatpacking wine bar/French restaurant was as mediocre as it was. The atmosphere was nice, but that was all it had. Not one dish came out that wasn't half-assed in some way. And then, after everything stunk, they gave us a bill. Some people. Geez.

Winner of the "Why Pay Less?" award.

If you ever wanted el cheapo Mexican food served to you in a plastic bowl with disposable utensils and prefer paying through the nose for it, then El Mitote on the Upper West Side is for you. Sure you could go to Queens or find a taco truck in Alphabet City and get food that tastes way better for way less, but that requires huddling with the unwashed masses of the F train. You're better than that.

Winner of the "Isn't This a Large Arthur Treacher's?" award

Imagine the bill from expensive seafood restaurant. Now imagine that you're getting that bill at a place that makes Red Lobster look upscale and chic. Now imagine that the food referenced on said bill was all generic fried crap. Now imagine that you spent an hour in traffic on the BQE to get to Red Hook for it. Oof. Yeah. Shitty.

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