Bruni Lists His Top Ten
The big dog of the food critic industry Frank Bruni has blessed us with his top ten new opening list of 2007. Here is a snapshot for all you eaters:
1. MOMOFUKU SSAM BAR It's tempting to choose something else, given how much acclaim has come to Momofuku's chef and co-owner, David Chang. But Ssam Bar, which began full dinner service in January, deserves top honors for its inventive, flavor-packed dishes and its rebelliousness in dispensing with the trappings that usually accompany such sophisticated food.
2. SOTO If you love uni, you'll find it pressed into more dishes and more creative uses at this small, sly Japanese restaurant than anywhere else.
3. (TIE) ANTHOS It looks a bit of a downer but the best of its food is exhilarating. This restaurant marks another determined step forward in Michael Psilakis's quest to lift Greek cooking to new heights.
4. INSIEME Bolstered by the success of Hearth, Marco Canora took his assured Italian cooking uptown and upscale at this restaurant, which is notable as well for the terrific wine list of the co-owner Paul Grieco.
5. PARK AVENUE WINTER/SPRING/SUMMER/AUTUMN The name and decor, like the menu, change with the seasons, a gimmick that might grate if the cooking wasn't so pleasing.
6. RESTO Head to this nouveau Belgian newcomer for deviled eggs on fried pork jowl, audaciously fatty lamb ribs and scores of fine beers.
7. 15 EAST The space vacated by Tocqueville became a credible, tranquil Japanese restaurant with especially fine sushi and sashimi.
8. ALLEN & DELANCEY An insanely romantic, cozy vibe is crucial to this dark hideaway's appeal, but the chef Neil Ferguson's refined Continental cooking also holds its own.
9. PAMPLONA This Spanish restaurant wasn't all that much prettier than Ure'a, which it replaced. But the same chef, Alex Ure'a, produced some equally memorable food and made it more accessible.
10. MAI HOUSE By heading to TriBeCa and teaming with Drew Nieporent, the chef Michael Huynh got a more spacious, stylish stage for the kind of Vietnamese cooking he had been doing at Bao 111 in the East Village.
Not a bad list at all. I personally dig Allen & Delancy, 15 East, and Pamplona.
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