During the past couple of weeks, food publications have thrown our year’s-end lists like so many cords of wood onto the fire. Now, it’s our turn. We’ve decided to end the year with a shout-out to the 10 best restaurant openings of 2009. To do this, we had to cast a gimlet eye all the way back to the dark days of January, before people started talking about fried chicken like it was foie gras, Michael Huynh turned into Robert Moses, and everyone and your mom decided to open a food cart.
Obviously, all best-of lists are subjective and shaped in part by the whims of digestive memory. Also obviously, a ton of restaurants opened in New York over the past 12 months, and we certainly can’t claim to have tried them all. That said, here in no particular order are the places that served us some of our most enjoyable meals this year and, most importantly, that we’re looking forward to visiting again in 2010.
The runners up:
Bark Hot Dogs (artisanally minded hot dogs), 474 Bergen Street, Park Slope, Brooklyn, 718-789-1939; Saraghina (Italian, pizza), 435 Halsey Street, Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, 718-574-0010; Rye (contemporary American), 247 South 1st Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 718-218-8047; Co. (pizza), 30 Ninth Avenue, 212-243-1105; Golden Steamer (steamed buns), 143A Mott Street, 212-226-1886; The Brooklyn Star (American comfort food), 38 Havemeyer Street, Willamsburg, Brooklyn 718-599-9899; Num Pang (Cambodian sandwiches), 21 East 12th Street, 212-255-3271; Metro Cafe (Sichuan), 4924 Eighth Avenue, Sunset Park, Brooklyn, 718-437-7980; Locanda Verde (Italian), The Breslin (meat-centric comfort food), 1186 Broadway, 212-685-9600; Thailand’s Center Point (Siamese), Woodside, Queens, 718-651-6888.
10. Mimi’s Hummus (Israeli), 1209 Cortelyou Road, Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, 718-284-4444
9. Fatty Crab Upper West Side (Southeast Asian), 2170 Broadway, 212-496-2722
8. Minetta Tavern (Parisian steakhouse/classic American), 113 MacDougal Street, 212-475-3850
7. Fort Defiance (Southern-inflected American), 365 Van Brunt Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn, 347-453-6672
6. Marea (Italian seafood), 240 Central Park South, 212-582-5100
5. Joseph Leonard (seasonal American), 170 Waverly Place, 646-429-8383
4. Aldea (modern Portuguese), 31 West 17th Street, 212-675-7223
3. M & T Restaurant (Qingdao), 44-09 Kissena Boulevard, Flushing, Queens, 718-539-4100
2. Southern Spice (Southern Indian), 14306 45th Avenue, Flushing, Queens, 718-359-3486
1. Saltie (eclectic sandwiches and pastries), 378 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 718-387-4777
Anything we forgot? Give us a holler in the comments section.