251 W. 50th St., nr. Eighth Ave. 212-581-1818
At Toloache, chef Julian Medina distinguishes his margaritas by having bartenders not only squeeze limes fresh but muddle exotic ingredients to order for potions that vary from a summery cucumber to a tart-sweet prickly pear and mango. With roughly 150 tequilas on the shelf, from Siembra Azul to a 1942 Don Julio, concoctions are diverse. Try the house margarita: lime, crushed dried Jamaican hibiscus flowers, mashed with blueberries and muddled with Frida Kahlo Blanco tequila.
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).