The Best of 2005
Best Famous Meal
Worth the Price
Prix Fixe at Per Se
The atmosphere’s a little stilted, but Thomas Keller’s cooking sure is good. If possible, begin with “Oysters and Pearls,” and be sure to save room for the“Coffee and Doughnuts” dessert.
Best Way to Impress Your Boss
The Wine List at Cru
Peruse the restaurant’s vast 65,000-bottle “wine portfolio,” and pretend you’re familiar with the ’85 Chambertain Grand Crus from Chateau Leroy ($1,950) and the rare magnum of 1899 Laﬁte Rothschild ($13,000). Be sure to mention the food’s pretty good, too.
The BBQ Pork Buns at Momofuko
The trendy new East Village version of the Wimpy burger. They’re pocket-size, portable, and good for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Eat five in one sitting, or maybe ten.
Best Tasting Menu
Who knew that lamb sweetbreads went with chocolate powder, or that fried mayonnaise tasted good? Wylie Dufresne is the city’s most inventive homegrown chef, and his eponymous restaurant is as good as it’s ever been.
Franny’s Tomato and Mozzarella
The unadorned pie (extra-virgin olive oil, rosemary, and garlic) is a classic of its kind. If it’s cheese you desire, order the “Quattro Formaggio.”
Crisp and Angry Lobster Cocktail at Davidburke & Donatella
at long last, a New York lobster dish that requires our full attention and respect. Tackle this spicy monster with your hands and a bib tucked under your collar.
Porterhouse at BLT Steak
Laurent Tourendot cuts this 40-ounce piece of beef lengthwise and serves it in a cast-iron pot. There are myriad newfangled sauces to choose from, but you still can’t go wrong with béarnaise.
Best New Bistro Dish
Chicken Liver Schnitzel at Ici
The kitchen produces plenty of ﬁne food at this sleek little French bistro in Fort Greene. If you’re a liver connoisseur, this dish alone is worth the trip.
Best Highbrow Dessert
Chocolate Fondant with Raspberry Grantie at Asiate
This decadent, soothing, and beautifully presented dish is a perfect compliment to the restaurant’s dazzling views of Central Park.
Best Meal, Period
Omakase at Masa
Chef Masa Takayama’s fusion masterpieces like “Uni Risotto” and “Foie Gras Shabu Shabu” give new meaning to the oft-used foodie adjective melting. Unfortunately, you’ll have to pay $350 for a taste.
PHOTOGRAPHED BY KENNETH CHEN.