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The Best New Restaurants of 2005

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The Modern
You can argue that the main dining room is overly mannered, even a little stilted, but where else can you eat like this and gaze out at a Giacometti at the same time?

Alto
Scott Conant’s play for multiple stars might have been altogether bald, but there’s no denying his facility with high-brow pastas like tagliatele (with goose ragù), and ravioli stuffed with braised rabbit.

Jovia
Critics tend to have the most vivid memories of their last good meal (Jovia opened in November), but try Josh DeChellis’s venison, or his potted suckling-pig terrine, and tell me I’m wrong.

Perry Street
The best thing about this Jean-Georges restaurant is the simplicity of its dishes—rack of lamb, beef tenderloin smothered in a savory sauce. The place may not merit the hype, but it’s pretty good for a neighborhood joint.

Bellavitæ
An excellent Village restaurant offering a tasting-plate extravaganza of simple Italian dishes like crostini slathered with eggs and anchovies, pan-fried saffron risotto, and grilled figs wrapped in pancetta.

Thor
Kurt Gutenbrunner’s haute cuisine Greenmarket menu (salmon lasagne, roasted venison with a parsley crust) is quite excellent, the deathly nightclub atmosphere notwithstanding.

Bar Americain
Now midtown power-lunchers can enjoy Bobby Flay’s take on regional delicacies like the Kentucky hot brown (roast turkey on French toast with bacon and cream sauce) and tastings of artisanal ham.

Mainland
The menu at this swank new East Side restaurant is filled with subtle fusion experiments like crispy spring rolls stuffed with lamb, or clay-pot short ribs braised in red wine. But the specialty is Peking duck, cooked the old-fashioned way, in a wood-burning oven.


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