As 2012 comes to a close, I thought it prudent to reflect on the ups and downs of this intriguing year. Both in the food world and in my own universe, this has been a roller coaster year of mostly hits and a few misses, and I am sorry to say that we lost a couple of great dining establishments too. Therefore, please allow me to present you with a brief list of hits and misses for 2012:
In January, my taste buds were thrilled with the
Great Greek food at Uncle Nick’s
Their variety of dishes, especially the grilled appetizers, are outstanding. (The fried zucchini and meatballs were also very good, but I recommend that you try any dish containing the word Grilled!) I also believe the experience is heightened when dining in a group, because this allows you to sample a plethora of food at once, but go here even if you are dining by yourself.
In the summer of 2012, I visited a delightful steakhouse called
I was pleasantly surprised to discover the merits of their excellent cheesesteak sandwich, succulent lobster mac and cheese, and their top notch service. This restaurant is a winner, and I plan to return in 2013 for some more great steakhouse fair.
The Chocolate Show!
My foodie year was particularly special because I was able to attend
The New York City Chocolate Show.
(I was even given press credentials, which was a huge honor). The hours spent at this mind blowing collection of incredible chocolate vendors were unforgettable. Please feel free to read more about the various brands which I sampled, but the bottom line is that for a chocoholic like myself, this was a dream come true.
Second Avenue Deli:
I was very excited to experience some of this establishment’s Jewish cuisine, which happens to be my heritage. However, I was sorely disappointed. What stood out, and what still saddens me, was their matza ball soup: a salty but tasteless cup of broth on a large plate, surrounded with a hard matza ball Outside of the bowl and limp noodles strewn around it as well. It was like a make your own matza ball soup gone wrong, missing its target by miles.
Who needs attitude from an overpriced Japanese restaurant? That’s exactly what I dealt with at Tori Shin; where my waiter treated me as if I couldn’t afford to dine there and like I had no knowledge of their cuisine. Granted, I wasn’t keen on munching on chicken hearts, but the boneless chicken breast kabob would have suited me just fine.
It’s time for some real talk: after years of patronage, I’ve had it with this ubiquitous sandwich shop, which is essentially the McDonalds of delis. Their generic fair is convenient and relatively inexpensive to be sure, but that is no cause for the consistently substandard food and bad delivery. My most recent meal featured a soggy and undercooked omelet which occupied less than half of its plate, with home fries that were overseasoned and whose texture was either too raw or limp. I’m sorry, but in a city with so many great options for dining out, I feel we can do better than this.
I am deeply saddened by the loss of two great restaurants this year. Ottomanelli’s, a very nice and affordable Italian restaurant in my neighborhood, suddenly closed. They also made one of the best hamburgers in the city and their pizza was always a delight. In addition, we lost
Which was a personal favorite. Without any warning, I discovered in September that they were closed, which left some gaping holes in my “best of” lists. Who will replace their awesome hamburger and top notch filet mignon? I have no answers; I simply hope that 2013 will be a year of success for all restaurants.
I’m wishing all the best for all of you, let’s make 2013 the best year yet!
Happy New Year!