As part of our 2011 Year in Review, Mike Sula—with the assistance of software program CriticKiller 2012—selects eight top new restaurants
, along with ten honorable mentions. There’s Next
, of course
, but also Phillip Foss and Andrew Brochu’s El Ideas
, Giuseppe Tentori and the Boka Group’s GT Fish & Oyster
, Paul Virant and the Boka Group’s Perennial Virant
, Brendan Sodikoff's Maude’s Liquor Bar
, and Mark and Elizabeth Mendez’s Vera
. Not all are swanky: rounding out the list are Tony Hu’s Mao-themed Lao Hunan
and Art Jackson’s Bridgeport Pleasant House Bakery
. Among the honorable mentions: Al Dente
, Snack Planet
, La Taberna Tapas
, and Telegraph Wine Bar
Speaking of which . . . in Key Ingredient Telegraph chef John Anderes, challenged with ash by Lula chef Jason Hammel, made spaetzle with ash-coated goat cheese and pearwood ash, which he served with ash-rubbed grilled venison loin and artichokes cooked over coals. “It’s smoky without being . . . smoke,” he said. “You almost get a little bit of the—damn, nailed it!” Next up is Erling Wu-Bower of the Publican, working with gold leaf.
In the listings are ten recent openings, among them the Burger Point, Butcher & the Burger, Cai Fine Dining and Banquet, and Pilsen’s Del Toro.