In the pre-opening rush of publicity, restaurants don’t look much different from books or movies: the ones everybody talks about come from proven hitmakers. But after the buzz recedes, a key difference becomes clear. Novelists and directors can focus their full attention on the next project, but successful restaurateurs have to keep winding up the springs of their earlier places as they build the gears for a new one.
This may be why some of the best new restaurants I reviewed this year came from chefs or owners who were relatively unknown, while established operators came up with places that weren’t quite convincing. Ken Friedman and April Bloomfield gave us a taqueria, Salvation Taco, where the tacos were cold and the guacamole was even colder. Michael White’s Altamarea Group opened a steakhouse, Costata, where things like too-small teapots and distractingly lame music broke any spell cast by the pasta, which was sensational, and the meats, which were unreliable. At Lafayette, from Andrew Carmellini, the service felt offhand and undertrained while the interpretations of French cuisine were less compelling and original than those at Le Philosophe or Calliope in the same neighborhood.
这也许能解释为什么我今年评论的一些最佳新餐厅来自知名度相对较低的大厨或老板，而一些老牌经营者开设的新餐厅并不令人信服。肯·弗里德曼(Ken Friedman)和阿普丽尔·布洛姆菲尔德(April Bloomfield)开了一家墨西哥快餐馆，名叫“拯救墨西哥煎玉米卷”(Salvation Taco)，那里的煎玉米卷是冷的，鳄梨色拉酱更冷。迈克尔·怀特(Michael White)的Altamarea集团开了一家牛排店，名叫Costata，那里体积过小的茶壶以及让人心烦意乱的背景音乐毁掉了美味的意大利面带来的魅力，那里的牛排也不是那么可靠。安德鲁·卡梅里尼(Andrew Carmellini)新开的Lafayette餐馆的服务很随意，像是没有经过培训，而且它对法国菜的诠释不如附近的Le Philosophe餐馆或Calliope餐馆那么迷人而有创意。
There were exceptions, of course, terrifically enjoyable restaurants from seasoned veterans like Wylie Dufresne, the guys at Parm and Torrisi Italian Specialties, and Hooni Kim.
当然也有例外，有些经验丰富的资深大厨新开的餐馆特别令人愉快，比如怀利·迪弗雷纳(Wylie Dufresne)，Parm餐馆和Torrisi意大利特色菜馆的大厨们，以及胡尼·金(Hooni Kim)。
But 2013 was a great year for debuts. It was the year when a sous-chef emerged from the kitchen of Eleven Madison Park with an impressive set of skills and a sure sense of what’s delicious. It was the year when two Per Se cooks who had left the mother ship began to make Thai food with clear, vibrant seasonings and ultra-fresh, unusual ingredients like blowfish tails. It was when a Smorgasburg vendor finally took his long-smoked brisket indoors and changed New York’s barbecue game. And most of all, it was when the trodden-down apprentice from the documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” got a stage of his own to serve his remarkably nuanced, deeply memorable creations.
但是2013年对新登场的经营者们来说是精彩的一年。在这一年，十一麦迪逊公园餐馆(Eleven Madison Park)从前的副厨师长在自己的新餐馆中展现了令人钦佩的全套技艺以及对美味的精准把握。在这一年，Per Se餐馆的两位厨师离开老东家，开始自己用干净、充满活力的调料以及非常新鲜、不同寻常的食材做泰国菜，比如河豚尾。在这一年，Smorgasburg美食广场的一位摊主终于把自己长时间熏制的牛胸肉搬到了室内，改变了纽约的烧烤规则。最重要的是，在这一年，纪录片《伊罗梦想寿司》(Jiro Dreams of Sushi)里那位受压制的学徒有了自己的舞台，奉上了十分精细、特别令人难忘的创意菜。
All of them, the newcomers and the streetwise veterans, wanted their restaurants to be great. They wanted it very, very badly. Their anxiety was our good luck because it made them strive for the kind of excellence you can feel in the dining room and taste in the food. And that excellence, born of nerves and skill, is what I remembered most clearly when I looked back on a year full of more delicious meals than any human can reasonably expect.
A small footnote on methodology: Because I let restaurants settle in for two months or more before I review, some places that opened at the end of this year aren’t eligible for this list, and some that opened late in 2012 are. Here, in order, are my favorites among the new restaurants I reviewed this year.
1. Sushi Nakazawa
1. 中泽寿司(Sushi Nakazawa)
In an era when money and opportunities flow to chefs who think like corporations, the year’s best restaurant came from a Bronx restaurateur’s crazy middle-of-the-night dream. Alessandro Borgognone watched “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” before bed and became determined to bring the film’s young apprentice, Daisuke Nakazawa, to New York. It shouldn’t have worked, but it did. A meal at Mr. Nakazawa’s counter is a guided tour of the potential of simple seafood on rice to amaze. With subtle fine-tunings of temperature and seasoning, he can make a piece of sushi into the kind of sense-filling experience you wish could last and last. The restaurant doesn’t look or act particularly Japanese, but the food is so transporting and the service so gracious it doesn’t matter. 23 Commerce Street (Bedford Street), West Village, 212-924-2212.
Carbone is the year’s most polarizing restaurant. The chefs Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone, with their business partner, Jeff Zalaznick, imagined a stylized, exaggerated red-sauce joint recast in the fine-dining idiom, and it takes nerve to pull that off. Yes, the captains are pushy and talky, but good New Yorkers ought to know how to push and talk back. Yes, the prices are dizzying, but so are the portions, the quality of the ingredients and the sheer exuberance of the preparations. Carbone doesn’t use dust-flavored farmed shrimp for its scampi alla scampi; it uses remarkably sweet and delicate langoustines caught off the coast of Scotland. The lobster fra diavolo is the size of a sea monster and is head-spinningly rich with Cognac and shellfish reduction. At times it’s all too much, but too-muchness is at the heart of the Italian-American restaurants that Carbone celebrates. 181 Thompson Street (Bleecker Street), Greenwich Village, 212-254-3000.
卡尔博内餐馆是今年最极端的餐馆。大厨里奇·托里西(Rich Torrisi)和马里奥·卡尔博内(Mario Carbone)以及他们的商业伙伴杰夫·扎拉尼克(Jeff Zalaznick)设想了一种风格化的、夸张的、依照高雅就餐习惯改造的意式美国餐馆，要做到这一点是需要勇气的。是的，各位老大固执己见，喋喋不休，但是优秀的纽约人应该知道如何见招拆招。是的，这里的价格令人震惊，但是食物的份量、食材的品质以及烹制过程的热情洋溢也令人震惊。卡尔博内餐馆做香煎虾用的不是带泥土味的养殖虾，而是在苏格兰海岸捕捞的特别香甜美味的海鳌虾。恶魔龙虾真的像海怪那么大，而且加入了大量足以让你头晕的干邑白兰地和贝壳类海鲜浓汤。有时，你会觉得它太过分了，但是过分正是卡尔博内赞扬的意式美国餐馆的核心精神。地址：格林威治村汤普森街（巴勒克街）；电话：212-254-3000。
Opened by several alumni of Eleven Madison Park, Betony offers similar pleasures without the extravagant commitment of time and money. Servers dress formally in black and white, but they’re not at all remote; they’re so in touch, so intent on figuring out what you want before you do, they’re almost telepathic. Like his old boss, Daniel Humm, Betony’s chef, Bryce Shuman, toys around with fun, everyday food, putting sophisticated spins on bar snacks like potato chips. The best of his cooking is both technically polished and soulful, a rare mixture. He makes a seared foie gras in ham-hock broth that’s both earthy and luxurious, and a short rib, slow-cooked in aged beef fat then grilled over intensely hot charcoal, that is supremely tender but still hits you in some primal spots. 41 West 57th Street, Midtown, 212-465-2400.
水苏餐厅是十一麦迪逊公园餐厅以前的几位厨师开设的，你在这里不必等待太长时间、不必花费太多金钱就能得到类似的享受。服务员都穿着正式的黑白两色制服，但是他们一点儿也不让你觉得疏远。他们随叫随到，下定决心比你自己还先弄清你想要的东西，他们几乎具有心灵感应能力。水苏餐厅的大厨布赖斯·舒曼(Bryce Shuman)像他从前的老板丹尼尔·胡姆(Daniel Humm)一样，摆弄有趣的日常食物，对薯条这样的酒吧小吃做出了高深的诠释。他烹饪方法的最佳之处在于容技术与灵魂于一体，十分罕见。他在火腿关节肉汤里制作烤焦的鹅肝酱，既质朴，又奢华。他用牛脂老汤慢炖牛小排，然后在极热的木炭上烤，做出来的肉特别嫩，但仍具有原始烤肉的某种味道。地址：市中心第57街西41号；电话：212-465-2400。
4. Uncle Boons
4. 布恩叔叔餐馆(Uncle Boons)
Opened in the middle of a trend toward restaurants exploring recipes from Thailand’s north and northeast, Uncle Boons skips all over the country and takes respectful liberties. The result could have been superficial, but it’s nuanced and smart. The chefs, Ann Redding and Matt Danzer, offer carefully considered breaks with Thai tradition. In their hands, shredded potato and melting beef cheek taste right at home in a musky, complex massaman curry, and sweetbreads are a natural fit for a rounded, rich bowl of mee krob that’s tart and fruity with tamarind. Chile freaks can find the heat they crave in a chicken-and-banana-blossom salad or an unusual warm laab of chopped lamb fried to a caramelized crunch in a wok. Like the cooking, the service has a degree of polish you wouldn’t necessarily expect of a place where the restroom has a monster-movie poster with the rousing slogan “Once again dinosaur shake the erath!” 7 Spring Street (Elizabeth Street), NoLIta, 646-370-6650.
布恩叔叔餐馆开业的时候，餐饮业正流行从泰国北部和东北部搜寻菜谱，该餐馆则在泰国各地搜寻，并谨慎地做了些改动。结果本可能很肤浅，但实际上精致、细腻而巧妙。该餐馆的大厨安·雷丁(Ann Redding)和马特·丹泽尔(Matt Danzer)经过仔细考虑摒弃了泰菜的某些传统。他们做的碎土豆和入口即化的牛脸肉在有麝香味的复合马沙文咖喱中尝起来恰到好处。牛杂似乎是味道浓郁的泰式炒面的绝配——泰式炒面里因为含有酸角所以具有水果的酸味。超级喜欢吃辣的人能在鸡肉香蕉沙拉或焦糖味松脆炸碎羊肉中找到他们渴望的辣味。像这里的食物一样，这里的优良服务也出乎你的意料，因为这里卫生间墙上挂的可是怪兽电影海报，上面的广告语触目惊心——“恐龙再次晃动地球！”地址：斯普林街（伊丽莎白街）7号，NoLIta；电话：646-370-6650。
For traditional Korean food, the place to go is the far eastern reaches of Flushing, Queens. But for delicious modern interpretations of the cuisine, nothing comes close to Hooni Kim’s two packed, casual pubs. As he did at Danji, Mr. Kim split Hanjan’s small-plates menu into traditional dishes and contemporary ones, but his flavors feel so true that you can’t always tell which is which. He turns pajeon, the flat and starchy Korean pancake, into a crunchy cloud of squid and scallion, and while the texture is completely different, the taste isn’t. Hanjan’s food is exciting; people wave their chopsticks around, urging their friends to try the grilled mackerel under a shiny sheath of soy glaze or the rice cakes slick with pork fat and chile paste. 36 West 26th Street, Midtown South, 212-206-7226.
6. Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque
6. 威猛奎恩烤肉店(Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque)
If you are unlucky enough to get into an argument with some Texans over whether decent barbecue exists in New York, sit them in front of Mighty Quinn’s smoked beef rib, a wall of meat riding on a long surfboard of bone. It may not change their minds, but the sheer mass may move them to temporary silence. That will give you time to admit that the rib and the brisket at Mighty Quinn’s aren’t as profoundly smoky as what you’d find at Franklin Barbecue in Austin, but we New Yorkers think it’s pretty moist and peppery, etc., etc. While you distract them with this business, you can eat all the meat on your tray and theirs, too. If this doesn’t work, ask them how the smoked and fried chicken wings glazed with soy and sesame seeds compare with the ones at Smitty’s Market. 103 Second Avenue (Sixth Street), East Village, 212-677-3733.
如果你很倒霉，得与某些得克萨斯州人争论纽约有没有像样的烤肉，那么你索性就让他们坐到威猛奎恩烤肉店的熏制牛排前。牛排的骨头像个长滑板，肉像一堵墙一样骑在骨头上。这也许不能改变他们的看法，但光是那堆肉也许足以让他们沉默一会儿。这将让你有时间承认威猛奎恩烤肉店的牛排和牛胸肉不像奥斯丁富兰克林烤肉店(Franklin Barbecue)的那么具有烟熏味，但是我们纽约人觉得它相当多汁、辛辣。在你用这些话分散他们的注意力时，你可以把自己盘子以及他们盘子上的肉都吃了。如果还是没用的话，那就问问他们这里的酱油芝麻烟熏炸鸡翅与斯米梯市场(Smitty’s Market)的相比如何。地址：东村第二大道（第6街）103号；电话：212-677-3733。
7. The Elm
7. 埃尔姆餐厅(The Elm)
Paul Liebrandt’s escape from the hushed fine-dining atmosphere in which he’s spent most of his remarkable career doesn’t feel fully realized yet. The service could be sharper, the room could be at any hotel in America where style is measured by square footage of poured concrete, and Mr. Liebrandt’s idea of jumping on the shared-plates trend is to put two servings of his usual elaborately composed dishes into one deep casserole and let you do the plating yourself. But he can make flavors do things that nobody else can. If you close your eyes and taste, say, the tender, lip-smacking lamb neck swabbed in a black and intensely smoky purée of charred eggplant, or the delicate remix of bouillabaisse that tamps down the garlic and brings up the orange and fennel, you could believe that you were eating in New York’s best restaurant. King & Grove Williamsburg Hotel, 160 North 12th Street (Berry Street), Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 718-218-1088.
Estela is the ideal restaurant if you’re bored by pasta but you’ve stopped believing there are thrills to be had from dipping sugar-cube-size pieces of meat into micronipples of emulsified whatever. Ignacio Mattos, Estela’s chef, gives you permission to enjoy unmanipulated ingredients with straightforward Mediterranean flavors by skewing things a little until they don’t seem so straightforward. The crunch in a mound of hand-chopped beef tartare comes from golden chips of earthy sunchokes. Above raw scallops are wheels of raw summer squash that should taste dull but are dancing with citrus; they’ve been infused with grapefruit and yuzu. Mr. Mattos’s dishes are original and, in their way, simple, and it’s that combination that makes you want to give in to them. 47 East Houston Street (Mulberry Street), NoLIta, 212-219-7693.
9. Pearl & Ash
9. 珍珠与灰烬餐厅(Pearl & Ash)
The wine list, with aged magnums of vintage Champagne and nine pages of Burgundies, reads like uptown. Yet you’re on the Bowery, and the wine director straddling the bench next to you while he runs through the pinot noirs of Clos Saron is wearing a Black Flag T-shirt. Pearl & Ash kicks down the walls that snobs have built around wine and lets the rest of us walk in. The list, whose markup philosophy might be summed up as “don’t be evil,” is as approachable as the menu. You can treat Pearl & Ash as a restaurant or a wine bar, order a few plates or fill the table, depending on your mood and how much you’ll be drinking. The chef, Richard Kuo, is fluent in spices, from Southeast Asia to North Africa; his small plates are seasoned with a sense of adventure. 220 Bowery (Prince Street), NoLIta, 212-837-2370.
Wylie Dufresne waited a decade after opening WD-50 before branching out. He must have been filing away notes the whole time because he and Alder’s executive chef, Jon Bignelli, have stuffed the menu with ideas. Foods from the American pub canon are turned inside out: The chips for scooping up cheese dip are made of squashed potato rolls, and a classic, creamy New England clam chowder is served with oyster crackers that are, in fact, oysters. Some of the inventions are warped, some make you laugh, and more than you’d think turn out to be delicious. Yes, people go out to eat now to be entertained, but there’s a place for entertainment that makes you think, and Mr. Dufresne and Mr. Bignelli have found it. 157 Second Avenue (East 10th Street), East Village, 212-539-1900.
怀利·迪弗雷纳(Wylie Dufresne)在开设WD-50餐厅十年之后才开始扩张。他应该一直在整理笔记，因为他和阿尔德餐馆的行政主厨乔恩·比格奈利(Jon Bignelli)让他们的菜单充满了想法。美国标准酒馆的食物被彻底颠覆：蘸芝士酱的薯条是用压碎的马铃薯面包做成的，经典的新英格兰奶油蛤蜊巧达浓汤是和牡蛎饼干一起上桌的，那些饼干实际上是牡蛎。有些发明很反常，有些让你大笑，味道都比你预想的好。是的，如今人们外出就餐是为了娱乐，但是迪弗雷纳和比格奈利的餐馆在让你获得娱乐的同时也让你思考。地址：东村第二大道157号（东第10街）；电话：212-539-1900。