New York Times Restaurant List

Anyone see this? Thoughts?

Feels like a bit of an “And…?”

Very odd, not quite sure what the point is.

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Just your standard 50 Best list, now that many of us are dining out again. A little different than the usual, because most of the restaurants aren’t new.

Are best of lists obsolete, considering our collective experience over the last 2 years?

Probably why the subtitle is “The 50 places in America we’re most excited about right now” and not “The 50 best places in America.”

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Do the nyc places seem like the ones anyone is most excited about right now?

It’s such a tired list.

You think? Dhamaka and Ernesto’s and Atomix are still pretty hot tickets. Curious which of the NYC places seem “tired” to you. Because it’s not supposed to be only brand new restaurants, just ones “we” are looking forward to eating at, maybe for the first time, maybe for the first time post-Excelsior Pass implementation.

What would be on your list?


Ernesto’s, because it’s newish - to me, I was gone for most of the pandemic.

Atomix hasn’t been new for a long time - I like the food from that team, but I think I still prefer Atoboy.

I’m not a fan of the food from the Dhamaka team, and it feels like one of their places being on a list is more trend than anything else. That said, they are riding the wave - they have yet another new place, and another one on the way.

“We” are looking forward to eating at ernestos’s, shukettte, thai diner, several chinese places, chinatown itself, one of the several recent and excellent vietnamese places, spanish diner, and so on.

I’ve also been enjoying Sugarfish on repeat after their pandemic expansion made them easier to get to. But that’s a chain now, so I guess it doesn’t count.

Re “tired” - the comment wasn’t just about nyc, but about what’s been picked from other cities too.

I’ve been to Ernesto’s about five times, which is extremely rare for me, because I always feel like I should spend my finite time/money going to new places. And Dhamaka twice, 'cause I like the fried fish and one of the cocktails. I don’t think I’ve been to any of their other places except for Masalawala, which I thought was just okay.

The much lauded Adda fed me one of the worst indian restaurant meals I’ve eaten while it was being celebrated as the best in town. So that’s my point of reference.

Someone told me the champaran meat at Dhamaka is excellent, but I’ve been hesitant, because much of the menu is familiar to me and I don’t want an Adda redo.

The new place is “South Indian” focused - that is interesting, but I don’t think ant of them have that cooking background so I’m curious to see what people who know what that food actually tastes like think (till then I’m happy with Anjappar).

I should check out Anjappar. The only place in that neighborhood that I really liked was one I’ve of course forgotten the name of - might have started with Ch? The same guy owned it and a bunch of other places, and the menu noted which region every dish was from. I think I had a Goan fish curry, if memory serves.

Maybe you’re thinking of Sahib?

There was a group with Hemant Mathur as advising chef that bought up a bunch of places in that few block stretch. But Mathur has had his own place on 9th for a while now, and his (ex?) wife just opened Tagmo.

Yes! I think that’s it. And I must’ve ordered the Kerala fish curry, 'cause I’ve been to Kerala.

No can see. :disappointed: I no longer subscribe to the Times.

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I like the 2 New England entries on the list…Sofra (which we haven’t been to in ages but we enjoyed) and Cong Tu Bot in Portland (which has been on my list forever). Several other places sounded intriguing.


Is this the Sofra that is also a bakery, or is there a proper restaurant that is related to this? I’ve heard wonderful things about Sofra Bakery & Cafe, and I love trying more middle eastern cuisines, but I guess I always assumed it was more bakery/cafe than restaurant. What are the recommendations here that isn’t a sweet or pastry, and isn’t a salad?

We are so spoiled with so much fantastic Vietnamese food in Boston that I rarely look for Vietnamese food outside our city, so Cong Tu Bot was not even on my radar. I looked up their website and had to laugh. It’s like a combination of retro 80’s computer graphics and lazors! and acid trip. Wow. :crazy_face:


Anytime you create a list, by its very process others will disagree with the results. One thing that the NYT does over time is de-emphasize the the NY part of its name. I don’t know how anyone could come up with a national list without asking everyone you know for random opinions. Its not like single person is likely to have gone to all of these spots or even if a single person would want to go to all 50. There are some cuisines that really appeal to me and others that if I never had again, I would never miss. Has to be the same for most people. I’ve been to a few of the places on the list but several have no interest for me. Most of them I will never get to as I won’t be traveling there just to visit. To call this America’s favorites is a bit over the top. How about “50 Places That Some of Us Want to Visit?”


When I saw that article, I wondered if maybe the idea was to include dining that isn’t a traditional restaurant experience? Because some of us aren’t yet comfortable dining inside restaurants.

For example, Sofra in Cambridge is more of a bakery with (delicious!) takeaway food and specialty food items such spices. Their small cafe is outdoor dining only at the moment.

Cong Tu Bot in Portland is a daytime cafe that currently offers outdoor dining on a covered patio. We actually intended to go there this past weekend on an oyster/food/brewery crawl of our own design this past weekend. We would have been able to enjoy this and keep ourselves outdoors, if only we’d had enough time.