This was a crazy and amazing year filled with lots of great food, friends and travel. It began in January with a fantastic trip to San Diego with my parents. They learned more about beer on that trip than they probably ever cared to know hitting up spots like Alpine, Ballast Point and Societe Brewing. Then Mr. T and I spent a few days in Florida before embarking on an absolutely incredible trip to Copenhagen and Brussels with our close friends and certainly the best beer festival of my life the Copenhagen Beer Celebration. Add in a few trips to Buffalo, Vermont and Nashville and I would say we've been pretty busy. But in the end it's always NYC that holds the biggest spot in my heart. This year the food was better than ever and with new breweries like Third Rail and Other Half joining the leagues of Peekskill, Kane and Barrier there's never been a better time to drink local. Cheers to 2014!
Best New Sushi- Sushi Dojo
There was a lot of new sushi joints this year but Sushi Dojo stood out as our favorite. This omakase was simply amazing...from the lush fatty Horse Mackerel to the salty Golden Eye Snapper each and every piece was fresh and exciting. I loved watching Chef David delicately braid the two pieces of Needle Fish into one gorgeous bite.
Best Burger- Peter Lugers
I finally got to Peter Lugers for lunch and this burger was everything I was hoping it would be and more...a little bit of funk, lots of juicy innards and tons of flavor. For $16 this 1/2 pound burger is probably one of the best lunch deals in town.
Best Salad- Gulf Shrimp with Mesclun Inn at Pound Ridge
These shrimp were just beautiful; plump and buttery with fresh slices of ripe avocado and a warm truffle and champagne vinaigrette that was leagues above any dressing I've ever tasted. I was absolutely in love with this salad and so excited when I found it again at Nougatine a month later.
Best Breakfast- Buvette
Best New Sweet- Domique Ansel Cookie Shot
Two years ago it was his spongy Cannele, last year it was the incredible Frozen S'more and this year Dominique makes an appearance once again for his ingenious invention The Cookie Shot. It's a brown sugar cookie loaded up with delicious Valrhona chocolate, shaped like a shot glass to be filled with milk and eaten as some glorious on the go treat. It's AMAZING!
Best Ice Cream- Ample Hills Creamery
This Brooklyn hot spot completely won me over with their Toffee Bar Crunch made of thick vanilla bean ice cream, ribbons of caramel, crunchy chunks of toffee and milk chocolate. Bonus points for their gorgeous new spot inside Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Best Bar Opening- The Nomad Bar
It's sexy and sophisticated with killer cocktails, a fantastic beer list and one incredible burger...it's the whole package.
Best NYC Brewery- Other Half
Best New Beer Bar- St. Gambrinus
Best Meal of 2014- Manfred's & Vin
The big meal of our trip to Copenhagen was supposed to be Noma and of course it was absolutely incredible. But the place I always think back to is cozy little Manfred's and Vin. The Chef's tasting menu was incredible. I was downright enchanted with the buttery, toasted flavor of the onions, amazed by the bright acidity in the beet tartare and absolutely in love with that leek soup. If only I could sit on that little cobblestone street for lunch every day :)
Best of the Rest
Best Local Beer- Kane Sunday Brunch
Best Beer- Funky Buddha Last Snow
Best Side Dish- Corn Creme Brulee at Quality Italian
Best Neighborhood Opening- Cafe El Presidente
Best Wine Bar- Aldo Sohm
Best Veggies- Arnold's (Nashville)