Amanda Kludt, Eater editor-in-chief: Getting to try Alex Stupak’s desserts again at Empellon Midtown. Nothing against his savory food at Empellon, but I was a huge fan of his desserts at wd~50 and getting to get a taste of that in such an unexpected place was pure joy.
Daniela Galarza, Eater senior editor: I wasn’t treated like complete shit when I walked into the Pool without a reservation.
Mayukh Sen, Munchies staff writer: Maybe it’s just the recency clouding my memory here, but Saltie announcing its closure blindsided me.
Robert Sietsema, Eater NY senior critic: Ugly Baby — that there could be an approach to Thai food we hadn’t experienced yet, and we could still fan our mouths in pain.
Ryan Sutton, Eater NY chief critic: Cote. Here in New York we have all sorts of exorbitant chain steakhouses charging absurd prices on porterhouses and mashed potatoes. And then Simon Kim, a guy with a single restaurant, a guy who doesn’t benefit from nationwide economies of scale, shows up and finds a way to hawk tastings of American beef for $45 per person — sides and dry-aged options included. The chain steakhouses have always been ripping us off.
Sonia Chopra, Eater director of editorial strategy: I loved what Wifey was doing in Prospect Heights this summer: Great food and coffee in a super chill space. More pop-ups in 2018, please.
Stefanie Tuder, Eater NY senior editor: That Tiffany’s finally capitalized on its Audrey Hepburn-era fame with a touristy, gimmicky cafe in which to, yes, eat breakfast at Tiffany’s. And that I, along with hordes of other hardened New Yorkers, desperately want to go.
Patty Diez, Eater editorial coordinator: That Bobby Flay has a restaurant other than Gato?
Devra Ferst, Eater contributor: I wish this year had contained more pleasant surprises.
Kevin Nguyen, GQ senior editor: Fuku. I mean, it’s not new to 2017, but when I visited the first location in the East Village back in 2015, I was deeply underwhelmed. The spicy chicken sandwich was uneven and a little unwieldy — not to mention expensive for what it was. Danny Meyer made the elevated fast food game look easy. Maybe David Chang had underestimated it.
But I gave Fuku another shot this year, and man it has come a long way. Sure, the sandwich is a little cheaper now, but Fuku has finally nailed the most important part of fast food: consistency. Even if it’s just hipster Chik-fil-A, the sandwich is a comfort.