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Good Bye 2012 and Happy 2013!

December 31, 2012

I feel like everyone and anyone who has a blog of any sort is obligated to post some form of a recap for the year, whether it is a listicle of the best/worst of 2012 or a summary of favorites.  I somehow manage to let 2011 pass by without succumbing to this “tradition” but 2012 feels special enough to warrant a recap, a celebration of a sort.

So where do I start?  I certainly didn’t cook as much as I would have liked.  But even so, I did manage to make a few recipes from the Momofuku Milk Bar’s cookbook like here, and here and of course,  the birthday cake.  There was also a fun session of shooting a pictorial of how to make wontons (along with a video as well that never quite made it past the editing phase) and a few sweet bites of one of my favorite desserts, the caneles.

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And the reason for not cooking much?  Too many restaurants to discover such as an elegant yet approachable spot from the team at Eleven Madison in Flatiron and a charming gem in the East Village that continues to fly somewhat under the radar.  I ventured from the Island of Manhattan and found myself off the beaten path in Bed-Stuy for a rather unique culinary experience and even further into Long Island for a taste of Southern Creole feast.

This year seemed to be more filled with tasting menus than normal, ranging from a difficult to secure one in Bushwick to an elegant tasting celebrating a special occasion to an intimate dinner hosted by two amazing chefs in Brooklyn.  My favorite of them all?  A little taste of Italian Americana

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And as crazy as it sounds, this was the year that I finally made it to what many might call institutions.  The gastropub from April Bloomfield with the delicious juicy lamb burger?  Check.  A cheeky outrageously delicious diner with a rather colorful reputation in the Essex Market?  Check.  And that West Village charmer with a delicious cocktail menu and memorable brunch?  Check!  I cannot believe that it really took me that long to make it to these spots.

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Interspersed in the New York restaurants were a few trips across the country as well as abroad.  Remember this adorable oyster shack in Boston?  I still crave its sweet and savory Johnnycakes and delicious crispy oysters.  And of course, its counterpart in Seattle is not too shabby either.  One of the most memorable meals was abroad in Barcelona at a spot with a formidable reputation and it set the bar very high for the rest of the trip.

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Despite it all, there are some things that never change.  The following favorites will continue to hold a dear spot in my heart:  the secret hidden gem in Nolita, the West Village spot for the uni-obsessed, the second floor Japanese izakaya and its ramen shop in the middle of tourist central, the ever reliable Peruvian rotisserie chicken dinner and the good old quintessential brunch in West Village.

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So there you have it, a wee summary of 2012 from my eyes and mouth.  With only a few more hours to go, I can confidently say it’s been a great year and thanks for reading and happy eating in 2013!

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