Best New York Eats of 2012



The past year in the New York City restaurant scene was full of Asian invasions (Mission Chinese Food, Yunnan Kitchen, Andy Ricker’s Pok Pok, Neta, Legend, etc.) Mexican flare’s such as: El Toro Blanco, Gran Electrica and Empellon Cocina and an uproar in new BBQ places like BrisketTown. In honor of the New Year, Chekmark Eats reflects on 12 of the best and most memorable dishes of 2012 and toasts a cheers to you as we look forward to even more amazing new restaurants in 2013 (specifically Bromberg Brother’s Fried Chicken restaurant and the Torrisi guys The Lobster Club)!


  1. Empellon Cocina (East Village) Maine Diver Scallops with Surryano Ham and Chilaquiles Verdes
  2. Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria  (Bowery) Salt-Roasted Branzino: Thyme, Coarse Sea Salt, Caramelized Lemon (3rd pic above)
  3. El Toro Blanco (West Village) Green Chili Queso Fundido: Mexican Cheese & Green Chile Fondue, Chorizo, Warm Flour Tortilla
  4. Isola Trattoria & Crudo Bar  (CLOSED) Octopus Crudo and Hamachi Crudo (1st pic)
  5. Krescendo’s  (Boreum Hill, BK) Margherita Extra Pizza
  6. Bobwhite Lunch & Supper Counter (East Village) Fried Chicken
  7. Principessa (SoHo) Ugly But Good Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Gelato (pic below)
  8. Saxon+ Parole  (Lower East Side) Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Chili- Caramel
  9. Mission Chinese Food  (Lower East Side) Mapo Tofu with Pork Shoulder (2nd pic)
  10. Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya  (Lower East Side) All Sushi
  11. Red Farm  (West Village) Duck and Fuji Apple Wrap
  12. Smile To Go  (SoHo) Manouri Cheese, Truffle Oil and Fig Jam Sandwich (pic below)

***On another note, the best things that weren’t new in 2012, but I devoured and can’t ignore are:

  • Emporio Diver Scallops
  • Parm’s Eggplant Parm
  • An Icy Introduction Chocolate Chip Cookie
  • Coffee Shop Mac ‘n Cheese
  • Brooklyn Taco Company Guaco Taco
  • The Lobster Joint Steamers
  • Souen Edamame Guacamole with Seitan Chips
  • Minetta Tavern’s Minetta Burger
  • Cookshop’s Cookshop Scramble (never gets old)
  • Jeffrey’s Grocery Vegetable Risotto
  • Cafe Gitane Smoked Trout Salad with Black Lentils, Walnuts, Arugula, Cranberries, Avocado and Goat Cheese
  • Pasticceria Rocco’s Peanut Butter Cheesecake or M&M Cookie