Neighborhood: West Village, Manhattan
Address: 239 West 4th St.
This West Village enterprise, along with the late M. Wells, sparked my interest in Quebecois cuisine this year. Fedora's chef Medhi Brunet-Benkritly cut his teeth at Au Pied de Cochon in Montreal, and although there are many American benchmarks here (oysters Rockefeller, beef tartare), there's something more imaginative percolating behind the scenes. A giant pork chop for two was served with Asian-style scallion pancakes; a strange and satisfying surf-and-turf spin swapped steak and lobster tails for sweetbreads and octopus. You can devour this stuff beneath iconic original photographs—look out for Michael Halsband's portrait of Warhol and Basquiat, and Richard Avedon's Marilyn Monroe.—JR