1. The Dutch

Neighborhood: Soho, Manhattan
Address: 131 Sullivan St.
Website: thedutchnyc.com

Chef and owner Andrew Carmellini simply got it right. The year's best new restaurant doubles as a nota bene to food world aspirants: Here's how to build a place that captures the zeitgeist without being slavishly trendy; how to outfit a dining room so it feels classic without dressing it in preindustrial drag; how to shape a menu so it satisfies cravings without pandering to the comfort-food churls. Might as well bronze my barstool—I'll be returning here for years.—JR