It’s that time of year, when you think back on the dishes, places and dining situations that made you happiest over the past year. Here’s my idiosyncratic (no burgers! no pizza!), New York–centric awards list for 13 of the best dishes and drinks I wish I could eat again and again—at least until 2016, when my watchword will be "diet."
Best Meat Spread: Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong, NYC
In Korean, Baekjeoung means butcher. Deuki Hong, chef at this exhilarating restaurant, serves just a handful of cuts and they’re terrific. Best of all is the scored, thinly sliced marinated short ribs: Hong marinates the marinade for the beef, before it’s quickly cooked on the tableside grill. The grills are designed with troughs, so cheesy corn and egg custard cooks alongside the meat. Shout-out, too, to the lunch box, a mix of rice and kimchee that gets shaken up in a little lunchbox right in front of you. baekjeongnyc.com/
Best Mash-Up Dish: Mapo Tofu Pizza, Mission Chinese Food, NYC
Before MCF opened late last year, I heard a rumor that chef Danny Bowien would be using the wood oven to make mapo tofu pizza. Genius, I thought. Not exactly true, it turns out. But, you can make your own: Order the pillowy cheese pizza and then also get the mapo tofu, a meaty ragù studded with Sichuan peppercorns. The pizza always comes first, so you have to try hard not to eat all the slices before the mapo tofu arrives. mcfny.com/