Advertisement Best Restaurants of 2012 Best New Chef Restaurants 12 of 12 Photo © Nathan Rawlinson. Atera, New York City Matt Lightner’s ingenious, playful cooking makes for a fun, fascinating meal. I loved the beet “ember,” which arrived at the table looking like a hunk of coal. ateranyc.com SEE MORE Every year, Food & Wine editor in chief Dana Cowin tastes her way through the most exciting restaurants in the country. Here, her favorite stops of 2012.