There was a lot of hype behind Ken Friedman's paean to fish and gigantic aquariums, but the John Dory lived up to pretty much all of it, and became the local gold standard for the pleasures of the British raw bar, including oysters, Guinness, razor clam ceviche and reservation-assisted people-watching.
Everything Important from 2008
A lot goes on in a year, and you may have been distracted by elections, economic crises and various other less important affairs. But don't worry, we had our eye on every last happening in the city (or at least anything with a few drinks involved). In case you missed it, here's what happened:
The noodle dust has settled and as far as we're concerned, a new king has emerged. Making its name with impeccably spiced pork buns, a bamboo "tree" tying the room together and Hakata-style broth simmered for the better part of a day, Ippudo earned a spot at the top of the ramen food chain.
We didn't pry about the lucky couples who managed to snag a night in the Gugge's revolving hotel room, but we're pretty sure some hot post-modern action went down.
The mixology trend may be getting a little long in the tooth, but these guys gave it a whole new life...and gave a jolt to Chinatown while they were at it. Nightly champagne towers, a huge marble bar and mad scientist bartenders manning beakers, test tubes and open flames made this the nightlife scene's most exciting newcomer.
Speaking of breathing new life into trends, '08 saw Mason & Freeman creating one of the most intriguing fusions in the city's history: absinthe and gummi bears. Together at last.
The market jitters may be going around, but hot-tubbing is still there to soften the blow. The authoritative guide to urban hot-tubbing was published to great acclaim, and newly thrifty tubbers got a chance to combine their summer grills with something a bit more soothing...for rent no less.
We've seen the future, and it's measured in ounces...by robots. Clo introduced us to a brave new world of robotic wine tasting that replaces sommeliers with card-swiping. There's no going back now.