Wrap It Up

A look back at New York's year in food

With 2010 hurtling to a close and our eyes and minds already trained on next year, it's time for our annual recap. Close inspection reveals that it was a fine 12 months for dining in New York, but a few curious trends emerged.

See for yourself:

Getting the Boot As a city, we're not strangers to the charms of pasta. But this year, New York fortified its dedication to everything and anything Italian. Eataly opened to great fanfare. Less chaotic (but no less delicious) were the meals we had at longstanding favorite Emilio's Ballato. Lasagna became a canvas for experimentation, first at Porchetta, then as an inventive takeout option at Brooklyn's Brucie. Ciano did rustic Italian right, Pulino's brought buzz to the Bowery and Torrisi redefined Italian American, while Michael White wowed us twice and Frankies helped bring it all home.

Local Hooch The local food explosion shows no signs of stopping, and now our booze is following suit. The excellent Breuckelen gin, a fourth release from Fire Island Beer Co. and a stellar saison from Brooklyn Brewery all prove that nearby stills, casks and barrels are turning out quality booze. And if your corner liquor store isn't cutting it, you can now join a wine club, wine CSA or even crush it yourself.

Shop 'Til You Drop Buying groceries is no longer a chore thanks to the charm of the Brooklyn Flea and the hyperfocused inventories at The Meadow (salt, chocolate) and La Boîte (spices, biscuits). Restaurants have added value by hawking the ingredients used in their dishes: You can simultaneously eat and shop at new spins on cafeterias, artisanal markets, this 50,000-square-foot Italian mall and this neighborhood oyster-bar-cum-larder.

Empire State of Mind This year, New Yorkers relied on food as a way to celebrate our inimitable city pride. To wit: local beer-and-bread collaborations and borough-inspired salsa, sausages and cookbooks. And to drive the point home that we know how to do it best, we looked to the sophomore tome from Red Hook's beloved Baked, the reinvention of the classic hot dog by The Meat Hook and the Brooklyn-ization of the classic Jewish deli.