Dining

The 2016 Bucket List

Everything you need to eat, experience and Instagram before the New Year
Illustration: Paul Tuller
Your 2016 Food Bucket List

All December long, we're bringing you the recipes, tips and tricks you need to Feast your way through the holidays, no matter how you celebrate the season.

This past year has been, well, rough: It was the year that took Prince and David Bowie, Muhammad Ali and Florence Henderson. We even said goodbye to Arnold Palmer, who invented the beloved eponymous drink. In the wake of such incredible loss, we were left to drown our sorrows in crazy milkshakes. That's why you'll find us making the most of what's left of 2016, with no regrets, and getting our mile-high pastrami on rye at the soon-to-close Carnegie Deli and one last rainbow bagel before it's too late. Come along: The clock starts now.

DROP EVERYTHING AND . . .
Live Your Best Wes Anderson Life

If you missed out on the 17,000-foot-high Everest restaurant excursion put on by a Noma-trained chef, now's your chance for redemption. Mark your calendar for December 27, when you can sign up for January's rendition of the epic experience: dinner aboard a moving train through India's tea fields, an experience that "evokes Wes Anderson's 'The Darjeeling Limited.'"

Eat at SingleThread While You Still Can

Sonoma's already-lush culinary scene just got even richer with the opening of this new restaurant, and people are noticing. Now's the time to slip in before the masses descend next season. No aspect of the meal is without intention, including the take-home boxes filled with seeds from the farm and accompanied by handwritten notes from the owners. Dinner costs $294 a person, unless you opt for a New Year's Eve seating, which shoots up to $457. But an 11-course tasting menu from a five-acre farm oasis, rooftop garden and daily rotating menu? Surely, there's no better way to close out the year.

Watch Food Network on Netflix Before It's Gone

Right before Netflix made shows available to download and watch off-line, Food Network announced its plan to remove all its shows from the streaming service. Which means your favorites like Alton Brown's Good Eats and Duff Goldman's Ace of Cakes will disappear from the ether. That's cool. We'll just find a VHS and make it work.

CLOSING TIME
Bar Tartine

Nick Balla and Cortney Burns recently announced they would be leaving Mission hot spot Bar Tartine at the end of the year (cue the collective gasp). Granted it's to open up a "temporary restaurant" called Motze, so you'll technically still be able to get a meal cooked by these talented chefs. But if you have a hard time accepting change, get to Bar Tartine before December 31.

RELATED   Bar Tartine's Closing at the End of the Year, Chefs Turn to Motze »

The Cape Cod

Just as a young crop of young hotel restaurants is springing up on the scene, this 83-year-old restaurant in Chicago's ornate Drake hotel, fittingly situated on the ritzy Magnificent Mile, is heading for retirement. They're leading up to the final day of service (New Year's Eve) by celebrating their retro classics like tomato-red snapper Bookbinder soup, oysters Rockefeller and Baked Alaska. It remains to be seen what will happen to artifacts housed in this institution, like the bar where Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio etched their initials during the couple's whirlwind marriage.


Carnegie Deli

Even if you could manually dislocate your jaw (this is not a challenge), you still wouldn't be able to fit a storied Carnegie Deli sandwich into your mouth. But now's the time to grab a knife and fork, and show that plate of pastrami who's boss, because you have only until New Year's Eve to do so. Even picketed protests and a $5 million Hail Mary deal couldn't save this New York City staple.

 

Hello, New York! #BringOnThePastrami #since1937

A photo posted by Carnegie Deli (@carnegiedeli) on


Betony

Betony was recently named one of "the greatest restaurants around the globe," so it's with great sadness that we have to say goodbye to a beacon of hope in what some have observed to be a decline in the quality of NYC's dining scene. There's a galaxy of stars in the combined experience of executive chef Bryce Shuman and general manager Eamon Rockey though, so we think it's fair to hope there will be exciting things ahead for Betony's talented staff. In the meantime, grab a glass of their unmissable milk punch and toast to a good run.

ONE-HIT WONDERS
Rainbow Food

There's apparently a pot of gold at the end of each rainbow, and it's looking like the end is 2017. There were rainbow bagels, grilled cheese, lattes and layered French pastries (OK, maybe that last one was just us). It was fun while it lasted, but when it comes to bagels, we're ready to paint it black with all the black sesame and activated charcoal there is.

 

?????Taste the rainbow @bagelboyofficial ???Follow ?@adventuresofanyfoodie for more nyc foodie spots!

A photo posted by Kai | FOOD & FITNESS | ?NYC (@kaieatsworld) on


Crazy Milkshakes

There's no arguing the impressive factor behind the trend of affectionately known freakshakes, as surely a heaping mound of milk-blended ice cream can only be enhanced by icing, sprinkles and an entire slice of cake. We've definitely downed one (or two) ourselves this year, but for the sake of simplicity, let's hope 2017 is the year of the vertically challenged.


Pokémon Go

The craze that took summer by storm is effectively Pokémon gone at this point (sorry), so pack in a few last Poké Ball-shaped burgers while you still can over the next few weeks. You already missed the multicity Pokémon bar crawl, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy a Pikachu macaron or decorated latte all the same. Let's hope someone revives Pac-Man in 2017, so we can fixate on a video game that truly revolves around eating.

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