As the end of the year approaches, it's time to take stock of what happened—and what we ate. Pete Wells, the discerning critic at the New York Times, just released his 10 best restaurants and 10 favorite dishes of the year.
Tucked into the lists, which could easily be a guide for where to eat well over the Christmas break, is as a recap of the better trends that dominated 2016 dining. First up: a refreshing take on French fare at places like Stephen Starr and Daniel Rose's Le Coucou and poultry-centric Le Coq Rico. Also on the list, a continuing love affair with the foraged and mineral flavors of the new Nordic movement at restaurants like Agern and Aska, and a deepening interest in regional Chinese cooking seen in the bracingly spicy dishes at Hao Noodle and Tea by Madam Zhu’s Kitchen. Pasta, which has been strewn across so many menus this year, also shows its face on Wells's list, but it takes more than a basic bowl of bucatini with pesto to impress the critic.
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