I was six away from getting all 38 of the Eater 38. Moreover, two of the eateries that I had not yet patronized (Sripraphai and Le Bilboquet) were either closed or on the verge of closing. Really, I was four away. So I didn’t mind when, the night before the new 38 was released, I had to cancel my Chin Chin reservations. Hell, maybe I could even pad my total when the new list came out when Eater would add places I’d already been to.
No. It didn’t work like that. Instead, I got chaos.
Eater decided to blow up the 38, keeping one third of the entries. One half would be totally new to the list, and the remainder were returnees. A breakdown follows, with ones I have been to bolded:
Stayed On The 38 (13/13)
Locanda Verde, Torrisi, Balthazar, Lure, Spotted Pig, Casa Mono, ABC Kitchen, Keens, Esca, Danji, Salumeria Rosi, Red Rooster, Roberta’s
Returned To The 38 (1/6)
Blue Ribbon (fuck yeah!), Ippudo, Marea, Frankies 457, Lucali, Vinegar Hill House
New To The 38 (4/19 )
Barbarini Alimentari, 456 Restaurant, Rubirosa, I Sodi, Takashi, Kin Shop, Momofuku Noodle Bar, Maialino, John Dory Oyster Bar, Hill Country Barbecue, Benoit, Bar Room at The Modern, Donguri, Bamonte’s, The Good Fork
Oof! And wait till you hear how I knocked out some of the new entries.
Little did I know that, when I grabbed a slice of their vodka pie after buying a vintage t-shirt next door, I would be knocking out a future member of the Eater 38. Also, I thought the slice was kind of meh. But hey, here we are.
I actually had a real meal at this one! I went here on Valentine’s Day with GF3 (awwww). That night we decided we’d be exclusive (awwwwwwww). That’s right, ladyreaders, I’m highly dateable. Anyway, Rubirosa had a nice homey rabbit pasta, but there was a bone in it. Learning my lesson from Gramercy Tavern, I parlayed that into some free prosecco for me and GF3 (awwwww).
Hill Country Barbecue
I never ate here. No, I went here to watch the 2010 BCS Championship Game with a bunch of UT fans. I told everyone I went to Westlake High in Austin because that’s where my college roommate went. I got pretty drunk off their Pearl beer, WHICH IS FROM TEXAS. So, I think that counts, right?
The Bar Room at the Modern
I ate at The Modern when I was a summer associate, not just the bar room. Since the Bar Room is a low-cost alternative to actually eating at The Modern, I’m counting this as accomplished. Besides, I actually ate at a privately catered event after a private tour of the MOMA. I drank $200 wine with partners, ate a fantastic raspberry tort dessert and experienced what being part of the 1% is like. Being a summer is the best, you guys.
OK, so I had to get 20 notches in my belt instead of 6. But that’s still achievable. In fact, I was able to knock out two entries in one day.
I invited a bunch of my friends here for dim sum last Saturday. We ate late so they were out of some of their signature dishes, including one named Fried Tiny Balls, but their remaining offerings were still excellent, especially their yellow fish fried in tofu. Seriously, it sounds weird but it works. Still, I need to go back for Fried Tiny Balls
Sushi of Gari
I went here with GF4. Since she’s a vegetarian she had to watch me eat omakase while she slurped up soba noodles. It was my first omakase and holy shit omakase is awesome. Their black cod made me rethink my stance on black cod. They had sesame oil that kind of tasted like peanut butter. They had tofu cream that looked gross but tasted divine.
Anyway, GF4 and I are no more (don’t worry, it was as mutual as humanly possible). And now I can audition out whoever GF5 will be at Barbarini Alimentari, Takashi, Kin Shop, Momofuku Noodle, Ippudo, Maialino, John Dory, Benoit, Marea, Boulud Sud, Donguri, Bamonte’s, Frankies 457, Lucali, Franny’s, The Good Fork, Vinegar Hill House and Jackson Diner. And whenever I go to such a place, I’ll recap it in this space. Hopefully in more detail than “I ate a slice after buying a t-shirt.”
Anyway, I hope that’s better than Top Chef recaps. Because I’d rather be out on Wednesday night. Ideally at one of those restaurants.