TASTING MENU OF THE YEAR – Nobu
Tasting menus (does anyone call them degustation menus anymore?) seem to be going the way of the tastevin and the tasseled wine list (and not a moment too soon, we might add), but this one at the teppanyaki tables of Nobu was a stunner. From the o-toro tartare to the A-5 Japanese wagyu to the selection of sakes, this is panoply of perfection is to Benihana what a Vermeer is to a velvet Elvis.
CHEESIEST CHEESE PLATTER OF 2013 – Sweets Raku
Move over Robuchon. Settle back into second Savoy. Get over it Gagnaire. Because as well-chosen and beautifully presented as your plats de fromage are, they can’t hold a candle to the fun and fresh take given to the art of the curdled curd by our newest (and only) Japanese/French dessert bar. Apples to oranges you say? Perhaps, but the crispy mille feuille sticks would no doubt win applause from Philippe Angibeau, and the presentation is as delicious as the whipped Roquefort.
SWEETEST SWEETS OF THE YEAR (tie) – Sweets Raku and Art of Flavors Gelateria
Shhhhhh. Don’t tell the Food Gal® but ELV has a thing for female pastry chefs. And between Mio Ogasawara and Desyreé Albergati, he fell in love a lot this year. Because of their passion-infused operations, desserts in the ‘burbs took a giant leap forward, and for the first time in like….forever…those seeking the best of the best in all things sweet and sophisticated, no longer have to venture to the Strip.
Is this the end of the 2013 Johnnies? Far from it. But ELV and his staff have festivities to attend, gifts to exchange and movies to watch. Tune in daily right through the end of the year and you’ll be treated to a continuing stream of such worthy Major Awards as:
MOST DISGUSTING DISH OF THE YEAR
BEST SINGLE BITE OF FOOD OF THE YEAR
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT OF 2013
CHEF OF THE YEAR
RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR
DUMBEST IDEA OF THE YEAR,
and the eagerly awaited award for:
BEST RESTAURANT THAT’S CLOSEST TO MY HOUSE.