Top 5 of ’12

Yes, I will join the tide of food writers listing off their top meals and restaurants of the past year. Yes, I will continue a tradition I started last year. Yes, you will be happy eating at any of these five wonders of the local food scene – as selected by the Hiram Bingham of culinary exploration – which is of course, yours truly. I travel by “T” though rather than donkey.

Whereas the defining theme of last year’s Top 5 list was “Gimme Something New and Different,” 2012′s top eats were more balanced between zany new creations (i.e., grilled romaine and braised oxtail salad at Strip T’s, house-made XO sauce at Journeyman, lamb belly w/ orange and moxie at Puritan) and insanely good renditions of classic dishes (i.e., roasted bone marrow at Puritan, fenugreek-smoked duck at Herb Lyceum, the ramen at Yume).

Interestingly, this list seems to also touch upon Contemporary American, Farm-to-Table, Snout-to-Tail, Classic and Modern Asian cooking. These trends are already the zeitgeist in the food world, and I hope they do continue into 2013.

  1. The Herb Lyceum | I can’t keep a secret very long – the true identity of my recent “Mystery Review”
  2. Strip T’s | Three cheers for one the most eclectic restaurants I’ve ever eaten in.
  3. Puritan & Company | This newcomer to the food scene definitely makes my short list.
  4. Journeyman | One of the most inventive, creative, scrumptious meals you’ll have on either side of the Charles.
  5. Yume Wo Katare| One bowl of ramen was all it took to solidify their spot on this coveted list.