You know a restaurant opening is an important one when, a few months later, you can't imagine New York without it. 2012, despite plenty of closures even before a catastrophic storm that crippled, closed, or delayed so many restaurants, was a fantastic year for eating in the city. Here are my favorites of the year: not just full-service restaurants, but the odd bakery, cocktail bar, and Mediterranean lunch joint thrown in for good measure.
'Lulu & Po' on Serious Eats
Here's the difference between Lulu & Po and so many other Brooklyn neighborhood restaurants I visit: I want all those restaurants to be something like Lulu & Po, but often, they're not.
It might be easy to come to Lulu & Po, the small plates joint that opened in Fort Greene this past June, and overlook the cocktail menu. After all, it only has four items. But bar manager Gerrett White, an alum of Belcourt in the East Village, makes it clear that these chosen few were selected with care.