Sam Sifton's Last List: Top 10 New Restaurants for 2011

Before Sam Sifton handed over his reigns as the New York Times food critic in October, he gave us the 'in' on his favorite top 10 restaurants for 2011. Among his 10 favorites was none other than our Red Rooster that he describes as 'a big church of food in Harlem'.

We are excited for being part of this list and humbled to be among Danji, Tertulia, Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan, Empellon, M. Wells, Ciano, The John Drory Oyster Bar, Boulud Sud and The Dutch. We would love to hear what some of the restaurants you considered noteworthy for 2011 were and what dishes you enjoyed eating there. Why not check out Sam Siftons top 10 for 2011:

1)The Dutch - 131 Sullivan Street, Soho - Check out Chef Carmellinis oyster sandwich and finish with a sweet ending of pie.

2)Boulud Sud - 2W 64th Street - Daniel Boulud did it yet again, this time with a Southern, Mediterranean flair on a meal francais.

3)The John Drory - 1196 Broadway - 'Most exciting seafood in the city' with an ambiance to match in this Ace Hotel.

4)Ciano - 45E 22nd Street - Juxtaposing 'sophisticated urban Italian...with a warm farmhouse setting' brings Shea Gallantes restaurant to number 4 on Sifton's Top 10.

5)M. Wells - Long Island City - Symbolic of all things foie gras, this French Canadian diner closed down after a 'rent dispute.'

6)Empellon - 230 West Fourth Street - 'Savory taco king', Sifton calls this a second-date restaurant.

7)Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan - Flushing, Queens, comes with his very own recommendation of BBQ Fish and Cumin Lamb.

8)Tertulia - 359 Ave of the Americas - The Spanish cider bar caught Sifton's attention with its Iberico Ham and clams.

9)Red Rooster - 310 Lenox Avenue - Swedish-African-American church of food with crowds to 'testify'.

10)Danji - 347W 52nd St - Tapas-style fiery Korean bites, a K-take on Japanese Izakaya.

What were your favorite restaurants of 2011?

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Sam Sifton's Last Review

Today we say farewell to Sam Sifton as the celebrated New York Times Restaurant Critic, and say hello to him as the soon-to-be-celebrated National Editor for the NYT. In today's New York Times Dining Section, you can find Sam Sifton's last chosen restaurant review; and a doozy it was- the review of "New York's Best Restaurant," Thomas Keller's Per Se. Located in the Time Warner Center on Columbus Center, Per Se is Thomas Keller's East Coast version of his acclaimed French Laundry in California. In his last critique as restaurant reviewer, Sam Sifton raved of Per Se's exquisite and incomparable food in a long and detailed 4-star awarded review. This however is not the first time Per Se has received the highest honor (4 starts) of the popular New York publication; it's actually the second time with former NYT restaurant reviewer Frank Bruni having reviewed the establishment with the same acclaim in 2004.

Known for its pricey tasting and a la carte menus, Per Se is definitely not for the faint of heart when it comes to spending quite a deal for a fabulous meal. But its highly-praised reviews can attest that every dollar forfeited here is money well spent.

We could not forgo the opportunity to mention Sam Sifton's last review. We will certainly miss his highly anticipated thoughts every Wednesday in the NTY, and we can only hope that he'll continue to publish his occasional Sifty Fifty List that we oh-so-love. Good luck as editor, Sam, and congratulations to Per Se for a once again great review!

What was your favorite Sam Sifton restaurant review?

Photo: adKinn 

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Sam Sifton's Next Steps: National Editor for The New York Times

As we have all just become aware of, Sam Sifton has just been named National Editor for The New York Times. He will be stepping down from his title as Restaurant Critic for the NY Times and is moving up in the editorial world.

With his restaurant critic experiences and 'star runs at Dining and Culture', Jill Abramson, the new executive editor of the NY Times, knows Sam Sifton will be a perfect fit. In Nick Fox's "Times Names Sam Sifton Next National Editor", Abramson writes, "Sam is a superb editor who brings infectious energy and a host of original ideas, digital and print, to everything he touches." With his two-year stint as the restaurant critic, it is time for him to continue to mold the NY Times into something great. Congratulations go out to Sam Sifton! We are looking forward to seeing who will be named the next NY Times restaurant critic.

Photo: adKinn

Who would you like to see as the next NY Times restaurant critic?

Red Rooster On The Sifty Fifty

Guess who made it to the updated Sifty Fifty List? That's right- Red Rooster! The Sifty Fifty is a current list from New York Times' restaurant critic, Sam Sifton, of his 50 favorite New York restaurants at the moment. Every few months, or so, Sifton updates his list of favorites by taking out a few restaurants and replacing them with new restaurants that have made his list. We're proud to announce that Red Rooster Harlem made the new Sifty Fifty that was published just yesterday. Among others added were Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare and Veritas.

The complete Sifty Fifty is also available as an app for iPhone users or as a web-based version for non-iPhone users. Congratulations to all those on the list! It's an honor for us to be included.

The New York Times Review of Red Rooster Harlem

Thank you to Sam Sifton and the New York Times for the review of Red Rooster Harlem.  It's been a fantastic time so far and I'm so thankful to the entire team.  Andrea, our incredible executive chef, does an outstanding job with our food, and the entire restaurant delivers what Sifton calls "that rarest of cultural enterprises, one that supports not just the idea or promise of diversity, but diversity itself."

According to Sifton, the scene is "amazing: a pulsing, cheerful and virtually always-packed bar" but doesn't stop there.  The food is prepared "with a care and kind of sparkle."  He touches on the "fork-pliant" oxtail, fried yard bird, the "perfectly done" greens that accompany it, and the desserts.  Praising the mix of patrons, Sifton deems the clientele the "faces of the city we live in."

At Red Rooster, we're so thankful to everyone: Andrea, Mike and Jimmy in the kitchen, and everyone in the front of the house who keeps the restaurant running smoothly.  Thank you to Harlem, our guests, and everyone who has welcomed us to the community and thank you to our loyal regulars.

We're so grateful for the support from the Apollo, the Studio Museum Harlem, the Maysles family, St. Mark's the Evangelist School, PS 180, Uptown Magazine, and so many more.  It's been a team effort to get here so far, and it will be a team effort for years to come.

Thank you so much.

Read the rest of the review here.