Dropped in January 2012. On the family tree of New York high-end Chinese restaurants, Chin Chin, since 1983, is younger than Mr. Chow and Shun Lee, but its anchor status on 49th Street in Midtown … is indisputable. Chin Chin's appeal lies in its versatile menu of, patent pending, "haute couture of Chinese cuisine..." and its always-affable owner, Jimmy Chin
Former Eater Essential 38
by Wally Gobetz
Restaurants that once made the Eater Essential 38 (http://www.dinevore.com/lists/6017/eater-essential-38) but have since been relegated.
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2 Sushi Yasuda 94 TastyRx $$$ Japanese/Sushi, Asian: Southeast204 E. 43rd St., Manhattan, NY
3 Strip House $$$$ American Traditional, Steakhouse13 E. 12th St., Manhattan, NY
Dropped in October 2011. Its steaks are excellent, especially the double-cut bone-in rib eye, but Strip House's real achievement is finally putting steak in a sexy setting, which it does in … spades. The deep, aged red leather and dark wood make this the prettiest, and therefore most versatile, steakhouse in the city.
4 Yakitori Totto $$$ Japanese/Sushi251 W. 55th St. 2nd fl., Manhattan, NY
5 Balaboosta $$ Middle Eastern214 Mulberry St., Manhattan, NY
6 Dinosaur Bar-B-Que $$ BBQ646 W. 131st St., Manhattan, NY
Dropped in July 2011. Along with Daisy May's, Dinosaur tops the category of Best BBQ in New York. Tucked under the West Side Highway, waits are epic, as are the ribs. Tip: outside tables are first-come first-served.
7 Socarrat Paella Bar $$$ Spanish/Tapas259 W. 19th St., Manhattan, NY
Dropped in July 2011. This Chelsea hole-in-the-wall -- yes, expect to wait to share space at the giant communal table that stretches the length of the room -- serves near note-perfect paella. A solid menu of Spanish starters, too.
8 Maz Mezcal $$$ Mexican316 E. 86th St., Manhattan, NY
9 the little owl 77 $$$ New American90 Bedford St., Manhattan, NY
Dropped in April 2011. Its mere 25 seats are to blame for the impossible proposition of scoring a reservation here, but for those who get in, it's an evening of charm on a leafy dreamlike West Village corner. Owner/chef Joey Campanaro's meatball sliders are the stuff of legend. Try it for a date: there's a reason regulars call it "the closer."
10 Convivio 89 $$$ Italian45 Tudor City Pl., Manhattan, NY
Dropped in January 2011. A bone thrown to Tudor City, which is otherwise quite short on reasonable restaurant options, it turns out that Convivio is a versatile, casual, expert stage for chef … Michael White, one of the city's most talented pasta makers.