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10 Most Memorable Restaurant Meals of 2014

It's that time of year for reflections and counting! Here are my 10 favorite restaurant meals of the year, all of which I'd recommend you adding to your 2015 to-dos. Note that this isn't a countdown (I am far too disorganized for that kind of thing), but just a count. You can't honestly expect me to pick a favorite meal out of twelve months of eating!

10. Russ & Daughters Cafe Maybe the most memorable. Read more about it here, and make plans to go ASAP.

First order of business in #philly: @federaldonuts!! A photo posted by Hillary Reeves (@hillreeves) on

9. Federal Donuts Again, read more about that one here. I've had a lot of donuts in my little life, but these were definitely my favorite. The Goldilocks of donuts-- just right in every way. Fun flavors, not too sweet... and chased down with fried chicken.

Han Dynasty with my foodiest friends. So good, so full. @mgpopolo @canjreeves @paigeaross @sharonfranke

A photo posted by Hillary Reeves (@hillreeves) on

8. Han Dynasty  2014 might go down as the year that Chinese food found a real home in my heart. I've never been a fan of saucy dishes, but the sweet, spicy and sticky meal at Han Dynasty helped change my mind for the better. Plus, it was a no-frills kind of place. We packed a group of five into a table meant for four and were hurried to order so the staff could turn over the booth.  Very just shut up and eat, which is how I like it.  

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Mmm brunch at Claudette was so good. Rose sangria, fresh butter/baguette/melon/radishes and perfect breakfast ham! A photo posted by Hillary Reeves (@hillreeves) on

7. Claudette I loved the food at this new and popular bistro, but I loved sitting in their beautiful, airy dining room even more. Beautiful French doors opened up to the quiet Washington Square neighborhood outside. It was the sort of brunch that makes New York feel fresh and full of discovery when you're feeling sick of all the same spots.

6. Ichimura at Brushstroke An incredible, probably unwarranted (as far as girlfriends go, I'm like medium good...), Valentine's Day treat from Danny. Intimate, artful, exquisite-- I still feel unworthy of this meal.

How'd they know?! Thx for the tasty tasting @dannyhyun and #torrisi! #full #sleepy #pastmybedtime A photo posted by Hillary Reeves (@hillreeves) on

5. Torrisi Italian Specialties I think I read that Torrisi is shutting down and reopening next year with a new name/look. The tasting menu will be gone and the restaurant will offer an a la carte menu and more seating. I'll miss the lovely little spot where I ate this July, though. It was fun to sit down in the tiny space and get to know my close-by, fellow diners over the course of the night. Nothing else like it!

4. Mile End Deli Dan got a new job last year and his office was on Bond Street. So, we became very well-acquainted with Mile End Deli, which definitely became my favorite place in New York City in 2014. I'd recommend lunch or brunch; you'll need the rest of the day to get rid of the smoked meat and poutine-induced food coma. (Also, the lighting here is fantastic. The most Instagrammable restaurant in the city, if you ask me.)  

Squash blossom and anchovy pizza at Marta. A photo posted by Hillary Reeves (@hillreeves) on

3. Marta  Marta was great. There is definitely better pizza in New York City, but in terms of an overall pizzeria dining experience (ambiance, drinks, attentive staff), it's the best you're gonna get. Also, the pie I chose was topped with slices of summer squash and anchovies. A genius combination.

I love it too much. Us in a #nutshell status

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2. Dead Rabbit and Bathtub Gin Two cocktail bars, tied for my favorite drinks of the year. I can't tell you what I ordered, but I can tell you I remember both spots with great affection.  

Catching up with @paigeaross and @mgpopolo the only way we know how-- with #tacos and #masa fries! A photo posted by Hillary Reeves (@hillreeves) on

1. Otto's Tacos I eat a lot of tacos in and around New York City. The shrimp taco at Otto's is up there with the best of 'em.
Runners Up: Lafayette, Franklin Fountain, Little Nonna's, Seoul Chicken, Don Antonio, Sauce Best New York Restaurants 2014

Radish Illustration 12/29/14

Austrian Shortbread Recipe