Best return of fusion: Double Crown

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OTHER NOMINEES: Elettaria, Greenwich Grill, Macao Trading Co.

Fusion has become a proverbial four-letter word in most gastronomic circles, but this sophomore project from the team behind Public has done a fair bit to put it back in good favor. Executive chef Brad Farmerie, with his artfully edited culinary survey of Britain's former Asian colonies expertly combines old-school British fare (elk Wellington, bangers and mash) with inspiration from the East (Singaporean laksa, Vietnamese-style pork belly). Match that with AvroKO's sexy version of an Eastern bazaar—decked out with a shipping container's worth of far-flung artifacts—and fusion is suddenly, almost, hip again. Double Crown 316 Bowery at Bleecker St (212-254-0350)

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