Best Comeback: The John Dory Oyster Bar

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Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

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OTHER NOMINEES: , The Brooklyn Star, Hecho en Dumbo

When the original Meatpacking location of the John Dory rolled up its nautical charts and drained its fish tanks in August 2009, you held your breath for Ken Friedman and April Bloomfield's promised revival. And when it finally returned, stripped of its kitsch and pricey entres and reborn inside the Ace Hotel, you showed up in schools, voting the new joint your favorite comeback kid. Credit the blockbuster duo for reprising dishes we'd been missing (that decadent oyster pan roast; those tender squid bodies stuffed with chorizo), while tinkering with the formula just enough to make the place feel as fresh and buzzy as it did the first time around. The John Dory Oyster Bar, 1196 Broadway at 29th St (212-792-9000, thejohndory.com)

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