Best bad boy turned good: Paul Liebrandt, Corton

Sometimes all a bad boy needs is the right management. Take, for example, restaurateur Drew Nieporent, who channeled Liebrandt's notorious culinary wild streak (formerly on display at Atlas and Gilt) into establishing one of the year's most staggering new restaurants. The chef's brazen tendencies (at Atlas he finished a stuffed-pig's-foot dish with a foam of calf's brains) may have been corralled, but his food—a genre-enhancing salad composed of countless pampered, strikingly arranged vegetables; an oval of lush foie gras bound with a gleaming coat of beet gele—is astonishing all the same. Corton 239 West Broadway between Walker and White Sts (212-219-2777)