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Photograph: Courtesy of Lizzie Munro | Gage & Tollner

Let me tell you—my favorite food and drink columns from the past year

A look back at cocktails, reservations and iconic restaurants.

Amber Sutherland-Namako
Written by
Amber Sutherland-Namako

“Let Me Tell You” is a series of columns from our expert editors about NYC living, including the best things to do, where to eat and drink, and what to see at the theater. They publish each Wednesday so you’re hearing from us each week. In July, Food & Drink Editor and Critic Amber Sutherland-Namako shared how to win NYC Summer Restaurant Week.

One year ago, Time Out New York introduced columns from our editors as a place to expound on ancillary observations from our respective beats that might otherwise end up as a parenthetical in a review, roundup or even a feature.

My coverage area—food and drink—invites all manner of musings on how we dine out in New York City. These are a few of my favorites from the past 12 months. 

RECOMMENDED: The 50 best restaurants in NYC right now

1. All the good cocktails already exist 

From November 2, 2022: “Creativity and originality are lazily assumed mutually inclusive, but creativity and mastery are even better combined. All of the best cocktails already exist, and it would take lifetimes of hangovers to try, much less learn, them all. Let’s let a Manhattan be a Manhattan. Keep old fashioneds old fashioned. And, for god’s sake, a martini has two ingredients before the garnish—I no longer even care if one of them is vodka!”

2. There are only two ways to enjoy a martini in NYC

From February 1, 2023 “More martinis should be tableside, we agreed, a fantasy separate from the time, space and equipment that would be required to bring this sweet dream of ubiquity into consciousness. Still, there are places where you can get them.”

3. Your regular spot is sometimes better than dining at the “best restaurant”

From April 5, 2023: “These are the “let’s just go to” places that end up as enjoyable, if not more, than some bookings that take forever to get. The reliable restaurants and bars where you can actually get a seat and more or less what you came for. They’re a reminder that nobody really wins the race to be first to the next best thing because another one’s always right around the corner.”

4. Your favorite place is going to close, however iconic 

From May 2, 2023: “When an actually iconic restaurant or bar closes in New York City, the conventionally expected reaction is gnashing moans. Here, we believe that good things are real and real things are old and old things are better than new ones.”

5. “No Photos” should be NYC’s hot new going-out trend

From June 6, 2023: “Many of our most intimate events transpire in restaurants and bars. Happy ones. Sad ones. The weird middle occurrences we wish to forget. And I’d rather just not have the moment I mistakenly hip-checked a wine glass at the edge of one of those tight two tops, sending it hurtling to the floor with improbable force and ultimate shattering explosion that defies a layman’s sense of physics, to appear in a TikTok.”

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