Below are a few "honorable mentions"
that would have made the list if I had been allowed to name my
Top 16, and several citations are awarded to places that could
use a reality check.
Honorable mention goes to Beast in Prospect Heights for terrific grilled sardines and an outstanding lemon tart; Greenpoint’s Paloma for scallops on a puree of nutty cauliflower that was at once earthy and suave; Park Slope’s Tost for admirably light panini; Sette Enoteca e Cucina in Park Slope for a great mascarpone cheesecake with quince compote; Smith Street’s Cibo e Gente for lasagna the way it should be made; and Sweetwater in Williamsburg for the best butterscotch pudding I’ve ever eaten.
The "Hey you’re hurting me!" citation goes to Song in Park Slope for assaulting my ear drums, with Dish in Bay Ridge coming in a close second.
The two Park Slope restaurants to win the "Least likely to be confused with a Ricardo Montalban welcome" award are Peperoncino, for a dining room manager so surly he made me cringe, and a hostess at the Miracle Grill who could teach interrogation techniques to the CIA.
The "Gotcha!" medal goes to Bar BQ in Park Slope. If I say I loved the chocolate cake I tasted on my first visit, on my next, don’t bring out something that looks like you picked it up at the deli counter at the grocery store and try to pass it off as the real thing. If I were blindfolded, I could taste the difference.