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Hawksworth had a virtual lock on last year’s awards, and the judges weren’t shy about returning this year. Consistency swung them: consistency of premier ingredients, of flawless cooking technique, of formal service of a style too rapidly disappearing in this city. The food itself is fresh and contemporary, light on butter and cream, long on intelligent proteins: hamachi crudo is brightened with Meyer lemon and given umami depth with soy-truffle vinaigrette; confit goose leg raviolo is boosted with sunchoke cream and modernized with onion dust. In many dishes, deft Asian notes (sesame, tamarind, miso) only enhance a menu confidently straddling the Pacific. Speaking of oceans, chef David Hawksworth has just received an importing licence-look for a new range of chef-sourced fishes, especially from Hawaii, in the coming months.
Hawksworth is more than two linked dining rooms, though, and our judges also noted consistency across the guest experience. The bar adjacent to the dining room pours magnificent cocktails and offers savvy snacks. (We’re on record as loving the Korean fried cauliflower.) The Bel Café resurrects the spirit of long-mourned Sen5es bakery; as in the main room, it pours the H’s Blend house wines-a gamay and a pinot gris/riesling unveiled this year. (Look for a 10-seat patio just out the windows this summer.) The second-floor York Room hosts some of the most exclusive private meals in town.
Note to readers: the original print version of this article recognized Reflections as another Hawksworth highlight. This was an error. This chic rooftop lounge is not operated by Hawksworth but the Hotel Georgia team and Chef Ken Nakano.