As you might imagine, publishing this list provokes emails and online comments from readers who wonder why X restaurant didn’t make the cut. The polite answer, which often has the benefit of being true, is that there are far more than 100 restaurants worthy of the list, and I must make some difficult choices. Sometimes, though, I just need to be badgered relentlessly until I think, “Oh, yeah, duh, I Fratellini belongs. Time for the prosciutto-wrapped, mozzarella stuffed endive and the bucatini all’Amatriciana.” Blame my love for Zoe Robinson and Ny Vongsaly’s Bar Les Frères for blinding me to their more established Italian restaurant across the street. I Fratellini offers the same grown-and-sexy vibe, the same effortlessly sophisticated cooking.
Hours: Dinner Monday-Saturday, lunch Monday-Friday
Last year's ranking: New this year
Must order: Grilled prosciutto-wrapped Belgian endive (two for $8, four for $15)