Food To Look Forward To:
10 Favorite Restaurants Of 2021

Last year, when I got tired of reading restaurant obituaries, I decided to write restaurant love letters instead. I’d hoped it was a one-off, but the pandemic hasn’t ended, and neither have the obituaries. But I still managed to eat well, and so I have more love letters. These ten restaurants (in alphabetical order) came to life for me during the past year. A couple are new, but most are worth celebrating because they adapted and hung on. Some have Michelin stars while others don’t even have menus. They all reminded me of the origin of the word restaurant—to restore, to take care of, to make feel complete. 

Truth be told, I found myself in this village about an hour from the Armenian capital for a once-in-a-lifetime event, a collaboration between the restaurant staff and Noma founding chef Mads Refslund, which was meant to elevate the local cooking and—equally important—establish Armenia on the culinary map. (I’ll go as far as to call it the new Georgia.) Refslund and his team have long since returned to New York, but the restaurant was plenty appealing before they got there. When I went for breakfast, chef Susanna Guckasyan and her team turned out a feast of fresh and smoked cheeses, fresh herbs, lavash (flatbread), egg dishes, a sort of lasagna, aveluk (wild sorrel) and, my favorite, gaylakhash, a sour yogurt soup with greens.


Tsaghkunk Restaurant