The Best and Worst Restaurants of 2013

I feel like I spent all my dinners out eating in Eastern European and other post-Soviet restaurants this year! As is now the tradition, here’s a summary of the places I reviewed, rated on a scale from 0 to 10, and grouped into three categories: recommended (rating > 6), not worth a special visit (rating between 5 and 6), and avoid (rating < 5). While I usually mention decor and service in my posts, only the food is being graded.

Best and Worst Restaurants - 2013
Drawing by G. Valk

2013 was the year of the Manhattan restaurants. Call me lazy, but I figured I might as well review some of the eateries closer to home before venturing too often to Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay. The conclusion is that they tend to be better than their Brooklyn neighbors (with one exception that’s so blatant that it can only confirm the rule). This doesn’t really come as a surprise: a restaurant can’t hope to survive long among more discerning diners if it’s got average food and poor service, especially when there are a dozen other joints within a one-block radius. Not that Outer Borough restaurants can’t rate well — look at #1 Uzbek Palace.In addition to the full-blown reviews, I blogged a couple of restaurant reports from Berlin: DDR-Restaurant Domklause (which received some comments from the owners themselves!) and Pasternak. And there was (only) one red alert this year: the alternative schnitzels.

Without further ado, here’s my 2013 list of the best and worst restaurants:

#1 Uzbek Palace Uzbek (and Turkish) 7.5/10
Mari Vanna Russian 7.5/10
Pravda Russian (and American) 7.5/10
Pepela Georgian 7.5/10
Taam Tov Uzbek, kosher 7/10
Oda House Georgian 7/10
Baku Palace Azeri and Russian 7/10
Not worth a special visit:
Caspiy mostly Russian 6/10
Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden Czech 4.5/10
Nasha Rasha Russian 3/10

Previous years:
The Best and Worst Restaurants of 2012
The Best and Worst Restaurants of 2011