So I’m a big fan of the new proliferation of relaxed spots with no-brainer wine menus, like the draft options at Pizzeria Vetri (1939 Callowhill St.), limited to “red” or “white,” but well-chosen by smartypants Steve Wildy.
A near-impossible choice this year, but the new place that I find myself wanting to return is Cheu Noodle Bar (255 S. 10th St.). There are always new things, they’re somehow always great, and it’s priced so that you can actually keep going back.
The most memorable meal of my year was at Noord (1046 Tasker St.). The diver scallop over mustard soup and konijn in het zuur, or rabbit “confit” over Dutch sauerkraut, hit all the best comfort-food notes.
In a stretch of the city where “Cash for Gold” signs dominate, Hamifgash (811-813 Sansom St.), a tiny kosher Turkish storefront, is serving the most thrilling Middle Eastern fare in the city short of Zahav.
In a state where Yellow Tail dominates state-store sales, Tim Kweeder of a.bar and a.kitchen (135 S. 18th St.) is doing wonders to change the wine-drinking landscape of Philadelphia with magnum pours of muscadet.