Best New Restaurants of 2012: Hot Tables Slideshow

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Andrew Carmellini's Smoked Liverwurst at The Dutch (New York City)

Our favorite starter was smoked liverwurst, a combo of foie gras and chicken liver with a gelée of hard cider and a variety of pickles — the beginning of an indulgent meal, paired with unusual vintages, in a leather booth in the low-ceilinged dining room. The restaurant is a maze of dens, with a boisterous and lofty front bar for tipples with a twist and fresh oysters. Having done French (Lespinasse, Café Boulud) and Italian (A Voce, Locanda Verde), Carmellini is putting his stamp on American cuisine­ — and his version is a melting pot of dishes, from Southern fried chicken and cherry pie to "white boy" ribs with hoisin sauce and scallions.

Andrew Carmellini picks...