Best Return to Form - 2007
Frank Bonanno's been dealing with a lot, and his load was starting to show at Luca d'Italia. It's not that dinners here were ever bad; they were just less amazing than they'd once been, less effortlessly blissful. But over the past year, Bonanno has put his legendarily obsessive focus back on Luca, and the restaurant has come back strong. Once again, the deliriously complicated farmhouse entrees -- dishes like truffle-scented rabbit three ways and pan-roasted black cod with ravioletta -- are coming out tasting like the simplest, most natural things in the world. And the beautiful plates of rustic pasta have that spark of joy and fanatical vitality that have always been the hallmark of Bonanno's best efforts.