It's tough being the new kid, with a sea of critics judging your every move. But the Rabbit Hole showed up on the dining scene this year in a burst of brash flavors, intriguing decor, and a self-confidence that was hard to resist. Shortly after opening, owners Thomas Kim and Kat Melgaard folded their successful Midtown Global Market stall, the Left Handed Cook, into the Rabbit Hole concept, and voila: This new hotspot was a force to be reckoned with, equally suited to lunch with little ones, an intimate date night, a night dining solo (at those one-man booths in front of the open kitchen), or a night barhopping with friends. Many of the Rabbit Hole's craft cocktails (like the Not Doing Jack in the Morning) are kegged for speedy service. The goobers, shorthand for "good burgers," live up to the hype, especially the Omma, spiked with the best pickled watermelon rind north of the Mason Dixon line. The buttermilk fried pork katsu with tangy, sweet tamarind ponzu and tonkatsu sauce is exactly the kind of global cuisine meets Sunday supper that will charm even the most jaded soul. This year, the team at the Rabbit Hole quickly took its rightful place at the cool kids table.