William Grimes, unmasked; Photo: NY Times

William Grimes doffs his hat as the restaurant critic for the New York Times with a farewell (of sorts; Grimes will be working on other projects for the Times) column that recounts some of the big New York restaurants themes and chefs he's seen since 1999. They are the flowering of neighborhoods as dining destinations (Upper West Side, Lower East Side, Meatpacking District); seeing various chefs develop food empires (Batali, Brennan, Bradley, Colicchio, etc.); and, of course, a reference to the French chefs of NY. But what Gothamist was most excited to see was this photograph of Grimes, who would shield his face in photographs or be blue–dotted out during TV interviews. We'll be on the lookout for him at some of his favorites, like L'Impero, Sushi Yasuda, and 66 (for the fish tank more than the food), or in Astoria.