This was the year for rediscovering the expressive, alluring, and, joyful pan-Latin cuisine of Spike Gjerde, whose full-time return to the kitchen signaled a return to form. Much ink has been spilled, here and elsewhere, in praise of Joy America’s tableside guacamole service. But equally life-enriching is the surprise awaiting diners on the meal’s other side, the mystically named Seven Tastes of Chocolate ($8.25). Intended to be shared, this is an architectural arrangement of seven baked- or concocted-in-house items, spanning the full chocolate range from bitter to sweet—warm flourless chocolate cake, bitter chocolate coulis, warm chocolate tart, pine-nut bark, chocolate croquant, chocolate-chili ice cream, and a Patrón Anejo truffle rolled in crisps. It’s not gimmickry (Death by Chocolate!); it’s a flight of fancy moored by respect for its individual components and Mexican cuisine.