Esquire's Best New Restaurants in America, 2022 (2023)

"Are we going to celebrate something tonight?" I love when a server asks this question because I can answer: "Just life." It's funny, but real. Who does not feel happy sitting in a good restaurant, sharing a special experience with friends or family, when they ask "gin or vodka?" when ordering a martini? Going out to eat is a wonderfully simple way to feel alive.

But the more I eat, the more I realize that we are celebrating the lives of the people behind the food and drink. We're often asked: What do you look for in an Esquire Best New Restaurant? We are always delighted when delicious and imaginative dishes have a soul and a story. It is difficult to deny that a menu, a wine list, a cocktail or an atmosphere reflect a lived experience.

Over time, we've seen those stories, and the dynamic restaurants they inspire, become even more deeply personal and eclectic. That's especially true of this 40th edition of our Best New Restaurants in America. To celebrate this milestone, this year we decided to rank the 40 Best New Restaurants in the US. Completing our ranking required a healthy appetite. Four of us ate and drank across the country: Jeff Gordinier, Joshua David Stein, Omar Mamoon and Sincerely.

We hear dozens of these inspiring origin stories along the way. One fall afternoon, over dessert at Kann, chef Gregory Gourdet told me that he almost didn't want to serve Haitian food at his first restaurant. Rather, he wanted to do something global. But when he cooked Haitian food for Top Chef and Oprah and saw the impact he had on Haitians and Haitian-Americans, he knew what he had to do. A similar missionary spirit inspires Katianna Hong of the Yangban Society in Los Angeles, who has a very specific Korean-American point of view. Hong serves jeon, fried pumpkin slices with caviar, because she always felt the labor-intensive dish she ate as a child deserved more respect. In Sonoma, she'll find Korean chef Joshua Smookler, adopted by Jewish-American parents, casually mixing pastrami from New York's famed Katz's Deli into his kimchi fried rice. Sitting at the chef's counter at Portland's Comedor Lilia, chef Juan Gomez tells you how liberating it is to cook Pacific Northwest food through a Mexican lens as an expression of yourself, hence his signature dish, a neck pork confit served with Panarabe. Arjav Ezekiel, who co-owns Austin's Birdie's with chef Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel, never officially trained as a sommelier, but has managed to create one of the best wine lists in the country.

"Shall we celebrate something tonight?" The answer will always be life. But it could involve more than just yours. —Kevin Sintumuang

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Griyo, a twice-cooked pork, is Haiti's national dish and is served in Kann with bannann peze (fried plantains) and avocado pikliz.

It may be unfair to open a restaurant likelata, Gregory Gourdet's insightful Haitian restaurant that opened in August with a country on its shoulders. It's also perhaps impossible to watch Gourdet's confident debut without considering Haiti's troubled history and the way the country has been portrayed in news reports for decades. Many Americans associate Haiti with instability, from the Duvaliers to Aristide and the more recent coups, murders and mayhem. (Few remember the brutal American occupation there from 1915 to 1934.) It is, both in the public imagination and in reality, a country beset by natural and man-made disasters alike, a country that appears on the front pages of newspapers. news when it appears in American newspapers at all. But of course, Haiti and the Haitian diaspora have more to offer.

What Gourdet is doing here, filtering his own memories of growing up as a first-generation Haitian American in Queens, is infusing all of his life experience into that country's kitchen. From the gourmet kitchens of Jean-Georges, to health-conscious cooking, to the sensitivity that comes with having lived the weight of a doubly veiled identity, Gourdet knows that there is "a people" and that there are people, and that there is a Scale. It must be finely calibrated.

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At his debut restaurant, Kann, chef Gregory Gourdet brings soulful finesse to Haitian cuisine in a cheery space with a gold ceiling.

Behind the counter in this gold-accented space, Gourdet handles this line with apparent ease. Grind roots, do not tie, the menu. Epis, a Haitian style of stir-fry, is sublimated in a vegetable butter and served with golden banana brioche. It is also used in great brined grilled chicken. Excellent twice-cooked griyo pork (braised and fried) gets a shot of flavor steroids with pikliz, a Haitian coleslaw. Gourdet turns mushrooms straight from northern Haiti into tea, which he then blends with broad beans to create an earthy, traditionally-inspired dish called diri ak djon djon. The entirety of grilling pioneered by the Arawaks before Columbus "discovered" it can be glimpsed in the restaurant's masterpiece: a sizzling grilled short rib rubbed with Blue Mountain coffee, star anise and more, and then twelve Smoked for hours over mesquite and white oak. The crowd, and it is always packed, includes many Americans, for whom Kann Creole (pikliz, bannann peze, legim) is a whole new language, and many others, members of the Haitian diaspora who have begun flying in from all over the world. country. z who taste this language and these flavors at home. The parties gather at Kann, summoned by the evocative aromas of Gourdet. —Joshua David Stein

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Pea Sprout and Chive Salad, Roasted Abalone Congee Pie and Salted Trout Roe; You can buy Yangban cocktails at the hotel grocery store.

"But what kind of restaurant is this?" people have asked me. Listens. It's the kind of restaurant where you want to reserve a table for a dozen friends. It's the kind of restaurant where you can leave your table for a moment and go to a small supermarket in the back for some extra drinks and snacks. It's the kind of place where you get an unforgettable shinko pear and avocado salad in a spicy mustard vinaigrette and a plate of biscuits drenched in Korean curry sauce, but you can also get grilled puff pastries Potato bread that asks to go with it, with a Spread smoked trout bean, or an abalone pie with dollops of cream of rice under the crust, or a bowl of melon sorbet drizzled with sesame oil. It's Korean-American food interpreted by two chefs, spouses Katianna and John Hong, with very different life experiences. (See Chef of the Year below.) The way it all comes together isn't exactly easy to explain, so the style of dining—where you choose your own adventure—is important.yangban societyit can confuse someone quickly scanning the menu online. My advice: go with this big group, get everything sorted, let the manic joy lead the way. When the food hits the table, it all makes sense. —Jeff Gordinier

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The best cooking is about storytelling. It's a way of saying, "Here's the culture I come from, and here are some thoughts I have about it," even if you, the hungry customer, are just thinking, This is absurdly delicious. Like Gabrielle Hamilton's Prune in New York, the Yangban Society in downtown Los Angeles is an autobiographical restaurant; Consider it a memoir in the form of a menu, co-authored by spouses Katianna and John Hong. John was raised with a second generation perspective in a Korean-American family in the Chicago area. Born in Korea, adopted, and raised in upstate New York by an Irish Catholic mother and German Jewish father, Katianna might be why she'll find her own twist on the matzah balls and schmears in the lineup of the Yangban Society. Yes, they have fancy credentials—John has cooked at Alinea and both worked in Napa Valley alongside three-Michelin-starred chef Christopher Kostow—but the Yangban Society bids farewell to fine dining greatness. In fact, the Hong do not copy anyone. They have brought all their personal and professional experience to create a restaurant that no one else could create because no one else could tell the exact same story. It's a Korean story and it's an American story. It's a Los Angeles story and a family story. And no matter where their family is from, Katianna and John say the same thing to everyone: welcome home. —J. G.

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Neng Jr.'s intimate dining room.

Look for the metal door in the red wall at the back of the building. Open it. Get intoNeng Jrit feels like walking through a portal into a cozy genderqueer technicolor version of Casablanca's Rick's Café. Stop at the bar and let Cherry Iocovozzi pour you a glass of natural wine. Grab a seat and prepare for a trippy carnival of flavors courtesy of Executive Chef Silver Iocovozzi (our Rising Star of the Year), who is married to Cherry. There's a whole eggplant that's blackened over coals, cut open, and drizzled with a sour, herbaceous seasoning. There's sliced ​​duck breast swimming in an adobo sauce that tastes like Manila Christmas sauce. Turon, the Filipino snack that features a plantain wrapped in a fried crust, features tablets of seared foie gras. Everything sings loud and proud like a new form of music you never imagined. Ideas and ingredients from the Philippines, France, and the American South join hands and dance as if finally free to do what they want. —J. G.

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Asheville, North Carolina's bohemian town, has many great dishes to offer, from Spanish (Cúrate) to Indian (Chai Pani). But until Silver Iocovozzi (and her husband Cherry hers) opened Neng Jr. last summer, there wasn't a Filipino restaurant there. It's worth the wait? Oh yeah. Working like a magician, Iocovozzi moves effortlessly around the small kitchen as he breathes new life into the well-worn expression “cooked to perfection”. Snapper: Exactly correct. Duck: exactly right. Eggplant: Damn, burnt on the outside but creamy and ready to eat on the inside. Precisely. The restaurant is named after Iocovozzi's mother, Neneng. This is her dance in the center of the painting that dominates the space. Come with an open mind and Iocovozzi might chat with you about Filipino cooking, of course, but a chat might also have you swooning over Muscadine grapes or daydreaming about what Eric Ripert is doing at Le Bernardin in New York. Both the kitchen and the conversation give a preview: this is just the beginning. Silver Iocovozzi can handle everything. —J. G.

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Prawns, smoked chili, green spices and papaya.

Ask chef Tavel Bristol-Joseph about cassareep, a key ingredient in succulent boar pepper pot, the national dish of his native Guyana, and he'll tell you that store-bought versions of the cassava-based black liquid aren't enough . So he convinced a relative to fly regularly to Austin with Cassareep. This time and dedication is the magic behind Canje. The marinade for jerk chicken is fermented, giving the meat an incredibly deep flavor and smokiness. And the fruit in the black cake dessert has been soaked in rum for months, the cake appetizer that had pre-dated the restaurant itself. And as the night progresses, everything can feel like a celebration. Welcome to the party. —KANSAS.

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Le Rock exudes great art deco vibes.

Sometimes the cover is better than the original. Check out Charles Bradley's version of Black Sabbath's Changes, Sinéad O'Connor's of Prince's Nothing Compares 2 U, and Lee Hanson and Riad Nasr's version of Leek Vinaigrette at Le Rock. Messrs. Hanson and Nasr, the duo behind downtown favorite Frenchette, reimagines the classic as a vegetable striptease, where the darkly charred leaves are lifted off the table to reveal the pearly, tender leeks inside. This is just one of many revelations of things you thought you knew were going on in the busy space of Rockefeller Center. Steak au poivre becomes tender bison. Amidst a jumble of agnolotti, chestnut chunks are tossed between black trumpet mushrooms. For better or worse, the old chestnut finds new life on the plate. —JDS

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DON:What changes have you noticed in American restaurants over the last forty years?

JOSE ANDRES: Farmers feed America, and we as restaurants have gotten better at sharing their story, but there's more to do. The link we have between the bounty of the land and the feeding of the people must be improved.

ESQ:What changes still need to happen?

Y:We have a lot to focus on when it comes to feeding our country. Food that people throw away, like imperfect products, represents a great opportunity and we must think about how to turn it into nutritious and tasty food for those who need it.

ESQ:What is the best American restaurant of the last forty years?

Y:On?! When we have so many good restaurants? Well, if you make me do it. . . It's hard to top the magic my dear friend Patrick O'Connell has created decade after decade in Virginia at the Inn at Little Washington. No matter how long I go between visits, when I return I always feel at home.

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There's a joy to n/soto that may surprise anyone accustomed to the meticulous seasonal kaiseki cooking associated with Niki Nakayama and Carole Iida-Nakayama's famed flagship n/naka. (As in: an ice cream with a green foam from Japanese lemonade cartoons.) There is also lustful extravagance. (As in: A warm salmon skin brussel sprout salad with a poached egg and roasted marrow bone covered in an earthy miso glaze. They bring out the fat and sweetness and spread it on yaki onigiri.) Paradoxically, though, it's the subtlety of the experience that might just stay with you: smooth nuances of flavor you might not have expected in an izakaya den, reflecting the married duo's attention to nuance, tradition, and balance. (As in: the way Tosazu cubes in jelly and vinegar rest in the deep cups of Kusshi oysters, fostering a duo as tender as sherry and cream.) -J.G.

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Kasama Lumpia and Oyster Course.

"You have beencon?” Everyone in Chicago asked me that when I asked what restaurants they were waiting for. “Just for breakfast”, I said, to which they replied: “You have to go to dinner”. We liked it so much that last year we included it in our list of best new restaurants. But the dine-in service that has since launched feels like an entirely different endeavor: Filipino food is served with impeccable precision and finesse in a tasting menu format. They bite into the humble lumpia that comes early and think this might be the best lumpia ever. Composed of cabbage, bone marrow, and fluffy short-grain rice, nilaga has the uncanny ability to evoke what you ate on a rainy day as a child. Towards the end there is a croissant with a shower of truffles. All this led us to believe: people need to know about the watch. Kasama's version, too. —KANSAS.

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(Video) NEW in Chicago | Esquire by Cooper's Hawk | Sneak Peek

The falafel, hummus and Saffy kebabs are next level.

Yes, you must get kebabs. But first lobster. Served on a metal skewer and garnished with a green harissa sauce with a hint of coriander sprouts, it's cooked over wood fires yet incredibly tender and sweet. It can be shared, but you probably won't want to. And yes, the kebabs, but wait, can we talk about the $26 shawarma? You've had a lot, but no, that's different. Incredibly light Laffa, a simple vessel for slowly heat-kissed lamb and veal on a skewer proudly displayed like a trophy in the open kitchen. Served lightly, with tahini, peppercorn seasoning, tomato, lettuce, and onion. The best shawarma ever? It's up there. Finally, the kebabs: opt for the cardamom-scented lamb or the chicken, which is infused with cumin, sumac and cinnamon. They all come with crispy chili. Wow. Capture the noisy room in its golden glory, like a Tel Aviv cafe at sunset. Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis had two real hits in Los Angeles with Bestia y Bavel. Now withSaffy's, They have three. —KANSAS.

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On the left, a beignet with smoked hollandaise and June caviar. That's right, Appalachian beans at Audrey's.

You may think you've accidentally walked into an East Nashville art gallery, but make no mistake, you're at Sean Brock's sanctuary, which is home to not one, but two completely different restaurants. the following isaudrey, where everyone sits at emerald tables and finely dines on Southern cuisine dishes: red fruit jelly and Johnnycakes and pink-centered rib eye and charred okra. Upstairs, behind the glass laboratory, isJune, a journey with an avant-garde tasting menu seasoned with lab-developed items: think pinto bean miso and peach pit nocino, truffled blueberry leather, and caviar with black walnut and sassafras. It's like the noma of the southern United States. —omar sucker

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Walk up to the gleaming white exterior ofsaint ho won, the Korean restaurant of Jeong-In Hwang and Corey Lee, and look out the window to see the minimalist dining room packed with diners gleefully devouring double-cut galbi (short ribs) and meticulously tender ssam stuffed lettuce. beef tongue. But there are no gas grills at the table. This is not your typical own-grill setup; Instead, each meat is carefully cooked in an open kitchen over specially selected white lychee charcoal. Don't miss the shimmering galbi mandu (roasted meat dumplings) or the bubbling cauldrons of kimchi jjigae pozole that will warm your soul on even the coldest San Francisco night. —O. M.

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The gunpowder dosa is large, but you'll probably want two.

After restaurateurs Roni Mazumdar and Chintan Pandya changed the landscape of Indian food in the US with the zeitgeist explosion of Nevermind in Dhamaka (our #1 Best New Restaurant last year), they wasted no time in creating track to deliverHe mentioned. They hired chef Vijay Kumar, from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, to develop a menu that focuses on South Indian cuisines, and in the same spirit as Dhamaka, which is to say, without compromise. The result is a celebration of deliciousness that many New Yorkers have never experienced. Meat dishes (oxtail, venison, goat tripe) draw you into deep caverns of flavor; Nathai Pirattal, a dish of peconic snails that you wrap in little pancakes, sounds like a rarity but quickly becomes a craving. And then there's Kumar's Gunpowder Dosa, at once ethereal and epic, a feat of engineering so delicious I've been back four times for it. —J. G.

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DON:What changes have you noticed in American restaurants over the last forty years?

ERICK WILLIAMS:Good: Increased pay for back-of-house workers, better benefits, and more opportunities for chefs to prepare food from their ethnicity and culture. Bad: Staffing levels and morale are at an all-time low, and customers have more rights than ever.

ESQ:What changes still need to happen?

EW:Clearer routes to capital must be created for small and independent operators. There is still a lot of work to be done to identify the food and culture with each ride. ESQ: What dish do you usually order when you enter a restaurant? EW: biscuits, marrow, octopus, sardines, steak tartare.

ESQ:What is a dish you would happily never see again?

EW:Lobster Mac and cheese.

ESQ:What do you think is the best American restaurant of the last forty years?

EW:Canlis [en Seattle].

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Sometimes you have to travel a long way to get to the best restaurants. AttainSeevogelAt Bainbridge Island, take a ferry from just outside of Seattle. But what chefs Brendan McGill and Grant Rico (SingleThread alum) do with the bounty of the Pacific Northwest makes the trip worthwhile. Creamy uni French toast, halibut ceviche with spicy leche de tigre and jalapeno cream, and sablefish in a delicate almond broth infused with hot macha sauce are just a few of the reasons you're here. But you'd be remiss to miss out on the vegetables: They're just as convincing as their oceanic counterparts. Slathered in a brown butter sauce and served with a rich runny duck egg and roasted carrot fricassee, roasted salsify will make you think about vegetables in a whole new way. —O. M.

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Oysters covered with citrus foam, olive oil, kiwi and tarragon at Pescadería.

Mongering has a mixed reputation. Rumors, war and whores on one side; Knife, cheese and fish on the other side.fishmonger, which debuted in May, is tipping the balance in favor of trade. Channel the seaside fish markets of the Gulf Coast, where fresh catch is available but strangely fried to oblivion. At Fishmonger, chef Bradford Forsblom has done without the deep fryer entirely. A hot catfish sandwich, sizzling with chili paste, is served on Martins roll with nori butter. The blackened grouper is dark as night on the outside, but white as the lily on the inside. All of this is eaten on the sidewalk or at a unique high-top table, while fresh snapper, grouper and kingfish, most set by small Florida anglers, look on unblinkingly from their beds of ice. —JDS

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DON:What changes have you noticed in American restaurants over the last forty years?

LOBO GANGPUCK:We now have world-class restaurants in almost every city. We make some of the best wines, and most importantly, we have so many talented American chefs on par with those from France, Italy, and around the world.

ESQ:What is the dish you always order?

WP:I always order a good bottle of wine.

ESQ:What is a dish you would happily never see again?

WP:Dishes influenced by molecular gastronomy, more pretentious than flavor

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The family size Mbuzi (slow roasted goat shank).

There are ten Burundians in Detroit and at least four of them are there at any given time.Baobab-Price. This includes its owners, Nadia Nijimbere and Hamissi Mamba, and their twin nine-year-old daughters, who run around the dining room laughing. It's not exactly a local market, but the New Center's bright restaurant is always packed. Detroiters come for Nijimbere's pithy menu of underrepresented East African classics. Homemade ugali, a fufu-like morsel, is served with hearty okra stew. A GOAT. Goat knuckle called mbuzi is a long stew that is tender as a caress. The crispy fried fish is accompanied by particularly spicy onions, along with particularly sweet plantains and immensely complex stewed yellow beans. That alone is affirmation of life. But Baobab has also become a meeting point for asylum seekers, immigrants, local office workers and community activist groups. The restaurant's namesake, the baobab tree, is known as the tree of life, as it withstands dry conditions and supports life around it. A restaurant has never deserved this name more. —J. D. S.

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I was sitting at the counter where I could see the sparks flying from the wood fires and it wasn't long before two women were sharing food with me, and I with them.supertierrassuch joint. It's a former church that owners Jamie Brown and Jeff Tonidandel have transformed into a celebration of tender steak, onion gravy, fries and conviviality. I ate dishes that seemed blessed by some kind of spirit. A casserole full of blackened onions came hissing up. As someone poured hot butter over my plate of grilled oysters, a remnant of bright orange firewood landed right on one of the clams. "Don't eat the coals," advised a waiter. Lord, have mercy. —J. G.

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The cocktails at North Carolina's Supperland aren't just layered and delicious. They are carefully integrated into the dining experience, particularly in the speakeasy on the ground floor of the restaurant. You have Colleen Hughes to thank for that.

Don:What is your philosophy when it comes to pairing food and cocktails?

Colleen Hughes:I think cocktails go better with food than wine, especially if you take a more culinary approach. We handcraft every single ingredient in every cocktail, with the exception of the spirits, giving us the freedom to use whatever flavoring, spice, salt or acid is out there.

Esq:What liquor should more guests try?

CH:Amari - and amaro cocktails - especially at the beginning and end of meals. Finally, a bitter bitter like Fernet or Averna will help settle your stomach.

and get you out of your food coma so you can enjoy the rest of your night. They are healing spirits. They can make you feel better. -J. GRAM.

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Hyper-seasonality is the name of the game at Comedor Lilia.

(Video) Fourways Restaurant - Best Bermuda Restaurants 2022

In case you're wondering how to categorize a raw trout with Concord grape aguachile, for example, it's right there on the menu: "Pacific Northwest cooking through the lens of a Mexican-American chef." That chef is Juan Gómez. Restaurateur Ángel Medina and culinary director Olivia Bartruff, part of the team behind República, the Mexican tasting menu that is a mainstay of the Portland restaurant scene and where Gómez was a former chef, felt it deserved a restaurant of its own. and so he was bornlilia, a joyous deep dive into the hyper-seasonality of the region's riches. In the fall, the cider donut garnished with marigold dust from the flowers Gomez's wife picks is a perfect, fleeting ending. —KS

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I noticed it when I was procrastinating during my senior year in college.

I was flipping through the October 1987 issue of Esquire when I saw an article titled "Oddballs." The article toasted three "off the beaten path" cocktails an adventurous reader might seek out: "drinks for those moments when 'the usual' is just too ordinary."

The first of the three? The Negroni.

The Negroni is ubiquitous in restaurants today, even overexposed and appearing in a rainbow of hues that deviate from the traditional Atomic Fireball red, so you might be surprised to learn this in the same year Oliver Stone gave worldy Tom Wolfesthe bonfire of the vanities, the average Esquire reader considered it a rarity. I too was a freak in 1987, so I approached this Italian cocktail with the diligence of a stalker, especially after moving to Manhattan to write for magazines.

But even then, the bartenders tended to give me blank looks when I tried to order it.

(Or they totally screwed it up, skipping the three-part alchemy of the Negroni and just serving me a watery bowl of Campari with a splash of gin.) I ended up trying a proper Negroni at a Midtown restaurant called Palio, and it was love at first sip: sweet, sour, flowery, full of secrets. Gradually, I watched as the Negroni moved from the fringes to the mainstream. Yes, it's nice that I can now order a decent one anywhere, but I can't help but feel a different kind of tripartite alchemy: equal parts nostalgia, confusion, and whiplash. —J. G.

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Randy Newman serenaded Utah. Skynyrd sang about Alabama and Denver raved about West Virginia. But who sang Arizona ballads?Valentine, an all-day restaurant in a former Phoenix dry cleaner, is the closest thing the Grand Canyon State has to a love song, but it's really cute. Its executive chef, Donald Hawk, crafts a menu as electrifying as the sunset over Camelback Mountain while celebrating the vast horizons of Southwestern cuisine. The local produce reads like endearment names: tepary beans with pork belly, chiltepin mignonette, locally seeded tahini, Arizona Wagyu (as used in the burger here). The tangle of homemade tagliarini with asiago from the nearby high desert Hassayampa River Valley, topped with crisp Sacaton corn, would it be at home anywhere but in the Valley of the Sun? Certainly not. —JDS

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Cafe Spaghetti is all hits, no misses.

First the spaghetti pomodoro. You have to order that. No arguments. Yes, we know it's simple: tomato sauce on pasta strands, but simple is the space where true chefs thrive, and chef Sal Lamboglia is an understated virtuoso of red sauce. The term soul in the kitchen remains subjective and elusive, but if you can't detect the Italian-American soul that Lamboglia has in this Pomodoro and its fresh mozzarella and eggplant parmalade and spiedini alla romana (which is basically a grilled cheese sandwich that in funky bathrooms, lemon sauce), they need help. So let us (and Giovanna Cucolo, who runs the place) help you: nothing refreshes the soul like sitting outside under an umbrella on the Vespa.Cafe-Spaghetti's backyard on a summer night. That and a piece of tiramisu from Sal's dad should bring you back to life. —J. G.

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Don:What changes have you noticed in American restaurants over the last forty years?

Nancy Silverton:The good: The growth of farmers' markets and the inclusion of their products on today's menus. On the bad side, I find this whole phenomenon of so-called "influencers" absurd.

Esq:What is the dish you always order?

NS:A simply grilled whole fish that swam in last night. Or even better this morning.

Esq:What is a dish you would happily never see again?

NS:A salad with strawberries.

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Emmanuel Chávez is obsessed with corn. For the past two years, the Mexico City-born, Houston-raised chef has been selling his nixtamalized masa to corn connoisseurs on Instagram. Now he and his partner Megan Maul have a permanent home. Everything at Tatemó is designed to focus on the Chavistas' beloved corn. The thirteen-seater room has all the charm of a waiting room. Fifty-five-pound sacks of Mexican corn are stacked against the wall. Much better for the energetic characters that Chávez dumps his relics on eight plates. The jagged shards of purple tortilla chips made with Xnuuc Naal from Yucatán are sweet and nutty. The cacahuazintle corn turns into a rich amber-colored raised corn broth. A purple quesadilla is made with blue cone from the highlands of Mexico. Corn has always been a character actor. Here is the main character. —J. D. S.

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Nudibranch pulses with an energy that hasn't been seen in Manhattan's East Village since 2004's Momofuku Big Moment: it's a restaurant that defies description, whose lively ethos seems to be "anything can happen." Chefs Jeffrey Kim and Matthew Lee are actually momofuku veterans, but the cuisine they conjure up with their collective involves a mix of the occasional Korean staple with everything from bottarga to aji panca peppers, Shaoxing wine and huitlacoche. You'll find fried frog legs and alpaca tartare; You'll find country ham in rice cakes; You'll find a martini topped with a gilda. Sometimes the combinations can be fancy, but when they click, the results are electrifying, even hilarious. This is a place where not only the food made me sigh with delight; made me laugh along with the sheer cheekiness of it all. —J. G.

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If you love restaurants, live in restaurants. You fall in love with them, you break up with them, you catch up with them. This is especially true of the type of restaurants we have covered in the last forty years. They are places where life buzzes through every morsel of food and lavish banquet.

And then they close. Many of the advertisements from the previous thirty-nine issues of BNR are now gone. Nothing is forever. Not you, not restaurants. In the face of impermanence, it's tempting to become nihilistic, but the kindest and most honest approach is to have two things on your heart: the value of life lived within the four walls of a restaurant, and the knowledge that experience and space are fleeting. Do this, and each meal will feel even more valuable, precisely because the Wild Constellation restaurant is only a temporary arrangement. This verse from the eighth-century poet Sekito Kisen comforts me as I walk down blocks I barely recognize, past long-gone restaurants: “There is darkness in the light, but don't take it for darkness; There is light in the darkness, but don't see it as light. Light and darkness oppose each other, like the front and back feet when walking.” —J. D. S.

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Take a bite of chef Markus Glocker's battered salmon (the crust is soft and crispy, the fish buttery-soft on the inside) and you'll discover that you're dealing with a sort of old-school European technique that's been gaining ground over the years. last years. The trend has developed the margins of American cuisine. But don't worry: Koloman is not a place to sit rigidly and marvel at a virtuoso's meticulous fretwork. Thanks to Glocker and his team, it's a restaurant where you'll love rich, hearty Franco-Austrian classics like schnitzel, cheese soufflé, and an original chicken liver parfait under delicate jelly. Glocker, like the late Eddie Van Halen, dedicates his meticulous methodology to one goal: prostration.—JG

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Mastering desserts in an Austro-French restaurant is no easy feat, but Balthazar veteran Emiko Chisholm triumphs in Koloman with sweet treats that are both traditional (like her Sachertorte) and innovative (her crème brûlée includes mint and eggs of duck). , and caramelized pineapple). But Chisholm's role at Koloman goes far beyond the sugary stuff: It's her fluffy, crispy mountain cheese gougères to start the meal, and it's her whole-wheat rye bread to accompany raw oysters, and it's her cheese souffle. that everyone on Instagram praises the devices. Chef Markus Glocker would be the first to tell you: Chisholm is the ace up Koloman's sleeve. —J.G.

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In a cute little town, on a cute little street that seems to appear out of nowhere off California Highway 154, there's a place that exudes the kind of casual elegance you'd think you'd only find on the Spanish or Portuguese coast. But it turns out, when the kitchen mixes scallops with pickled mushrooms, baby scallops with homemade chorizo, or perfect little white anchovies with olives and peppers, and pours a hearty selection of light and airy local wines, you can bring that energy from the ocean. . toward the rolling hills of the Santa Ynez Valley. Co-owners Daisy and Greg Ryan previously offered fun and unexpected French cuisine with Bell's in nearby Los Alamos. A similar kind of transportation magic takes place here, with chef Brad Mathews' coastal cuisine and a wine show by Emily Blackman. If Bell's was reason enough to drive the 45 minutes north to Santa Barbara or take the day trip from Los Angeles, Bar Le Cote invites you to turn the adventure into a long weekend.Kansas

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Note the high ceilings as the stage, the trompe l'oeil scenes that adorn the walls, the number of fat-faced names crowding the pink booths, Negroni in hand. There's a Rome by way of Hollywood (with a touch of Vegas showmanship) in the party, which is Mother Wolf, chef Evan Funke's big, bold homage to food from the Eternal City. The heart-pounding drama of the place would be enough to make you scream for a seat at the bar. But as Funke proved at Felix in Venice (our 2017 Best New Restaurant), he's a master of carbs. Before you dive into the pizza and pasta, grab the crispy squash blossoms and oxtail meatballs. The delicate but spicy Gamberi In Salsa Verde may secretly be the best thing on the menu. But then you see a pizza that looks like a bologna sandwich and the waiter says, "This is La Mortazza," and you say, "La Mortazza, please!" And then you say, yeahIt isis the plate. But then comes a bowl of Rigatoni All'Amatriciana, a harmony of rich guanciale and sweet pomodoro, a simple, calm contrast to everything around you, and then you know: that's why I'm here.—Kansas

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When it comes to caviar, I generally prefer simplicity in my delivery container. No blinis for me. Eliminate those little salty pearls. Just give me a skinny crispy fry or dammit, smack me on the back of my hand. But then I walked into Le Fantastique, where the caviar service is served with freshly baked muffins with brown butter, and, well, I was won over by that over-the-top decadence. I asked for more muffins. Surprises are lavish yet subtle at this elegant restaurant, where records are played casually through speakers driven by the warm glow of a McIntosh tube amp throughout the night. Chef Robbie Wilson has a knack for seafood: scallops have the springiness of a jelly bean, sea trout come alive with spicy espelette and orange tart. Most raw fish are brought to another dimension through ingenious aging. (Take a look at the glassed-in room at the back.) The biggest surprise might be the chicken breast, which is poached in crème fraiche, giving it a succulent, almost sashimi-like texture, and served with crispy chicken skin. It's all, well, pretty impressive.Kansas

(Video) One of the Best New Restaurants in the Country Is Run by an Undocumented Immigrant | Bon Appetit

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sometimes you lookthe meeting point, the combination of all the great people and local good vibes that a city has to offer. And when your cab takes you through a quiet residential neighborhood to a clean white brick building with people humming outside with glasses of Pet Nat and orange wine, the radar goes off: Yeah, that's it.the meeting point. Birdie's, a wine bar and restaurant owned by chefs Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel and Arjav Ezekiel, is a counter operation, but don't let that put you off: The business model allows for lower prices, fairer wages for staff, and contributes to the communal energy of the space. The food is worth the lines, a casually sophisticated mix of American, a bit of Italian, a bit of French that makes you want to linger a little longer in the warm Austin night and order another bottle. (If they do Aiello's Italian pop-up again, order the meatballs.) Vanilla soft serve served drizzled with olive oil is a non-negotiable.Kansas

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Birdie's bottle list transports you around the world with enthusiasm, and all that energy comes from Arjav Ezekiel, who brings the kind of unabashed enthusiasm for wine in a way only a self-taught wine lover can achieve. With plenty of wine being bottled on the move, each bottle on offer is a succinct tour de force of accessible yet exciting and low-key wines—nothing so fancy as to make you think someone is mislabeled kombucha like Sancerre. Like the food coming out of chef Tracy Malechek-Exekiel's small kitchen, the wine is serious, but the attitude is easy-going, fun, approachable, and hospitable. Wines have an adjective to describe them: a Gamay is "disturbing" and a rosé is "jazz". They are a concise start to the journey ahead. Kansas

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The heartbeat of Okta, Matthew Lightner's grand return to his Pacific Northwest home, isn't the pulsing hearth in the back of the dining room, or the focused action in the steaming kitchen, or even the chatter and chimes. crystal clear dinners. . (The wine list, which focuses on the Willammette Valley, is very good.) It's just a few miles away on the two-acre farm that provides the raw material for Lightner's endeavors. It is not just a farm, it is a pantry, a fermentation laboratory, a bakery, an ever-changing source of life. Like the horse and rider, Lightner is so in tune with the seasons that the two move as one. That means the tasting menu changes with the light and could include a bright egg flan with corn; albacore tuna skins marinated like Salomé under a veil of cucumber sprinkled with crushed dehydrated cherries; Blueberries with eggplant reduction, topped with Queen Anne's Lace ice cream. That is, a wild flower turned into a distant flavor that, like the food itself, justifies a careful reading of the natural world. —JDS

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The wink is right in the name. "Callie" may reflect a Greek word for "prettiest," but it's actually a nod to California. Chef Travis Swicard and manager Ann Sim have opened a spacious and welcoming restaurant designed to celebrate the riches of the Golden State and the Mediterranean. Get whatever is fresh (the phrase "shrimp" should be your cue). Get all spreadable (Swikard's avocado labneh with black nigella seeds, pistachios and crunchy raw vegetables is a West Coast and Middle Eastern wonder). And wear everything fancy (we're looking at you, unibrindis with Iberian ham). Before moving to San Diego to raise a family, Swicard spent years in New York in kitchens like Boulud Sud; The influence of chef Daniel Boulud is clear, but with his bold adoption of citrus, spices, and herbs, Swicard's cooking also evokes memories of Bobby Flay's early days. Blandness and pretense are the enemies here. Kick back and eat with your hands: this is Cali after all. –Jeff Gordinier

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Don:What positive or negative changes have you noticed in American restaurants over the last forty years?

Scott Conant:The makeover and endless hours we put in as young chefs seem to be changing, which is a good thing. But the focus on getting better and respect for the craft? It's not as intense as I remember.

Don:What changes still need to happen?

SOUTH CAROLINA.:Cultural changes are still needed. Too many egos and little heart.

Don:What dish do you usually order when you enter a restaurant?

SOUTH CAROLINA.:No matter where I am or what I've eaten, I order a soufflé when I see it on a menu.

Don:What is a dish you would happily never see again?

SOUTH CAROLINA.:Bad versions of classic Italian-American food break my heart.

Don:What do you think is the best American restaurant of the last forty years?

SOUTH CAROLINA:Clearly, the French laundry, and all that Thomas Keller and his team have done for groceries in the US, are the American version of Hermès.

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If you went to Bonnie's and ate the restaurant's most talked about dishes, you would leave a happy person. I wish I lived closer and there wasn't an endless line out the door so I could drop in after work for a MSG martini (a bold twist on dirty) followed by perfectly handcrafted wontons infused with Parmesan. broth, and the decadent cha siu McRib. Such would be life. But Bonnie's is best experienced in a group, so you can dive into the other mind-blowing offerings, like the Yeung Yu Sang Choi Bao, a whole trout that's deboned and then stuffed like a sausage attached with crispy skin, and the Fuyu Cacio e Pepe. lo mein, the classic Italian pasta given a deep wave of funk with fermented tofu and a hint of smokiness in one gulp in an ultra-hot wok. The place is an expression of Calvin Eng's declaration of love to the Chinese who grew up in Brooklyn. Sure it's personal and touching, but most of all you want to come back every week.—Kansas

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The warmth as soon as you walk into what used to be a small pizzeria a block from Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia is contagiously enticing.Are we all friends now?you can think This is because the idea for Her Place came from dinner parties that chef Amanda Shulman hosted in her apartment. The atmosphere is like coming to a friend's house, but you don't need to bring wine and the food is much better. As the evening begins, Shulman heads into the living room and shares stories about the producers and vendors where her food will come from, a steal at $75 for several courses. Within a week it could be a stone fruit salad marinated in tomato vinaigrette; lobster toast with brioche soaked in lobster mustard; Pork and chicken liver terrine with a touch of cherries. At the end, Shulman steps forward and presents guests with freshly baked cookies, a kind gesture like never before.—Kansas

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Tomo at Seattle's White Center stands in stark contrast to James Beard Award-winning chef Brady Ishiwata Williams' Canlis past. The music is loud, the energy is high, and the dining room is lit, literally, with tubes of golden light that glow just right against the dark, slatted walls. It's almost like dining on the Death Star in the coolest way. The food served here is electric, as is the atmosphere: beef tartare toasties with spicy mustard-green chiffonade and ikura that explode in your mouth. Glazed leg of lamb in a tender but powerful onion broth. Root beer flavored kakigori the size of your head, topped with rich Ling Hi Mui cream and garnished with plum chunks - it's a necessary addition and a refreshing finish to your meal.ON


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Don:What positive or negative changes have you noticed in American restaurants over the last 40 years?

JJ Johnson:The best change I've seen is the influence of cultural food, what most people consider "low end" but is some of the most exciting food on the table.

Don:What changes still need to happen?

JJJ:Keep giving people of color opportunities in positions they've never had before: general manager, chef, restaurant owner.

Don:What is a dish that you regularly order when you enter a restaurant?

JJJ:Tuna tartare or seafood tower. Also always looking for the oxtails.

Don:What is a dish you would happily never see again?


Don:What do you think is the best American restaurant of the last 40 years?

JJJ:The Cecil. I know I worked there, but consider the impact of the last ten years, from Cecil's opening to today. African Diaspora food has exploded across the United States, and it's thanks to The Cecil.

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The restaurants of Maria Rondeau and chef Juan Ma Calderón have appeared on this list three times over the years, but their spots are so undeniably cheerful and delicious that we can't help but spread the word. If Celeste felt like an intimate dinner and Esmeralda felt like a friends barbecue, La Royal is like the house party where you can bring your friends too. The space, a few blocks from her house, is warm, clean and welcoming (María is an architect). The food delves into rustic Peruvian cuisine, the classic roasted Lomo Saltado takes on a deeper dimension with yucca fried to perfection, the Pillowy Causas, a sort of potato terrine, garnished with avocado and tomato - will unsettle you above all else. the mashed potatoes you've ever eaten.—Kansas

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You've just finished a long day of feasting and tasting in the Sonoma wine country, and now you're very hungry. Head straight for Animo, a restaurant with off-the-cuff charm tucked away in a former taco shop, sandwiched between a McDonald's and an auto repair shop. Inside, you'll find chef Joshua Smookler creating inventive Korean-Basque dishes that are nobody's business. Born in Korea and raised in New York (the rows of apple art on the walls and Katz's pastrami fried rice serve as a subtle nod to its origins), you're here for the turbot, which Smookler imported from Spain and dried for a long time. before gently roasting over flaming almond wood, like in Elkano, Spain (if you know you know). Every bite is different: tear through the skin, crisp as glass, bite into the bones, bursting with gelatinous goodness, and scrub the tender meat in pil-pil garlic sauce. Go ahead, use your hands, they are the best tools.ON

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While it may be true that Eleven Madison Park is a madman's performative Xanadu, it's also a great talent factory. Before he moved to Maine, his wife Selena is from Maine, Colin Wyatt was a main stand-in there. It is now an elevated EMP on Twelve, located in a reconstructed 150 year old brick warehouse facing the sea in Portland, ME. The technique is still there—Wyatt is particularly good at using ferments and yeasts—but Maine takes center stage, and there's a New England modesty he'd rather show than tell. There are only twelve items for a fixed price, but Wyatt is making good use of his new home. The status is reflected in the colors. Parker Sweet Potato House Buns' bright orange mimics foliage; the accompanying pumpkin butter is reminiscent of the fields. And damn if their Lobster Roll Soigne (a whole half lobster impossibly folded into a small, very buttery laminated dough) doesn't bring the volume of the good old Maine banger up to twelve.JDS

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Stepping into Shuggies feels like you've stepped into a colorful and chaotic psychedelic maximalist dreamscape, in the best possible way, of course. The front room is painted entirely pale yellow from floor to ceiling, the sofas are shaped like lips, cartoon tigers and snakes adorn the walls, and an English bulldog named Beef greets you from behind the bright green bar in the background, done. to greet you take order (or at least pat on the head). But menu partners Kayla Abe and chef David Murphy are on a mission: to use recycled ingredients in their dishes—things that would otherwise go to waste, like misshapen produce, trimmings, and bycatch—and turn them into climate-friendly small plates. . More like a flatbread, their pizza is thin, square, and crispy, topped with things like sunburnt squash, ugly mushrooms, and abandoned chard. Don't fall asleep on the fluffy garlic knots, which are made with leftover dough and topped with fluffy, richly whipped ricotta and chimichurri made with wilted leaves, herbs, and greens.ON

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Don:What positive or negative changes have you noticed in American restaurants over the last 40 years?

Miss Robbins:Everything goes! You can dine very well or make pizza in a wood-fired oven, and have the same status. You no longer need to cook fancy food or use expensive ingredients to be considered a great chef or restaurant. This mindset has opened the door to more variety in the kitchen and the opportunity to enjoy special meals in more relaxed dining rooms.

Don:What changes still need to happen?

HERR:Even more variety in the cuisine and celebration of different cultures in the restaurants. What Roni Mazumdar and Chintan Pandya have done for their kitchen with Dhamaka and Co. in recent years is incredible. More of that.

Don:What is a dish that you regularly order when you enter a restaurant?

HERR:Anything with sardines or anchovies. (I like oily fish).

Don:What is a dish you would happily never see again?

HERR:My mom always told me that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything. With that said, please don't sous vide a chicken, then brown it, then call it fried chicken!

Don:What do you think is the best American restaurant of the last 40 years?

HERR:I've only eaten there twice, but I often remember my meals at Chi Spacca in Los Angeles.

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Great restaurants know what they are doing and what they are saying. They open with a point of view that's pretty unflinching because the kitchen crew will cook whatever you want to eat if they're in the same place. (There's no substitute!) Cafe Mutton is a prime example. It's a wonderfully quirky hideaway in a remote corner of the Hudson Valley, with a chef (Shaina Loew-Banayan) and a team wholeheartedly dedicated to the funky, greasy, oily, sandy, and even gnarly delights of scrapple and oily fish and claw. and pig's head. Fried cheese and bologna sandwiches. This is no-frills granny food interpreted through a 21st-century queer lens, and while the hospitality vibe aims to make everyone feel welcome, we're no longer in "the customer's always right" Kansas. case study? Hammel's is only open for dinner one night a week. —JG

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In a city where, outside of San Sebastián, you could organize the most incredible culinary vacation with your credit card around high-end, $90 tasting menus, Indienne's is a steal. The service is delicious, informative and correct, the space is spacious and luxurious, the wine pairing is insightful. You may be wondering, what is the catch? As far as I can tell, there aren't any. While French techniques applied to Indian cooking (or any cooking for that matter) are nothing new, chef Sujan Sarkar's combination here is strong and unexpected. Galouti, a traditional Indian kebab made with lamb, is transformed into an éclair with foie gras and chicken liver and a tempting seasoning. Malai Tikka is not served on a skewer, but as a terrine, which is also topped with truffles. Chetan Gangan Maverick cocktails go beyond the Indian twist on a classic model to deliver something delicious – if you don't think mezcal, goat cheese and apricot would work in one drink, the Delhi cocktail will prove you wrong. —Kansas

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Thai restaurants have been around in America for so long that there's a wave of them delving into different regions of the kitchen, plus more personal and nuanced takes. Kru, which roughly translates to teacher and mentor in Thai, is a mix of both. Chef couple Ohm Suansilphong and Kiki Supap have come up with a menu of forgotten recipes found in books documenting various family recipes, including some that were only served in Thailand's royal palace decades ago. It all adds up to an unexpected menu without the usual suspects. The most amazing dishes are the condiments and sauces, served raw with fresh vegetables - you should have a group to order them all, but if you only have room for a few, have the Nam Prik with Thai chili and galangal, and dried. shrimp and the salty pork jowel relish, served with a sidecar of house-smoked fried fish. When you're ready, the kaeng pa beef tongue will make you cry with intense heat and joy.Kansas

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On one of those long highways in southern New Jersey, where there's still farmland between the buildings that haven't yet been turned into shopping malls, there's a nondescript cabin on the road to the coast. It looks like a lovely little market and you can stock up on gourmet olive oils and the like. But you're here for the oysters and the hoagies. Take your pick of sandwiches. Pick up a dozen eponymous Sweet Amalia's, hailing from northern Cape May, grab a beer from the cooler, and find a seat outside at one of the shaded picnic tables. Slurp these oysters slowly. Appreciate how flawless they are, but still wild and buttery and, yes, sweet and maybe like nothing you've ever tasted before. When you're done, the hoagie you ordered will have arrived. (Have you settled on the Bacon Fried Clam Roll or the Garlic Roasted Pork Shoulder and Crow Numbers with Broccoli?) We've already been to Palm City chef Melissa McGrath's Magical Sandwiches in San Francisco (a best new restaurant of 2020) family-friendly, and they're just as eager here. Whether you're coming to shore or going, you can't resist taking another for the road.—Kansas

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When my friend and I ordered the last varsity special dish of the night (it was a full platter of brilliant Hokkaido varsity served with a dashi butter-glazed omelet topped with roe), chef Johnny Spero delivered it himself and nearly he apologized for offering such food. a dish outrageously over the top as a special. "It's elegant but vulgar," he said before returning to the kitchen to remember the stove on. In other words, Bar Spero doesn't take itself too seriously, but the kitchen is pretty serious and fun. The sunchokes are served with Virginia peanut chocolates. There's a beef tartare made with gherkins, capers, and smoked beef fat that gives it a lovely 'Nduja-like texture: it's artfully topped with fine potato threads dusted with green leek powder; and there are dishes that are a reflection of Spero's time in the Basque Country, where he learned that sometimes you just have to make quality ingredients sing: baby squid is cooked over low heat and served in an ink sauce. They were the most perfect bites of the night. As it turns out, Bar Spero's understatements can be pretty loud too.- KANSAS.

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The first course was pumpkin covered with a slice of salami cotto. It was decorated with a smiley face. It was perfect for my 10-year-old daughter to be my dining partner at Roxanne, a modern dining room with purple walls on the second floor of a row house in South Philadelphia. There's something fun about Chef Alexandra Holt's six-course $75 BYOB tasting menu that she prepares herself. The dishes are almost like late-night snacks manifesting like dreams of food fever. The tongue and cheek tartine is smothered in a blend of the finest cheeses destined to taste like good old American cheese. Mapo spicy sauce is served with mussels over mashed potatoes. You might have the option of tossing caviar on top of an ice cream already filled with pineapple jam and black olive caramel because, man, there are no rules here. Roxanne's feels like you've stumbled upon a joyous experiment, where behind all the whimsy is pure, vibrant talent. The evaluation of my ten-year-old son? "Good food meets fun food, Dad."—Kansas

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The eternal meeting place in the city center.



sun Inn,Rutherford, California



The holy grail of fresh fish cooking.




THE FRENCH LAUNDRY,Yountville, California








Pristine seafood with the magic of Cali.





You didn't live until you had the shoulder of lamb.


vials,Washington DC.

IN PEACE,San Francisco


THE USUAL,Charleston, Carolina del Sur

Daiquiri and oysters are a great combination.


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