Executive chef and owner Frank Stitt does baked grits right with country ham, chanterelles, and Parmesan. In northern Alabama, the reigning favorite is a mayo-based white barbecue sauce. The Skinny: How do you bring a modern twist to this age-old comfort food? Do to it what countless restaurants have done to French fries: add duck fat. Sure, the first bite of any unique ice cream will wake your palate, but that initial thrill usually dies down mid-scoop.
The Skinny: Satisfy your cravings with a peanut butter and jelly—filled square donut bound to evoke childhood memories—or, if you want something a bit more decadent, order the Tres Leches donut. The Plant has expanded to include nine offshoots in Tokyo. The Skinny: Maggie Gergen serves at least a dozen kinds of pie each day at her shop in southeastern Minnesota. The Skinny: Deep-dish pies are a Chicago phenomenon, and Burt Katz is quite possibly the master of this bready variation.
On weekends, late-night patrons can eat their fill until 2 a. The Skinny: In downtown Portland, this is the original Original location of the national franchise beloved for its air-filled, oven-baked Dutch Baby pancake, which resembles a sugar-powdered volcanic crater slightly smaller than Mount St. The choice of batters is extensive: choose from buckwheat, sourdough, and even wheat germ.
Polish off your meal with sugar-cured hickory smoked ham and corned beef hash.
The Skinny: Forget Philly cheese steaks. The bread—delicious as it is, with its crunchy seeded crust and soft but chewy interior—is merely transportation. The Skinny: This Tacoma tavern is like Cheers, only better.
Rick's Cafe Boatyard
The ragu sauce is simmered for a few hours, the choice of Parmigiano-reggiano cheese provides a more powerful kick than mozzarella, and the garnish of spinach leaves adds flair. The Skinny: With a meatball-only menu and seemingly endless ball, sauce, and cheese combos, this uni-concept restaurant is anything but limited. Even as it satisfies a classic craving, the shop also taps into current industry trends like sourcing ingredients from organic farms and quirky touches like DIY dry-erase menus.
The Restaurant: Susiecakes, Los Angeles. The Skinny: New York City is famous for its bagels, and this small, unassuming shop on the Upper West Side happens to serve some of its finest. Reasonable prices have also helped Absolute Bagels earn a devoted following among Columbia University students and locals in the know. The most popular choices include the traditional egg, cinnamon raisin and whole wheat sesame, paired with a number of flavored cream cheeses and classic toppings like salmon.
Her Ham Frites are arguably some of the best in the country, made with homemade ham salt and served with smoked tomato aioli and cheddar beer sauce. It comes with wonderful home-baked muffins made with small tart Maine blueberries. The simple menu also includes standard dockside fare like rolls and fried scallops—but with chowder this good, why bother? America's Best Comfort Foods. By Emma Sloley January 20, Pin ellipsis More. Gene Ko. Image zoom. The Restaurant: Salt Grass Steak House , Houston The Skinny: A cube steak pounded thin, dredged in milk, egg, and flour, then fried and served with a creamy gravy: chicken-fried steak or CFS in Texas parlance is the southern answer to schnitzel.
The Restaurant: Jacques Torres , various locations in New York and New Jersey The Skinny: The genius of this bread plate—size cookie is that it tacitly acknowledges the need to not mess with perfection while subtly upping the ante of what a chocolate chip cookie can be.
In "Off the Menu: Staff Meals From America's Top Restaurants," author News Photo - Getty Images
The Restaurant: Doughnut Plant , New York City The Skinny: Satisfy your cravings with a peanut butter and jelly—filled square donut bound to evoke childhood memories—or, if you want something a bit more decadent, order the Tres Leches donut. The Restaurant: The Original Pancake House , Portland, Oregon The Skinny: In downtown Portland, this is the original Original location of the national franchise beloved for its air-filled, oven-baked Dutch Baby pancake, which resembles a sugar-powdered volcanic crater slightly smaller than Mount St. The Restaurant: Meatball Shop, New York City The Skinny: With a meatball-only menu and seemingly endless ball, sauce, and cheese combos, this uni-concept restaurant is anything but limited.
Replay gallery. Pinterest Facebook. The scent: eucalyptus, but, like, real, woodsy eucalyptus—not potpourri-esque. Nine months ago I made a mental note of the tall teal bottle in a restaurant bathroom in Los Angeles. Then, because I was confident that this soap would improve my life, I ordered it on the flight home. Every day since then I have thought about Konbi.
The chocolate croissant worth planning your entire morning around. The take-out window. The meditative omelet method. Shishito Pepper—Pistachio Dip. Chefs Akira Akuto and Nick Montgomery. And a crispy pork katsu one. And the egg salad one made Instagram-famous by its orange-yellow yolk half-moons. And also the carrots with weirdly good dip that turned out to be blitzed shishitos and pistachios. I showed up at 11 a. I came back 90 minutes later: The last two chocolate croissants were mine! This experience should have made me resent Konbi, a place that actually prompted me to describe the process of buying a pastry as Kafkaesque.
This is the thing about Konbi, a tiny sandwich shop that has received, since before it even opened, an inordinate amount of attention. Its sheer popularity should make it a maddening place and a maddening choice for best new restaurant. Wanna try Konbi's food?
Get tickets to the Hot 10 party. At Konbi they crack dozens of eggs each day for the signature pork katsu sandwich. Cooks dip the pork cutlets in egg yolk, letting the excess drip off. Next up is a dip in panko. Konbi uses Miyako brand. Cutlets get a drizzle of tonkatsu sauce, then mustard. Each sandwich gets a layer of cabbage.
- Damon Baehrel’s methods are a marvel, and his tables are all booked until 2025. Or are they?.
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Each sandwich gets sliced into three perfect segments. Showing off the interior for maximum photogenic-ness. So in my attempt to understand what exactly the chef and owner Donny Sirisavath was trying to do, it was easiest just to order them all. Sirisavath, who was born in Amarillo, grew up helping his mom in the kitchen of her Thai restaurant, learning how to make pad kee mao and wok-fried rice.
Years later, after his mom died, he began hosting Lao pop-ups as a side project he was a Hewlett-Packard engineer by day , then left his job to open Khao Noodle.
The Most Exclusive Restaurant in America
This is a rare thing to find, and I felt lucky just to be there. But Khao Noodle Shop is not a restaurant that looks only to the past. And once I tried the deep-fried tripe chicharrones and the musubi-like moutsayhang a two-bite stack of crispy pork patty, sticky rice, and a thin layer of omelet , it was clear that Sirisavath was telling a story all his own. Oh, and BYOB! Small dishes help create a Lao street food experience. Sirisavath says he learned everything he knows about restaurants from his mom, Phaysane. Sirisavath and his friends designed and built out Khao's space themselves.
Sirisavath makes his noodles the old-fashioned way, by ladling the batter onto a stretched cloth over a vat of boiling water. Making noodles from scratch isn't easy or fast, but Sirisavath says you can taste the labor and the love that goes into them. Khao Noodle Shop is full of photos of Phaysane Sirisavath and other personal mementos.
Sukiyaki with glass noodles, fermented tofu, coconut cream, and a soft boiled quail egg. Food is served in bowls, baskets, and dishes brought back from trips to Laos and Thailand. Wet khao soy with rice noodles, mushrooms, and fermented pork. Longoven is the most unlikely standout fine-dining restaurant in America.
Their restaurant is housed in a nondescript building in a rapidly developing neighborhood clamoring more for taprooms and barbecue joints and taprooms-slash-barbecue joints than for an austere-looking tasting-menu spot.
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Eventually they reconnected and decided to move to Richmond, where they launched Longoven pop-ups in I stumbled into one at Sub Rosa Bakery in Well, spoiler alert: The brick-and-mortar Longoven , which finally opened last year, is mind-bogglingly good—each dish so technically precise, so truly dedicated to ingredients, not to mention so, so pretty. This is very beautiful and very serious food served in a very beautiful and very serious space. Behind it all is the earnestness and maturity of three people who have worked harder than I can imagine to get to this place and who take none of their unlikely success for granted.
Wear something nice. Go all in. Course 2: The staff loved the Meyer lemon kombucha at family meal so much that Manning made it into the base of this refreshing scallop crudo. Course 3: Manning emulsifies foie gras with cream and gelatin until airy, then tops it with hazelnuts, grapefruit, and a snow cap of carbonated ginger ale. Course 4: As a play on Caesar salad, the plate is streaked with sea urchin, clam-infused buttermilk dressing, and romaine brushed with ramp vinegar then grilled.
Course 5: Manning serves his fava-bean-and-mushroom salad with grilled Maine lobster. Course 6: Manning turns pig ears into paper-thin sheets, then crowns them with peas and beans of all types.
Course 7: That grated white stuff? Can we talk about this bread? Wanna try Ochre Bakery's food? Server Solomon Gaut grabs a slice of layer cake for a very lucky and smart customer. The muffin selection changes with the seasons: These are Apple-Honey-Pecan. Outside of lunch hours, Ochre is open all day for espresso and pastries.