Chefs' Favorite U.S. Restaurants
From pho to soul food, chefs from all over the country share their favorite restaurants with T+L.
When Chef Nick Curtin first
arrived in New York, he
stumbled upon a West Village restaurant disguised as a town house. He had
discovered tapas heaven—otherwise known as Alta restaurant—and has returned
many times for the sangria and bacon-wrapped dates.
wants to know where to eat, but there’s no need to wander any further. Curtin
is one of the 51 talented chefs who’ve clued us in—revealing favorite local
haunts in each state and D.C. Their picks reflect the remarkable ethnic and
cultural range of American cooking today. Looking for the best kimchi-fried-egg
hot dog in Ohio? It’s here. How about beef-cheek bourguignonne in Oregon? We’ve
got you covered.
of the chefs’ recommendations share a humble, hearty, no-fuss appeal. After
all, the last thing a chef wants—after spending eight hours a day arranging
microgreens on sea bass—is more haute cuisine. In Washington, for
instance, chef Matt Dillon (of Sitka
& Spruce) can’t get enough of the Japanese street snack takoyaki at
longest-running restaurant. “They’re like little donut holes filled with diced
baby octopus, plus a bottom layer of barbecue sauce and a top layer of bonito
flakes,” he says.
service can also make the difference. Texas chef Bryan Caswell of Reef,
loves the atmosphere at the Indian-Pakistani restaurant Himalaya, where the
chef, Kaiser Lashkari, provides personal suggestions to patrons, then takes
their orders and cooks. “[Lashkari] makes a goat biryani that truly blows my
chefs need not only mind-blowing food, but a restaurant that keeps up—literally—and
food trucks are often just the convenient thing. In Boulder, CO, chef
Lachlan MacKinnon-Patterson (Frasca
Food & Wine) refuels at Comida, a hot-pink vending truck that whips up
Mexican street food such as braised beef short ribs and sweet potato mash.
hungry? We’ve barely scratched the surface. Read on for the best restaurants
and dishes from coast to coast, brought to you by America’s celebrated chefs. —Nina
Interviews by Francine Maroukian