Food Republic http://www.foodrepublic.com Where Food, Drink & Culture Unite Thu, 19 Oct 2017 14:00:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.2 This Supermarket Chain Is Fighting Food Waste By Selling Green Satsumas http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/10/19/supermarket-chain-food-waste-satsumas/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/10/19/supermarket-chain-food-waste-satsumas/#respond Thu, 19 Oct 2017 14:00:48 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=175181 Due to Spain’s unusually warm weather this year, its satsuma crop (also known as mandarins) didn’t turn its usual orange hue. Instead, the easy-to-peel fruits remained green, resembling limes, according to The Guardian. United Kingdom-based supermarket chain Tesco is selling them anyway — they taste great. Despite their outward appearance, the fruits are totally orange and […]

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Due to Spain’s unusually warm weather this year, its satsuma crop (also known as mandarins) didn’t turn its usual orange hue. Instead, the easy-to-peel fruits remained green, resembling limes, according to The Guardian. United Kingdom-based supermarket chain Tesco is selling them anyway — they taste great.

Despite their outward appearance, the fruits are totally orange and ripe on the inside. Normally, ripe satsumas would turn from green to orange during the cool nights. But because of the rising temperatures in Spain, where satsumas are harvested, the skins didn’t get a chance to go orange.

Instead of tossing them because of their appearances, Tesco is selling the satsumas and even extending their shelf life two days. The chain announced last month that it’ll make efforts to help in the fight against food waste by loosening its quality standards. That’s not to say Tesco sells lower-quality produce, but produce that may not be perfectly shaped or colored.

The Guardian reports that some growers are using ripening rooms to get the satsumas to turn orange, but this has results in some spoiled batches.

To learn more about the state of food waste and the efforts against it, watch WASTED! The Story of Food Waste. The documentary is now available on iTunes and On Demand.

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The Five Tiers Of Sushi In New York City http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/10/19/175148/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/10/19/175148/#respond Thu, 19 Oct 2017 13:00:11 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=175148 When it comes to eating sushi in New York City, there are certainly options aplenty. This is the city that never sleeps, after all. Return home from a late night out and craving, say, Korean food? You’re just a few clicks away from having a piping-hot bowl of bibimbap and tender slices of galbi delivered […]

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tiers of sushi
A flight of different tuna preparations awaits at elegant NYC sushi oasis, 15 East.
When it comes to eating sushi in New York City, there are certainly options aplenty. This is the city that never sleeps, after all. Return home from a late night out and craving, say, Korean food? You’re just a few clicks away from having a piping-hot bowl of bibimbap and tender slices of galbi delivered to your doorstep in a matter of minutes. Gotta love the Big Apple.

With that said, it’s a more daunting task than ever to choose a sushi restaurant. Price-points range drastically, from just a few bucks for a pharmacy-bought mock-crab California roll (more on that later) to potentially several hundreds of dollars for a serious omakase experience. It’s important to remember that this is raw fish we’re talking about here, and not exactly something to mess around with health-wise. You’ve undoubtedly heard of a friend — or five — who have come down with vicious cases of food poisoning after consuming “bad sushi.” Our ultimate goal is to help you avoid that unpleasant experience.

As such, we’ve broken down the city’s thriving sushi scene into five distinct tiers, hoping to clearly separate its many, many choices. Each tier represents an improvement in overall quality of fish over its predecessor, while likely raising the average check size in the process. Along with a basic description of each category, we’ve included a restaurant recommendation or two, though we’ve previously published a more thorough guide to the best Japanese eats around NYC — look for an up-to-date version in the coming weeks. In the meantime, keep our tiered system in mind before reaching for that spicy tuna roll at your neighborhood CVS.

Tiers of Sushi

tiers of sushi
Your local grocer just might have an entire sushi aisle. Good for them. You’re staying away. (Photo: NatalieMaynor/Flickr.)

Tier 5

Caution: Stay away!

Pharmacies. Grocery stores. All-you-can-eat sushi joints. All three can serve valuable purposes in everyday life (we’ll go out on a limb and vouch for any AYCE venue that touts an unlimited sake and/or beer option). They also share a dubious rule-of-thumb: Places from which you should never eat sushi. This one isn’t that hard to figure out, folks: Head to your pharmacy to re-up on mouthwash, not mackerel. Don’t be enticed by your local grocery store boasting of a “master sushi chef on premises.” Summed up perfectly, in the wise words of a friend: “Be sure to eat dinner before group dinner tonight at the all-you-can-eat sushi place!”

Editor recommendation: None, silly!

tiers of sushi
A standard two maki-roll platter (cream cheese included) at a neighborhood sushi joint.

Tier 4

Neighborhood spots

So, you want to satisfy your sushi cravings without breaking the bank? You don’t have to look that far to find options in the near vicinity. You’ll find the standard “three maki rolls” and “sushi deluxe” platters — with specials for lunch — on just about every menu. Is the fish of superior quality? No. Is it safe to eat? Probably. But you can’t expect much more when you’re spending around $15-$20 on a full sushi meal while sitting in a venue that won’t exactly be featured on Architectural Digest any time soon. Pro tip: The fish tends to be slightly better in the restaurant itself, rather than via delivery. And while we’re on the topic of delivery, please do yourself a favor and avoid ordering in from any place beginning with multiple A’s or any sort of odd punctuation — owners tack on these extra symbols so that their restaurants appear at the top of delivery websites alphabetically. Don’t enable them! In many ways, finding a reliable “Tier 4” sushi spot is the most challenging (and rewarding) accomplishment in the world of NYC sushi.

Editor recommendation: Umi Sushi (118 East 31st Street)

tiers of sushi
You’ll recognize the offerings at these types of places (Sushi Yasaka here) and appreciate the higher quality of fish.

Tier 3

A step above

Congratulations on making it to Tier 3! You can breathe a deep sigh of relief, knowing that — at the very least — a meal at these types of restaurants is very unlikely to make you ill. That’s a start, isn’t it? They typically have more welcoming interiors and markedly fresher fish than the more common “neighborhood” spots. You can enjoy a casual lunch special or pop in for dinner without making a reservation (usually), and leave with the contents of your wallet mostly intact. Pro tip: Mini-chains Haru and Amber aspire to epitomize this category but fail to justify the slightly higher tabs, in this editor’s humble opinion. The similarly priced and designed Momoya does fare slightly better.

Editor recommendations: Sushi Yasaka (251 West 72nd Street), Hatsuhana (17 East 48th Street)

Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 4.24.59 PM
It’s all about the subtle details (such as garnishes and shavings) at the decidedly upscale 15 East.

Tier 2

A carefully planned evening out

Things are getting real here. You’re in charge of either date- or group-night out and your heart is set on sushi. There is definitely no shortage of places to consider here and you’ll have to decide which factors matter most to you: food quality, ambiance, service, diversity of selections, etc. You can order from a menu here (even if there is an omakase option offered). But you’ll also notice subtleties within the menu — for example, there is uni (sea urchin) offered from multiple locations around the world; it’s not simply listed as a single option. Or maybe there is both freshwater and saltwater eel available. These places dish out consistently high-end cuisine that’s still recognizable to the masses. You’ll find your “sushi deluxe” set plates here, but with the inclusion of prized pieces such as chu-toro (medium fatty tuna) and ikura (salmon eggs). The price-point is around double anything you’ll find in “Tier 3” (think approximately $50-65 for the aforementioned set plates). Readers are probably most familiar with establishments like Sushi of Gari and Sushi Seki in this group.

Editor recommendations: Jewel Bako (239 East 5th Street), 15 East (15 East 15th Street)

tiers of sushi
A box of pure Hokkaido uni bliss at the omakase-only Sushi Zo.

Tier 1

Omakase madness

Omakase has officially taken New York City by storm. The term, which roughly translates to “I’ll leave it up to the chef,” has gone mainstream and sushi bars offering this — and only this — delicacy have been opening around the city at unprecedented rates. It’s worth mentioning the possibility of writing an entire article on separating these types of restaurants into their own tiers — “affordable” omakase (though somewhat of a paradox) is trending these days and should be differentiated from restaurants charging an arm and a leg to dine at a traditional wooden bar.

We might have called you crazy a few years back had you predicted that the notoriously extravagant Masa would have competition as the most expensive Japanese restaurant in the city, and yet that’s very much the case today. It’s been fascinating to witness the steady increase of people reserving far in advance to enjoy a short — as brief as 45 minutes — meal at these minimalistic venues, placing their full trust in a sushi maestro at the cost of hundreds of dollars. In some ways, it’s so un-New York that it is so undeniably New York. In any case, we’ve spared you no expense in choosing the below venues as our recommendations.

Editor recommendations: Sushi Zo (88 West 3rd Street), Kurumazushi (7 East 47th Street)

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The Best Coffee Is Grown In Honduras, According To Illy http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/10/18/best-coffee-honduras-illy/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/10/18/best-coffee-honduras-illy/#respond Wed, 18 Oct 2017 17:02:51 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=175136 Calling all coffee aficionados! This year’s Ernesto Illy International Award for Best of the Best coffee beans was announced yesterday in New York City. José Abelardo Díaz Enamorado’s beans grown in Honduras were crowned Best of the Best out of a group of 27 finalists. The award recognizes achievement in growing and harvesting quality beans through sustainable […]

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Calling all coffee aficionados! This year’s Ernesto Illy International Award for Best of the Best coffee beans was announced yesterday in New York City. José Abelardo Díaz Enamorado’s beans grown in Honduras were crowned Best of the Best out of a group of 27 finalists. The award recognizes achievement in growing and harvesting quality beans through sustainable practices

Finalists also hailed from India, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Costa Rica, Colombia, Brazil, Nicaragua and Guatemala. The top nine finalists will later make up the Illy coffee blend.

The coffee was judged at the United Nations by nine panelists, including Food Republic’s editorial director, Richard Martin. Other judges included author Mark Pendergrast, who served as jury chair, Brazilian food and wine writer Josimar Melo, Michelin-rated chef Caterina Ceraudo, founder and publisher of CoffeeTalk magazine Kerri Goodman, assistant professor of business management at the Culinary Institute of America Denise Mazzei and others.

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Celebrate The Arrival Of Soup Weather By Playing This Game http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/10/18/soup-weather-game/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/10/18/soup-weather-game/#respond Wed, 18 Oct 2017 15:00:31 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=175111 What is soup, really? It’s up to you to decide, in the video game “Something Something Soup Something.” Could it be a foamy mystery liquid with shrimp and meat slices served in a coconut with an ice cream scoop garnish? Yes, it could! Created by game designer and philosopher Stefano Gualeni, Something Something Soup Something […]

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What is soup, really? It’s up to you to decide, in the video game “Something Something Soup Something.” Could it be a foamy mystery liquid with shrimp and meat slices served in a coconut with an ice cream scoop garnish? Yes, it could!

Created by game designer and philosopher Stefano Gualeni, Something Something Soup Something presents itself as a low-pressure, simple game. It takes place in the year 2078 where humans and aliens exist together in relative peace. Aliens are tasked with making 20 soups for hungry people and you play as a “Soup Technician,” making sure the aliens conjure up something suitable for human consumption. Some ingredients include batteries, shrimp, rocks, orange wedges and candy canes.

The game is purely philosophical, and really challenges you to decide what one culinary term means to you. When you’ve completed your 20 orders, your score card outlines how you define “soup.” For instance, my card said I think soup can be eaten with any sort of utensil, it can be solid or liquid, any seafood can be an ingredient and it cannot contain anything inedible. Not too bad! Check out the video below and get ready to stir something up.

h/t Kotaku

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Masaki Saito’s Aged Sushi Will Change Your Palate Forever http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/10/18/masaki-saitos-aged-sushi/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/10/18/masaki-saitos-aged-sushi/#respond Wed, 18 Oct 2017 14:00:51 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=175085 Located directly across from the main branch of the New York Public Library, Sushi Ginza Onodera is where you’ll find one of the city’s most accomplished sushi masters: Masaki Saito. When this Hokkaido, Japan native places a piece of fish on your plate, you’re in for a rare treat. Edomaezushi, or Edomae-style sushi is Saito’s specialty, and an […]

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Located directly across from the main branch of the New York Public Library, Sushi Ginza Onodera is where you’ll find one of the city’s most accomplished sushi masters: Masaki Saito. When this Hokkaido, Japan native places a piece of fish on your plate, you’re in for a rare treat.

Edomaezushi, or Edomae-style sushi is Saito’s specialty, and an uncommon one to bring to the United States. Born from the necessity to quickly and effectively preserve fresh fish before refrigeration technology, this centuries-old technique of wrapping fish in salty, slightly acidic kelp results in a meltingly tender final product. Its enhanced umami flavors are otherwise impossible to achieve.

Saito’s rice is not white but dark beige, thanks to a dose of sweet, fragrant akasu — red sake vinegar that was a staple ingredient during the Edo period of Japan. His fish is not fresh, but up to 10 days old (or older) and meticulously tended. And his affinity for joking while preparing your dinner is unparalleled, so when you’re ready to positively destroy your palate for all other sushi, pull up a seat at the bar and enjoy Saito’s personal brand of sushi-centric humor and one of the most memorable omakase meals of your life.

I occupied one of these coveted seats across from Chef Saito to discover what makes Edomae-style aged sushi so uniquely delicious.

saito
Chef Saito brushes a piece of aged tuna with soy sauce for his Edomae-style sushi.

Usually you hear people say, “This sushi is so fresh.” How do you explain to first-time guests that aged sushi is actually better than fresh?
There are different levels. The sushi scene in New York is not really high-level. I’m very surprised by the level of sushi being served in the city sometimes. In Japan, people who know the taste of Edomae would prefer it over fuji-style [fresh fish] or any other style that’s been popularized. People who know Edomae-style and can differentiate between Edomae and fresh fish really know sushi, and would prefer Edomae over fresh. I think right now only people in Japan really understand it.

How long have Japanese chefs been aging fish for sushi?
400 years. In Japan it’s not uncommon, but it’s not accessible here or in Europe, which is why most people don’t know the difference between Edomae and fresh fish. So they just go with fresh fish.

Do you make funazushi here?
You know about funazushi? Wow. Are you a sushi chef?

[laughs] Not yet. I tried it once. It was very powerful.
I don’t make funazushi, the smell is too strong!

Would you compare aging sushi to aging beef? The first time you eat a dry-aged steak, it’s like you’ve never tasted beef before.
Yes, it imparts different flavors that the fish doesn’t normally pick up when it’s fresh. If you’re aging it for a few days or longer, it picks up new umami flavors.

squid
Aging squid gives it an umami boost and tenderizes deeply for a mouthwatering bite with no chewiness.

What are some fish you can’t age?
Nothing. Same as humans — all fish ages.

What about uni?
You could cure it with salt, but that’s not something you want to do. We steam our uni. It’s a little different from aging, but we do apply our own methods to it before serving.

What is your favorite fish to age and why?
Golden-eye snapper, I just love it. It’s also something that’s popular in Japan with older generations because there’s not so many bones in it, and it’s easier to eat.

What’s the most popular preparation of aged fish at Ginza?
Kelp-cured, mostly white fish. Fluke and snappers of all kinds.

aged sushi
Golden eye snapper, wrapped in kelp and vacuum-sealed for aging.

What makes that kelp perfect for curing sushi?
The width. There are types of kelp that are thick, there are ones that are thin. The fish has to be wrapped in a thicker kelp to cover it.

What do you think is the main reason aged sushi is not popular in America?
It’s a completely different style of sushi. Even the way it’s written in Japanese characters is completely different. Regular sushi is written as “fresh fish.” The Edomae sushi character is completely different; it translates to “making the fish delicious.” That’s what my methods are.

Does it take a different set of knife skills to work with aged sushi than fresh?
Yes, you have to change your skills. Fresh fish is easier to slice because it’s firm. Aged’s texture is much softer.

barracuda
A blast from a torch before serving gives a subtle smoky note to this this aged barracuda sushi.

How much of your day is spent aging the fish to serve?
A lot of time. Depending on the fish, we would open [the vacuum packages] and re-seal every day. Even our miso soup is aged a minimum of one week.

I thought the miso was the age.
This one is double-aged! We get our miso from Japan, and we combine about 30 different types to make our soup. Then we age it for one week to ten days.

When you’re learning to prepare fish in a specific style, what are some mistakes that new chefs make?
You always have to taste anything you’re going to serve to your customers. Whether I’m serving sushi or beer, I always taste to make sure that I’m serving the best quality of anything. It’s just about the best quality. When I started off, there were times that you could possibly make the fish stale or make somebody sick. That’s one mistake new sushi craftsmen often face. I check every day to see which day of aging has the best taste. I check everything to make sure it’s up to par.

Are there differences between pairing sake with aged fish and fresh fish?
It might change slightly, but it’s not a big difference in terms of sake pairings. I don’t have anything that I specifically recommend — I like beer. But I’d recommend sake that’s made from the same region as the sushi rice. Same prefecture, same area, same farmer if you can. That would be the best pairing.

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Jeff Gordinier Spills On Esquire’s 18 Best New Restaurants In The U.S. List http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/10/18/esquire-says-18-best-new-restaurants-u-s/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/10/18/esquire-says-18-best-new-restaurants-u-s/#respond Wed, 18 Oct 2017 13:00:52 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=175110 Today, Esquire magazine announces its Best New Restaurants In America list. For the first time, Jeff Gordinier presides over the festivities, and the ex-New York Times scribe dishes on his methodology in an exclusive email interview, which is edited and condensed for your reading pleasure below. But first, a teaser “top 5” of the top […]

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sfincione bread from Felix Trattoria
The sfincione bread at Felix Trattoria helped convince writer Jeff Gordinier that the Venice, CA restaurant is the best new spot in the country. “The bread said, ‘This place pays close attention to the details,'” Gordinier explains in the interview below. (Photo: Courtesy of Felix Trattoria.)

Today, Esquire magazine announces its Best New Restaurants In America list. For the first time, Jeff Gordinier presides over the festivities, and the ex-New York Times scribe dishes on his methodology in an exclusive email interview, which is edited and condensed for your reading pleasure below. But first, a teaser “top 5” of the top 18; for the whole list, as well as chefs of the year and other categories, visit Esquire.com, or pick up the November issue, on newsstands October 24.

  1. Felix Trattoria (Venice, CA)
  2. The Grill & The Pool (New York City)
  3. JuneBaby (Seattle, WA)
  4. Coquine (Portland, OR)
  5. Roister (Chicago, IL)

Your top 5 encompass Italian, classic American fine dining, Southern, French and more casual or new American (in that order). Were you aiming to be so democratic or did it just turn out that way?
Some people grow up as theater geeks. I guess I grew up as a restaurant geek — as a kid I always got excited when my family walked into a restaurant in Los Angeles or San Francisco or New York City. The movement and language and energy of a great restaurant felt like a show to me, whether the place was a taqueria or Michel Richard’s Citrus. I’m always looking for that. You feel that sort of energy at The Grill and you feel it at Tartine Manufactory (San Francisco, #14 on the list), even though they’re very different enterprises. It’s not just about the food. It’s about the hospitality, the music, the lighting, a contagious sense of collective enjoyment. I got that at JuneBaby in Seattle — Edouardo Jordan is a terrific chef but he’s also hosting a party, he’s got this positive spirit that everyone seems to pick up on when he’s in the kitchen. At Han Oak (Portland, OR, #8) you feel like you’re at Peter Cho and Sun Young Park’s house — because you basically are! When I ate there, Peter Cho’s mom was in the kitchen wrapping dumplings. At Tartine Manufactory I wound up sitting at a communal table (I went there directly from the airport so I had my backpack with me) and I fell into a spirited conversation about shelling beans and cucamelons with the other folks sitting next to me — very San Francisco. When I stepped into Tartine Manufactory I actually felt kind of grouchy, I was like, “Screw this, I just got off a plane, I don’t want to wait in line, I don’t want to sit with anyone else,” but that’s the weird magic of what Elisabeth Prueitt has achieved there — within a few minutes I felt all blissed out. I don’t know how the place works but it does.

What else can you tell us about the methodology for the list?
I gave a lot of thought to the list — maybe too much thought, if you ask my editors. What wound up being a crucial factor to me was the simple question of “How did the restaurant make me feel?” Did I feel better when I walked out of the restaurant than I did when I’d walked in? Would I go back? Would I send my friends there? And therefore would I send Esquire‘s readers there? I wanted to choose the sort of restaurants that you ache to return to again and again. Not the places where you go once, obliterate your retirement savings, get strafed with 25 courses, and leave feeling bloated and weary. If I’m in Los Angeles, I’m going to go back to Felix Trattoria. If I’m in Seattle, I’m heading straight for JuneBaby. Here in New York, I find myself swinging back around to Atla again and again — in fact, merely strolling by the restaurant on Lafayette Street has a way of luring me inside, as if Daniela Soto-Innes has attached a tractor beam to the front door — and when friends of mine visit New York City and ask me for restaurant recommendations, I automatically instruct them to go to Chumley’s for Victoria Blamey’s cooking. Why is that? I used to write about music and movies, years ago. I suppose I thought of this task in reference to my previous beats, as a writer. What are the records you keep returning to? There are albums by Prince and the Clash and A Tribe Called Quest and R.E.M. and Cat Power and Erykah Badu, et cetera, that I never seem to grow weary of.

Jeff Gordinier
Jeff Gordinier selects the top 18 new restaurants in the United States in the forthcoming issue of Esquire magazine.

After a year of traveling and trying all these places and more, what kept you feeling inspired, and on the flip side, what trends exhausted you?
What inspires me is seeing a new generation of talent coming up. Edouardo Jordan at JuneBaby, Katy Millard at Coquine, Iliana Regan at Kitsune, Victoria Blamey at Chumley’s, Joseph Lenn at J.C. Holdway, Miles Thompson at Michael’s in Santa Monica (he’s our Rising Star for the year) — journalists tend to get stuck covering the same chefs over and over, so it’s exciting to break out of that rut and take a look at the cooking that’s going to define the next decade or so. As for what exhausted me, well, it’s obvious from a conspicuous absence on Esquire‘s list: marathon tasting menus. We didn’t include any tasting menus — aside from Alter, in Miami, where Bradley Kilgore’s menu is short and affordable. I experienced a lot of long tasting menus and I ate many exquisite dishes and I often admired what the chefs were up to, but at a certain point I had to be brutally honest with myself. “Do I really want to eat this way?” For me the answer was no. The surrendering of choice, the constant interruptions from servers, the overload of calories, the confusing blur of flavors, the feeling of being trapped at a table for hours on end — let’s face it, too often, tasting menus just aren’t a lot of fun. I discreetly started to float the idea with people I know and the uniformity of the reactions surprised me. Other food writers, chefs, restaurateurs, customers, friends — I kept hearing, “Oh, God, I hate tasting menus, please make them stop.” Since we had a strong overarching theme for this Esquire list — restaurants that you keep going back to, restaurants that deliver simple pleasures — I had to wonder whether tasting menus qualified, since they’re often once-in-a-lifetime experiences. You don’t become a regular at a tasting menu restaurant. Philosophically I sort of think of tasting menus the way we used to think of double (or triple) albums by bands. In the hands of Prince or the Clash or Magnetic Fields or the Rolling Stones, sure, I’m willing to go the distance with Sign O’ the TimesLondon Calling69 Love Songs, and Exile on Main St., respectively. But most of the time, with your average band, a double or triple album is too much damn music. Same with tasting menus. It’s a “don’t try this at home” sort of thing. Just let us order stuff.

These lists always inspire some backlash. Anything that you are bracing for?
I’m sure I missed some place that’s great. I’m already torturing myself about that. (Pete Wells recently mentioned one to me, argh.) Because of the realities of time and budgets and family demands (I have two kids whom I love to spend time with), it turns out that it’s impossible to hit every single city in America in the course of a few weeks, although I tried my best. This is my first time putting together such a list. I welcome feedback. If I missed certain restaurants and chefs, I hope our readers will let me know. If I’m lucky, I’ll get a chance to continue doing the list in the years to come, and criticism should, ideally, lead to improvement. A little while ago I had a lively and eye-opening conversation with David Chang about the types of chef-driven restaurants that tend to dominate these lists — and how journalists can continue opening up to a broader spectrum of places. That’s on my mind as we move forward.

“It’s awesome to see chefs of this caliber applying their talents to the welcoming, nourishing grace of a neighborhood restaurant. Bigger isn’t always better.”

The inclusion of Coquine, Olmsted (#11) and Alter (#10) signal the strength of the neighborhood restaurant. Why do you think these chefs choose to focus on a smaller audience when they could evidently go bigger?
Neighborhood restaurants are at a whole new level nowadays. Look at Coquine: chef Katy Millard worked at Maison Troisgros in France and Coi in San Francisco, to name just a couple of places from her resume. (Coquine is a neighborhood restaurant in the best, truest sense: it’s actually sitting there in the middle of a quiet residential neighborhood in Portland, Oregon, and if I lived there I would be a regular.) Greg Baxtrom of Olmsted worked at Alinea and Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Victoria Blamey of Chumley’s worked at Corton and Atera! It’s awesome to see chefs of this caliber applying their talents to the welcoming, nourishing grace of a neighborhood restaurant. Bigger isn’t always better.

Besides the list there are a handful of categories, like “year of the classic comeback.” Why are some places coming back when conventional wisdom is to always focus on the new?
Look, there’s a part of me that bucks against this whole “new” restaurant fetish. I think we ought to do more to honor the great restaurants already in our midst. Friends of mine know that if I didn’t happen to have this job, I’d probably just keep going back to the established spots that I love — Via Carota, Prune, Emilio’s Ballato, Mission Chinese Food, Fish & Game, Estela, Roman’s. (A lot of food writers semi-secretly feel the same way.) Way too many classics are fading away right now, getting pushed out by punitively high rents, and it’s encouraging to see counter-examples — Daniel Patterson taking over Alfred’s steakhouse in San Francisco, chef Miles Thompson and restaurateur Chas McCarty (the son of Michael McCarty) bringing new life to Michael’s in Santa Monica, Danny Meyer refusing to let Union Square Cafe go gentle into that good night, Alessandro Borgognone (love him or hate him) restoring and reviving Chumley’s in the West Village. Nothing lasts forever. But these places matter. They’re part of the community. We want them to stick around because we love them and because they are essential to the cultural mosaic of a city. Losing a restaurant like Michael’s — or letting it fade into obsolescence — would be like losing a great theater, a bookstore, a music venue. I was just in Memphis and you can feel how important a place like Cozy Corner is. It’s about history and community.

Last question: You have to choose one dish from all the restaurants listed as the best thing you ate all year. What is it?
When I get hungry I start thinking of the burger at Chumley’s, the fried bologna sandwich at Roister, the lamb ribs at Flora Bar, the pork belly at Han Oak, the roast chicken at Coquine, the fish milanese with fresh tortillas at Atla. But in some ways the dish that summed up the year for me was the round, puffy, olive-oil-splashed, hot-to-the-fingertips sfincione bread that comes first to your table at Felix. The bread is incredibly delicious, but it’s more than that — when I tore off a shred of that bread, I knew in my bones that we were about to get a spectacular meal from chef Evan Funke. The bread said: “This place pays close attention to the details.” My 15-year-old daughter, Margot, was at the table with us when I ate at Felix over the summer. Margot knew I was putting together this Esquire list, and toward the end of the dinner Margot (who is a much tougher critic than I am) said, “How can you not make this place #1?” She had a point. The dishes that followed that sfincione were so good that they generated a kind of euphoria.

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Show Off Your Love For Philadelphia Cream Cheese With These Sneakers http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/10/17/philadelphia-cream-cheese-sneakers/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/10/17/philadelphia-cream-cheese-sneakers/#respond Tue, 17 Oct 2017 17:00:01 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=175056 Whether you schmear it on your bagels, spread it in your Philly sushi rolls or enjoy it with your Seattle-style hot dogs, there’s no denying that many people have a deep affinity for cream cheese. P’s and Q’s, a Philadelphian streetwear store, celebrates a love for the city’s namesake cream cheese with its latest sneaker release. Partnering with shoe brand Clae, […]

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Whether you schmear it on your bagels, spread it in your Philly sushi rolls or enjoy it with your Seattle-style hot dogs, there’s no denying that many people have a deep affinity for cream cheese. P’s and Q’s, a Philadelphian streetwear store, celebrates a love for the city’s namesake cream cheese with its latest sneaker release.

Partnering with shoe brand Clae, the Philadelphia Bradley was inspired by Philadelphia cream cheese, according to The Philly Voice. P’s and Q’s released the cream and blue sneakers in honor of its fifth anniversary. Mismatching tongues feature Clae and P’s and Q’s logos. They’re going for $140 a pair, with only 50 pairs available.

Despite its name, the Kraft brand of cream cheese doesn’t hail from the City of Brotherly Love at all. In fact, it was invented by William Lawrence in New York and named after Philadelphia because of the city’s reputation for quality dairy. Still, where else are you going to find cream cheese kicks?

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Learn About Seasonal Seafood With This Handy Chart http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/10/17/excerpt-seafood-sustainability/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/10/17/excerpt-seafood-sustainability/#respond Tue, 17 Oct 2017 15:00:19 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=175053 Let’s hear it for sustainable seafood! Ned Bell is the founder of Chefs for Oceans, a not-for-profit organization that spreads awareness of overfishing and sustainable catching methods. His new cookbook, Lure, is an in-depth guide to keeping it fresh, safe and responsible. This guide to seasonal seafood will keep you right on track. Reprinted with […]

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Let’s hear it for sustainable seafood! Ned Bell is the founder of Chefs for Oceans, a not-for-profit organization that spreads awareness of overfishing and sustainable catching methods. His new cookbook, Lure, is an in-depth guide to keeping it fresh, safe and responsible. This guide to seasonal seafood will keep you right on track.

Reprinted with permission from Lure

seasonality

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More People Are Visiting Independent Coffee Shops http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/10/17/independent-coffee-shops/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/10/17/independent-coffee-shops/#respond Tue, 17 Oct 2017 14:00:30 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=175062 In a recent study, Foursquare found that independent coffee shops are seeing more foot traffic. Using data gathered from its apps, Foursquare Swarm and Foursquare City Guide, the mobile “search and discovery” company found that visits to independent coffee shops rose 5%, while big chains like Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts saw less than 1% growth. […]

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In a recent study, Foursquare found that independent coffee shops are seeing more foot traffic. Using data gathered from its apps, Foursquare Swarm and Foursquare City Guide, the mobile “search and discovery” company found that visits to independent coffee shops rose 5%, while big chains like Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts saw less than 1% growth. Overall visits to coffee joints rose 1.7% in 2017.

The report also shows that October is the busiest month for coffee shops, thanks to the infamous pumpkin spice latte. December comes in second with holiday flavors such as peppermint, eggnog and chestnut.

Foursquare’s research also found that Bay Area favorite Philz Coffee has “stolen market share from larger, national chains” with 11% more foot traffic since May 2016. The study also found that frequent coffee drinkers can be found at the following chains: Blue Bottle Coffee, Peet’s, Philz, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Starbucks and others.

No word on whether or not Twin Peaks: The Return had any influence on these findings.

h/t Fast Company

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How To Spend A Long Weekend In Montana http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/10/17/long-weekend-montana/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/10/17/long-weekend-montana/#respond Tue, 17 Oct 2017 13:00:22 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=175013 With tons of outdoors adventures to be had, stellar culture finds, and an up-and-coming culinary scene, there are more reasons than ever to visit Montana. Couple those with mountain ranges for days and some of the friendliest locals around, and you’re looking at a long weekend well-spent. From hiking and fly fishing to cocktail hour […]

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With tons of outdoors adventures to be had, stellar culture finds, and an up-and-coming culinary scene, there are more reasons than ever to visit Montana. Couple those with mountain ranges for days and some of the friendliest locals around, and you’re looking at a long weekend well-spent. From hiking and fly fishing to cocktail hour and hot spring outings, here are nine of the best ways to experience two of Big Sky Country’s prized cities — Bozeman and Red Lodge — now.

Bozeman

Taste through a flight at MAP Brewing Co

Head to this local brewery (open daily) to sample an array of daily-rotating selections, from a golden ale and Kolsch, to a Bavarian hefe and West Coast IPA. Meet brewer Doug Child if you can — he’s the mastermind behind the project and took home three gold medals at the 2014 Montana Homebrewer’s Association Annual Convention — plus a silver for “Best in Show.”

Treat yourself to an over-the-top dinner at Open Range in Bozeman. (Photo: Chloe Nostrant.)
Treat yourself to an over-the-top dinner at Open Range in Bozeman. (Photo: Chloe Nostrant.)

Indulge in over-the-top cocktails at Open Range

Come dinner time, plan a visit to Open Range, a Main Street-situated restaurant serving up American cuisine via plates like cast-iron chicken with roasted fingerlings, pappardelle with beer sausage and homemade ricotta, and a house burger with pickled onions, roasted tomatoes and butter lettuce on a potato bun. Don’t miss the cocktails — the list here is a medley of signatures and classic drams alike, all showcasing out-of-the-box ingredients (think dandelion syrup, bay leaf liqueur and wild yarrow).

Take a dip in the Bozeman Hot Springs

Unwind with a trip to these thermal pools and saunas, which were originally purchased in 1879 by local wagon and carriage-maker Jeremiah Mathews. Today, more than 12 pools and a fitness center are on tap — not to mention swimming lessons and day care, should you want to bring the little ones along. Insider tip: Go during the week when tourist numbers are guaranteed to be low.

Red Lodge

Snag a table at Ox Pasture

A visit to Red Lodge isn’t complete without a trip to this New American restaurant, where chef Chris Lockhart and team specialize in hyper-local cuisine in hip environs. While dinner is the main event here, brunch is just as exciting — kick things off with a round of seasonal mimosas before diving head first into flavor-packed entrees like fried chicken and rosemary waffles, rhubarb French toast or poached eggs alongside morels and wild mushrooms.

Hike around Wild Bill Lake

Located in Custer National Forest, Wild Bill Lake is a go-to for licensed anglers year-round. Its small size and easy access deems it a good spot for families with younger kiddos, who can try their hand at the waters from the shore, one of the docks, or via one-to-two person, non-motorized fishing vessels. The lake’s approachable size — just a mile around — also makes it perfect for the novice hiker. Plan ahead with a picnic (grab all your eats at local cheese and wine haven Babcock & Miles) — plenty of tables and lush surroundings await.

Red Lodge's Old Piney Dell serves up classic Montana cuisine. (Photo: Merv Coleman.)
Red Lodge’s Old Piney Dell serves up classic Montana cuisine. (Photo: Merv Coleman.)

Saddle up at Old Piney Dell

A quick drive up highway 212 will land you at this idyllic resort, where you’ll find Old Piney Dell. It’s a European-inspired restaurant originally built in the 1920s as a homesteader’s cabin. Today, that kitchen is helmed by chef Eric Trager, who spins out locally inspired plates like apple-smoked Montana trout, bison meatloaf and Montana Black Angus ribeye. If you’re the spontaneous kind, opt for a stayover post-dinner — the resort houses 87 lodge-like rooms bedecked in Southwestern flair.

Get up close with nature at the Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary 

Montana’s only wildlife rescue has been hard at work for decades in giving lifelong sanctuary to non-releasable wildlife (2017 marks its 30th year in doing so). Here, that means more than 70 rescued animals native to the Yellowstone ecosystem, from black bears, mountain lions and coyotes, to wolves, fox and bison. Learn about all of them with any of their private wildlife tours and encounters, which range from $25 to $45 Wednesdays through Mondays.

Spend Friday night at the (pig) races at Bear Creek Saloon & Steakhouse

Experience a memorable evening at this meat-centric eatery, where you can chow down on charbroiled steaks and drafts before heading out back for hours of entertainment in one of the town’s most novel formats: pig races. Once you’ve placed your wagers, it’s time to cheer on your best bets as they’re released from the pens towards copious amounts of feed — the ultimate incentive.

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Bengaluru, India Is Getting A School Lunch Upgrade http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/10/16/bengaluru-lunch-upgrade/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/10/16/bengaluru-lunch-upgrade/#respond Mon, 16 Oct 2017 18:00:27 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=175035 When busy parents don’t have the time to fix lunch for their kids, the often lackluster school lunch is the only remaining option. In Bengaluru, India, MonkeyBox is taking care of lunchtime woes. Similar to the 131-year-old concept of dabba wallas, MonkeyBox, an app and lunch delivery service, plans 22 meals every month for kids in […]

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When busy parents don’t have the time to fix lunch for their kids, the often lackluster school lunch is the only remaining option. In Bengaluru, India, MonkeyBox is taking care of lunchtime woes.

Similar to the 131-year-old concept of dabba wallas, MonkeyBox, an app and lunch delivery service, plans 22 meals every month for kids in school and daycare. According to Quartz, The meals, prepared by hotel chefs, never repeat within the 22-day cycle, are vegetarian, health-focused and include traditional north and south-style Indian curries and rotis, pasta dishes, burgers and more. Parents can choose from different subscription plans that cover breakfast, lunch and a snack for a five, 10 or 22 day period. The all-inclusive 22-day package costs only Rs3,000 (USD$46). That’s about 70 cents per meal. Menus for the week are posted every Saturday on the app where parents have the option to decide which meals to be delivered. If a meal is skipped, it’ll roll over on to the next cycle.

The company launched service in June 2016 with its first kitchen in a suburb south of Bengaluru. Seven months later, the subscription base grew to 1300 kids. Quartz reports that MonkeyBox plans to expand to other cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad and Chennai.

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