Slashfood was tired of the same perennial favorites appearing on lists of the nation’s best eateries. Sure, the old favorites die hard, but what about the new guys in town? Surely they must be doing something right. So the food blog narrowed the criteria to recently-opened joints to find what new restaurants we’re buzzing about – meaning we should probably grab a reservation while we still can!
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1. Beauty and Essex, New York City
The top seed goes to Beauty & Essex on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Opened in December 2010, the restaurant’s vintage, old-school décor only adds to its glam. Diners enter into a pawn shop with spectacles of eras past before continuing up a chandelier-shrouded staircase for their meal.
2. Searsucker, San Diego
Located in the legendary Gaslamp Quarter, Searsucker comes with some serious starpower – in the kitchen is Top Chef finalist Brian Malarkey. He opened Searsucker’s doors in July 2010 to highlight SoCal’s ocean-loving cuisine – hence the “Sea” in the name. The eatery’s dishes appear to be a mélange of fun and flavor: he dresses his pork butt with a “bacon emulsion” and halibut is topped with a “bacon-corn broth.”
3. LAVO, New York
Swank meets classic Italian at the New York arm of LAVO, a Las Vegas import. The Midtown joint takes third, but in the interest of diversity, we’ll head to the Midwest.
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4. Girl and the Goat, Chicago
Chicago’s Girl and the Goat is also a Top Chef haunt. Season four winner Stephanie Izard heads the West Loop place, which unlocked its doors last summer. Izard describes the cuisine as Mediterranean, but there’s definitely a toss to the animal lovers in the heartland. In fact, goat appears many times on the menu, from cheese to liver to, er, goat pizza. We may love food, but we’re not that adventurous.
Click to Slashfood for the full list – but warning, it may make you just a bit hungry.
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