Eat @ Joe's By Ralph Raffio
HOME E-MAIL RALPH PRINT SEND A LINK 2019 COLUMNS EAT ARCHIVES SEARCH
Where to Eat Right Now in 12 Hub Cities
Thursday, March 21, 2019 -- Odds are good that you'll land in some, if not all, of these hubs in the coming months. And you gotta eat, right?
So I've been consulting the local dining pros in each town and plowing through their "best of" lists. There are literally hundreds of restaurants to consider, each vetted by the local experts and critics.
It's not easy picking one place off the 50 Best list published by Atlanta magazine. But I know where I'd be headed. The General Muir may be No. 16, but get a load of its pastrami sandwich (left). To make your decision really difficult, here are two good lists of Atlanta's best new restaurants, one from Eater.com and another from Thrillist.com. Out of all of them, Mary Hoopa's House of Fried Chicken & Oysters sure looks like a must-try.
There are a metaphoric ton of new and exciting places to eat and drink around Beantown. More than three dozen are on The Boston Globe radar. There's everything from the stylish French bistro Bar Lyon to a bagel shop even a New Yorker might like. Personally, I'm heading to Somerville to visit an Italian sandwich/pizza joint called Mortadella Head. Because name me another place where sandwiches come with a side of pasta fagioli.
There's a new barbecue shack in town in a former auto shop in the Belmont neighborhood. It's called Sweet Lew's BBQ and traditional North Carolina style is what you'll find. For everything other than barbecue, check out this list of recently opened and soon-to-open places around town. Legion Brewing Southpark has 47 taps, so go thirsty.
It's arguably the best restaurant city in the entire country and here are Chicago's 10 hottest restaurants right now, according to Chicago magazine. Personally, I'm all over the No. 3 pick, Luella's Gospel Bird. That's bird as in chicken--and not much else. All-day breakfast your thing? Peaches at Currency Exchange Cafe will fix you right up with some shrimp and cheese grits or maybe peach bourbon French toast.
The folks at D Magazine have a revised and updated ranking of the 50 Best Restaurants in the DFW metroplex. Zaytinya in Frisco from entrepreneurial chef Jose Andres melds Greek, Turkish and Lebanese cuisines under one roof. It even has a few family-style platters if you're entertaining a group. Atop the Dallas Observer list of the region's Top 100 Restaurants is the Revolver Taco Lounge. It was also awarded the paper's Best Hot Dog honors for a frankfurter wrapped in bacon and topped with beans.
If your thing is to sample the absolute newest dining options around, the 303 Magazine compilation of Denver's up-to-the-minute restaurant/bar openings is where to start. (Be warned: Some spots may not yet be open.) The Eater.com list of the Best New Restaurants offers nine options, but I am partial to 2018's top overall choice, Corrida. This rooftop Spanish place in Boulder even has a patio where you can dine with a spectacular view of the Flatiron mountains.
Whenever I am in Miami, all I want to do is stroll around Little Havana and eat way more Cuban food than I should. The Eater.com list of the 21 must-go Little Havana spots will help you find your way better than I could. As for everything else, Miami's newest restaurants, as well as the town's overall best, can be found at the Thrillist.com list of top tables. A notable standout: Bombay Darbar, considered one of the most difficult places in town to score a reservation.
For an always dependable source of the Big Town's finest dining, look to Adam Platt at New York magazine. His top pick, Le Coucou, is awesome. Sizzling-hot new places can be found in this Eater.com report. Worth checking: Joe's Steam Rice Roll in Manhattan's Chinatown or in Flushing, Queens, about four miles from LaGuardia Airport. Adventurous outer-borough types can check out Brooklyn's trendiest places, including a 20,000-square-foot Japanese food hall and market.
Don't board your flight to Sky Harbor without first scanning the thorough Phoenix Magazine report on the area's current restaurant scene. At Social Hall in Tempe you can play some Skee-Ball and order menu items named after gangsters: El Chapo (beef), Bugsy Siegel (chicken) and Tony Montana (pork). The list also provides the skinny on dining trends the editors find noteworthy. Who knew vintage dinnerware was a thing?
In the Bay Area you need go no further than the two-month-old Manufactory Food Hall in SFO's International Terminal. Reviews have been good, but travelers do seem to resent the $6 tab for a cup of coffee. Many other new projects are also slated for San Francisco this year. As usual, Eater.com is on the case with the city's best new places, including a Hawaiian comfort food concept called the Trailblazer Tavern. By the way, I don't know what Hawaiian comfort food is, either.
The Eater.com analysis of the hottest places to eat in town does not disappoint. One place on the list is the new incarnation of the Italian bistro Bisato. You should be all over the pasta with octopus puttanesca. Adventurous and don't mind planning way ahead? Archipelago is an inventive and upscale Filipino restaurant where you must prepay for a tasting menu in order to land a reservation.
The Eater.com chef of the year in 2018 was Marjorie Meek-Bradley. Why not head to where she cooks? Her St. Anselm is an American tavern and steaks are the specialty. As for other hot new spots, I'd surely drop in on the Mediterranean-focused Olivia and the Mexican taqueria Cielo Rojo in Takoma Park, Maryland.
This column is Copyright © 2019 by Ralph Raffio. JoeSentMe.com is Copyright © 2019 by Joe Brancatelli. All rights reserved. All of the opinions and material in this column are the sole property and responsibility of Ralph Raffio. This material may not be reproduced in any form without his express written permission.