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Where To Eat in 2014



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Northeast | Vergennes, VT

Vergennes Laundry

Photograph courtesy of Vergennes Laundry | Photo Credit: Corey Hendrickson

Vergennes Laundry

Located in a former laundromat, this is a wood-fired bakery and cafe owned by baker Julianne Jones and her husband, Didier Murat. They serve croissants and coffee starting at 7am, pastries late morning, sandwiches, salads, soups and tartines at lunch, espresso late afternoon and wine, cheese, oysters and Champagne when you're ready to change it up. Andrew Volk of Portland Hunt & Alpine Club always stops here on his way to Vermont. “We especially love their morning buns, croissants and loaves of bread. But you can’t go wrong with anything here.”

247 Main Street, Vergennes, VT 05491

T: 802.870.7157 | www.vergenneslaundry.com


Note: the numbering scheme does not represent a rank and is purely there for a reference.

Northeast | Portland, ME


Aptly named (piccolo translates to small) with a handful of seats, chef Damian Sansonetti is cooking rustic Italian cuisine from Central and Southern Italy and using all local ingredients. Sansonetti worked as the chef de cuisine at Bar Boulud in New York and his wife, Ilma Lopez, is the pastry chef and worked at Corton, Tailor, El Bulli, Cafe Boulud and Le Bernardin. “It’s delicious Italian food and desserts in an intimate setting we love. This is one of our favorite date nights in town,” says Andrew Volk of Portland Hunt & Alpine Club.

111 Middle Street, Portland, ME 04101

T: 207.747.5307 (book a table) | piccolomaine.com


Dinner at Island Creek Oyster Bar

Photograph courtesy of Island Creek Oyster Bar | Photo Credit: Michael Piazza

Northeast | Boston, MA


“A neighborhood restaurant with pasta any Italian chef would be honored to eat,” says sommelier Lauren Friel of Oleana. “Handmade every morning and perfectly toothsome every night. Their home-made gelato makes your taste buds dance.” Named for the street in Rome, owner and chef E. Michael Pagliarini, formerly of Via Matta in Boston, worked in some of the world's top kitchens with chefs Grant Achatz (Alinea) and Heston Blumenthal (The Fat Duck) before opening this Cambridge restaurant.

1682 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138

T: 617.441.2800 (book a table) | www.giuliarestaurant.com

Island Creek Oyster Bar

Named for the Duxbury, Massachusetts oyster farm, chef Jeremy Sewall features the bounty from local farmers and fishermen. Bar Director Jackson Cannon says “Island Creek Oyster Bar is a chance for me to create a specifically attenuated, more aperitif-driven menu and to get people into some really cool wine, so a lot of the cocktails have wine in them.” You’ll also find an extensive beer list and sherry by the glass.

500 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

T: 617.532.5300 | islandcreekoysterbar.com


Northeast | The Berkshires

The Prairie Whale

The restaurant formerly known as Bell & Anchor is serving farm-to-table and nose-to-tail cuisine. Mark Firth was a co-owner of Diner, Roman and Marlow & Sons in Brooklyn before moving to the Berkshires full time. He brought along chef Stephen Browning who sources locally for his daily changing menu. Chef Daire Rooney of Allium Restaurant & Bar says their brunch is one of her favorites, “I love the relaxing atmosphere and chef Browning's great fresh vegetable-and-egg pairings, polenta, house-made sausage, poached eggs and killer scones.”

178 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230

T: 413.528.5050 | www.facebook.com/PrairieWhale


Blueberry Tart at Local 111

Photograph courtesy of Local 111

Northeast | Hudson Valley

Local 111

Chef Josephine Proul presides over this 39-seat restaurant in a former garage with a hyper-local focus and a loyal following, including chef Brian Alberg of the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, MA. “It’s a unique space with a very compassionate chef who cares as much for her guests as she does for her ingredients. She’s doing the local thing like nobody’s business.” Chef David Wurth of CrossRoads Food Shop compliments her willingness to “go out of her way to find the best locally grown or raised products for highly seasonal menus.”

111 Main Street, Philmont, NY 12565

T: 518.672.7801 | www.local111.com



Photograph courtesy of Aska | Photo Credit: Evan Sung

Northeast | New York City


There is a seriousness about the food at this one Michelin-starred restaurant located in a warehouse-style art gallery in Williamsburg. Chef Fredrick Berselius is cooking based on flavor memories from growing up in his native Sweden and using ingredients from the Northeast region, some of which he forages himself. In the front of the house you’ll see laptop surfers, but in the back there are a handful of seats which you can book in advance for a seven or ten course tasting menu.

90 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11249

T718.388.2969 (book a table) | askanyc.com

The Musket Room

“Extremely precise, high-end and refined food inspired by New Zealand,” is how sommelier Pascaline Lepeltier of Rouge Tomate describes this Nolita newcomer. “I would go, without a doubt, for the tasting menu! Chef Matt Lambert is using herbs they are growing in their beautiful courtyard (in the middle of Manhattan). The service is perfect, great list and an awesome wine director Erin Scala, who is also super talented with tea.”

265 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012

T: 212.219.0764 (book a table) | www.musketroom.com

Uni Bocadillo and Sardinia at Toro NYC

Photograph courtesy of Toro

Toro NYC

“Everything here is really good,” chef Matt Lambert of The Musket Room says about the newly opened Toro tapas bar. Chefs Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer have transported their popular Boston restaurant to the far west side of Chelsea. Lambert passes along a few dishes he’s tried: “the Erizos Con Caviar, which is a spoon with caviar, Maine uni, Iberico jamon and a quail egg all together. I also like the Tripa De Bacalao Guisado which is cod tripe with octopus head and spaetzle and it is just delicious. They serve cava out of the porrón, which is a teapot shaped alcohol dispenser that they rock in Spain and they pour the wine from this right into your mouth.”

85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

T: 212.691.2360 (book a table) | toro-nyc.com


“This is my new favorite restaurant in New York to take friends, dine alone or order takeout. And if it couldn't get any better, it's BYO!” recommends Krystof Zizka of Maison Premiere. “My favorite dishes include Bahn Xeo (crepe with shrimp, bacon, egg, bean sprouts), Cha Ca La Vong (crispy ginger turmeric flounder), Tom Thit Ram (caramelized wild shrimp, bacon, basil, rice), and Long Bean Salad with coconut flakes.” Their name 'bún-ker' is a play on words, referring to the Vietnamese vermicelli noodles bún. Owner and chef Jimmy Tu worked at Eleven Madison Park before opening this Ridgewood Asian street food eatery.

46-63 Metropolitan Avenue, Queens, NY 11385

T: 718.386.4282 | bunkervietnamese.com



Photograph courtesy of Serpico

Mid-Atlantic | Philadelphia, PA


“Fond is my favorite restaurant in the city,” says chef Joe Cicala of Le Virtu. “He uses a little bit of French technique, but it’s definitely edgy and American. It’s refined, but very relaxed. They recently opened up in a new space where they have a full bar and a well-thought out wine list. During the winter, they have foie gras soup and it’s awesome. It’s a little rich, but just incredible. They change the menu weekly, so it’s hard to pick just one dish, but definitely the fish crudo and the lobster risotto are really spot on. They do a great combination of savory and sweet, because his wife, Jessie Prawlucki, does all the pastries.”

1537 S 11th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147

T: 215.551.5000 (book a table) | fondphilly.com


Chef Peter Serpico moved from New York after wining the coveted James Beard Best New Restaurant Award for Momofuku Ko, in which he was a partner with chef David Chang. His new namesake Philadelphia restaurant is bustling with a large bar surrounding the open kitchen and an Asian fusion menu with delicate dishes like oxtail soup with daikon and sprouts to the heartier pig tail served over polenta.

604 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147

T: 215.925.3001 (book a table) | www.serpicoonsouth.com


Seafood at Eat The Rich

Photograph courtesy of Eat The Rich

Mid-Atlantic | Washington, DC

Eat the Rich

Named after a Motörhead song, this seafood house is the collaboration of barman Derek Brown (The Passenger, The Columbia and Mockingbird Hill) and Rappanhannock Oyster Bar's Travis Croxton. Order a pitcher of cocktails, including the Beer n’ Clam with house-made Clamato juice, and watch the oyster shuckers at work.

1839 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

T: 202.316.9396 | www.etrbar.com

Toki Underground

This Taiwanese ramen shop is neither subterranean or off of people’s radars. It’s a tiny space with graffiti art on the walls and an affordable menu with ramen, dumplings, and twenty different kinds of sake. Derek Brown (Eat The Rich, The Passenger, The Columbia and Mockingbird Hill) calls it “very hip” and points out, “Expect long waits but also expect to be perfectly satisfied that the wait was well worth it.”

1234 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

T: 202.388.3086 | tokiunderground.com



Photograph courtesy of MilkWood

South | Louisville, KY


Chef Ed Lee combines his Korean-American heritage and classical French training with Southern cuisine and Bourbon cocktails. The restaurant is located in the Actors Theatre of Louisville space and focuses on small plates meant for sharing with menu items like Banh Mi, Vietnamese Lamb Sausage, Braised Oxtail and Teras Major Steak with lemongrass chimichurri.

316 W Main Street, Louisville, KY 40202

T: 502.584.6455 (book a table) | milkwoodrestaurant.com


Tapas at Mateo

Photograph courtesy of Mateo

South | Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill

Mateo Tapas

Recommended by chef Ashley Christensen of Poole’s Diner, this Spanish tapas bar is located in the old Book Exchange building in the heart of downtown Durham. Chef Matt Kelly serves authentic pintxos and jamón that ranges from Iberico from Spain to Johnston from Smithfield, NC. The extensive wine, beer and sherry list features interesting picks from Spain and a few brews from North Carolina. The cocktails also have a Spanish twist to them.

109 W Chapel Hill Street, Durham, NC 27701

T: 919.530.8700 (book a table) | mateotapas.com


“This is always a great choice. Early morning, afternoon, or late night,” recommend chefs Kim Floresca and Daniel Ryan of [ONE] Restaurant. “It’s got personality and authenticity as well. The plantain milkshake, lamb cheeks torta, and watermelon aqua fresca is delicious on any summer day.” This Mexican-American cantina’s menu, written on a chalkboard, features meats like duck confit, pork belly, hog jowl and lamb cheeks. There is a salsa bar and classics dishes like burritos, nachos, tortas, salads, quesadillas and tacos. They also have $5 Margaritas every day.

2512 University Drive, Durham, NC 27707

T: 919.489.8226 | nanataco.com

[One] Restaurant

Photograph courtesy of [One] Restaurant

[One] Restaurant

Chefs Daniel Ryan and Kim Floresca met while working at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs. Their combined resumes include Alinea, Per Se, the French Laundry, Mugaritz, El Bulli, and Napa Valley's three-Michelin-starred Meadowood. They describe their restaurant as “highlighting the culture and ingredients of North Carolina.” They source as much as they can locally from places like Chapel Hill Creamery, Heritage Farms Pork and Goat Lady Dairy. Order a la carte or opt for the chef’s tasting menu.

101 Meadowmount Village Circle, Chapel Hill, NC 27517

T: 919.537.8207 (book a table) | one-restaurant.com


Tapas at Cúrate

Photographs courtesy of Cúrate

South | Asheville, NC


Sherry producer Lorenzo García-Iglesias Soto calls this Spanish tapas restaurant “one of my favorites.” Chef Katie Button joins Félix Meana, (formerly of el Bulli) to bring traditional Spanish cuisine to the mountains of North Carolina. The menu ranges from unique dishes like Berenjenas Fritas -- eggplant that is lightly battered and fried, drizzled in local Wild Mountain Bees honey, to more classic like Croquetas de Pollo -- creamy chicken fritters, cooked in bechamel and deep fried. They also have three different kinds of hams -- Serrano, Iberico, and Iberico de Bellota and an extensive Spanish wine list.

11 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801

T: 828.239.2946 (book a table) | www.curatetapasbar.com


Food and drink at Rolf & Daughters

Photograph courtesy of Rolf & Daughters

South | Nashville, TN

Mas Tacos Por Favor

Teresa Mason started selling Mexican street food from a 1970s Winnebago in 2008. Popularity led to opening this storefront restaurant loved by Nashville chefs Margot McCormack (Margot Cafe & Bar) and Philip Krajeck (Rolf & Daughters). Krajeck recommends the fried avocado taco, “It’s delicious. Their tortilla soup and pozole are also really good. They make great horchata and agua frescas.”

732 Mcferrin Avenue, Nashville, TN 37206

T: 615.543.6271 | eatmastacos.com

Rolf And Daughters

Chef Philip Krajeck combines Mediterranean influences and Southern ingredients. Housed in a historic 100-year-old Werthan Factory, fans include chefs Sean Brock (Husk Nashville, Husk, McCrady’s), who recommends the pastas and roast chicken, and Josh Habiger and Erik Anderson (The Catbird Seat) who love the squid ink pasta, as well as the cocktails.

700 Taylor Street, Nashville, TN 37208

T: 615.866.9897  | rolfanddaughters.com


Whole fish at Xiao Bao Biscuit

Photograph courtesy of Xiao Bao Biscuit

South | Charleston, SC

The Ordinary

This is an Upper King District seafood house from James Beard Award-winning chef Mike Lata. He takes advantage of Charleston's coastal waters with a raw bar featuring local oysters, regional fish and shellfish. “It’s a beautiful space with impeccable service,” says chef Josh Keeler of Two Boroughs Larder. “The skate wing terrine is not only incredibly tasty, but innovative. Chef Lata has this ability to take a very recognizable ingredient and present it to you in a way that you’ve never thought of before.”

544 King Street, Charleston, SC 29403

T: 843.414.7060 (book a table) | eattheordinary.com

Xiao Bao Biscuit

“It’s a new hip Asian place and it’s really different than anything else in Charleston”, says chef Robert Stehling of Hominy Grill, “After slinging bacon all day, I just want something that doesn’t look like Southern food. I like to get the cabbage pancake. They char it nicely in the bottom of the pan and send it out to you really hot.” Chef Josh Keeler of Two Boroughs Larder calls it, “Asian comfort food, things that you wouldn’t typically see in a Japanese or Chinese restaurant, but things that you eat at a Chinese grandmother’s house. Their mapo tofu is really good. They do a Japanese pancake called Okonomiyaki, and it's taking the the town by storm.”

224 Rutledge Avenue, Charleston, SC 29403

T: 843.414.7060 | xiaobaobiscuit.com


The double patty burger at Bocado

Photograph courtesy of Bocado

South | Atlanta, GA


Chef Linton Hopkins of Holeman and Finch loves the cheeseburger at this seasonal American restaurant in the Westside’s Industrial area, “It’s a delicious double patty burger. I also like their butternut squash soup and their salads.” Barman Greg Best, also of Holeman and Finch, compliments the beverage program, “I give them props for having the young maverick of the crew. David Durnell is making absolutely ridiculous drinks that are far beyond his age and experience. He’s one of those gifted people and is doing really great work.”

887 Howell Mill Road NW, Atlanta, GA 30318

T: 404.815.1399 (book a table) | www.bocadoatlanta.com

Leon’s Full Service

New American pub menu, craft beers and a cocktail list recommended by bartender Greg Best of Holeman and Finch, “The bar program here is run by Miles Macquarrie, a really talented young guy, super geeky, which is how we like it.” Housed in a former gas station and service with smile, they also have the added bonus of a bocce ball court.

131 E Ponce De Leon Avenue, Decatur, GA 30030

T: 404.687.0500| www.leonsfullservice.com


The Refinery

Photograph courtesy of The Refinery

South | Tampa Bay Area, FL

The Refinery

“Go here to eat something different, because their take is so creative,” says chef Zack Gross (Z Grille). “Chef Greg Baker does these cool plays on food. You’re not going to go to a place and eat duck hearts and peanut butter and marshmallow burgers, but that’s what you’re going to get here.” Chef Greg Baker playfully talks about his frequently changing menu, “I like to start with country cooking and comfort food, no matter what country it’s from – then see if we can elevate it by merging with other ethnicities or ingredients that on the outside seem to have no connection. We always have a burger. But what’s on it is anyone’s guess.”

5137 N Florida Avenue, Tampa, FL 33603

T: 813.237.2000 (book a table) | thetamparefinery.com

Yummy House

Chef Greg Baker (The Refinery) recommends “the salt and pepper shrimp” at this Chinese restaurant that features food from the Hong Kong and Southern regions of China. They are known for their seasonal menu and weekend dim sum.

2202 W Waters Avenue, Tampa, FL 33610

T: 813.915.2828 | www.yummyhousetampa.com


The Cypress Room

Photograph courtesy of The Cypress Room

South | Miami, FL

Cypress Room

The elegant, upscale restaurant from the James Beard award-winning team behind Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink. Crystal chandeliers, fine china and rose-colored Floridan-styled wallpaper with chef Roel Alcudia (formerly of Barbuto in NY) at the helm. He recommends “the lamb tartare, local fish, frog legs, cote de beouf for two, rotisserie and all the desserts.” Chef Matt Hinckley of The Hoxton loves the Cypress Burger, “It’s probably a good idea to both start and finish with the Aviation cocktail too.”

3620 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami, FL 33137

T: 305.520.5197 (book a table) | www.thecypressroom.com

Macchialina Taverna Rustica

“Macchialina is probably my favorite Italian restaurant at the moment,” recommends Gabe Orta (Broken Shaker) of this family-style Italian restaurant from the Pubbelly crew. “Their spaghetti Bolognese is amazing and just very simple. It’s tomato, spaghetti and basil with beef.” Chef Clay Miller of Yardbird likes “the delicious charcuterie and the Fontina Fonduta is fantastic!”

820 Alton Road, Miami Beach, FL 33139

T: 305.534.2124 (book a table) | www.macchialina.com


Louisiana Oysters, Tuna Crudo, Royal Red Shrimp & Red Fish at Peche Seafood

Photograph courtesy of Pêche Seafood

South | New Orleans, LA

Killer Poboys

“It’s in the back of this dive bar called the Erin Rose” says Sean McCusker (Sylvain) of the chef-driven po-boys by Cam Boudreaux and April Bellow, who met while working at Arnaud's Restaurant. “They do a new twist on po-boys and normally when I hear anybody’s doing a new twist on anything, Cajun or Creole, I kind of don’t really buy it.  But these guys are doing some really, really cool stuff. They’ll do a roast beef po-boy and braise it in Guinness or Jameson. They’re really good.”

811 Conti Street, New Orleans, LA 70112

T: 504.252.6745 | killerpoboys.com

Pêche Seafood Grill

Chef Donald Link’s new restaurant emphasis coastal seafood with much of it prepared on an open hearth over hardwood coals. The raw bar showcases Gulf seafood like oysters, crab meat, and fresh fish. Chef John Folse of Restaurant R’evolution recommends “their whole-grilled fish, it is a stand out.”

800 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

T: 504.522.1744 (book a table) | www.pecherestaurant.com



Photograph courtesy of Fahrenheit

Mid-West | Cleveland, OH


Chef Jonathon Sawyer (Greenhouse Tavern) calls chef Rocco Whalen “a great ambassador for the food community in Cleveland.” Whalen arranges his menu by the Fahrenheit temperatures. Salads and starters are in the “lite” section and feature everything from calamari to steak tartare. Pizzas are made in a stone oven at 515 F and the entrees highlight the seasonality of the region, but not the cooking temperatures.

2417 Professor Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44113

T: 216.781.8858 (book a table) | chefroccowhalen.com

Greenhouse Tavern

Chef and owner Jonathon Sawyer describes his restaurant as, “a Parisian pub planted into the Cuyahoga Valley. We take recipes and traditions that we love from our travels throughout France and we use local produce.” Chef Paul Kahan (Blackbird, Avec, The Publican, Big Star) says, “Sawyer is doing incredible things like making his own vinegar. Make sure to get the roasted pig head.”

2038 East 4th Street, Cleveland, OH 44115

T: 216.443.0511 (book a table) | www.thegreenhousetavern.com


Pasta and Sea Urchin at Balena

Photograph courtesy of Balena

Mid-West | Chicago, IL


Chef Chris Pandel describes his restaurant as Italian-inspired and says, “this means that we do riffs on what I believe is just very authentic Italian food, which is minimal and seasonal. We do all homemade, extruded and dried pastas. We do pizzas, but we don’t do Neapolitan, we do our own thicker version.” Chef Rick Tramonto (Restaurant R’evolution) compliments Chris Pandel’s cooking, “It is at such a high level and he does a great job capturing flavors of the Midwest with a wonderful Italian technique.”

1633 N Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60614

T: 312.867.3888 (book a table) | balenachicago.com


“Grace is killing it,” says chef Chef Rick Tramonto (Restaurant R’evolution). “Chef Curtis Duffy is creating really beautiful food with great contemporary touches and molecular accents. I really love what he’s doing.” The food is elegant and thoughtful with two eight to twelve course tasting menus, one highlights vegetables and the other meat and seafood.

652 W Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60661

T: 312.234.9494 | www.grace-restaurant.com


Paella at Barlata

Photograph courtesy of Barlata

Southwest | Austin, TX


Catalan born chef Daniel Olivella brings Spanish flavors to Austin with this lively tapas bar. You'll find lots of small plate dishes, including squid in its own ink served in fresh tins, pintxos to nibble on with a glass of sherry and chef Rene Ortiz’s favorite, “the paellas, which are amazing!”

1500 S Lamar Boulevard #150, Austin, TX 78704

T: 512.473.2211 (book a table) | www.barlataaustin.com

Odd Duck

The newly opened brick-and-mortar restaurant version of the former Odd Duck Farm to Trailer from chef Bryce Gilmore (Barley Swine). You'll see lots of whole animals used here and bread made in their wood-fired oven that chef Rene Ortiz describes as “to die for!” They also have seasonal cocktails, an extensive beer list and many local farms represented on their menu.

1201 S Lamar Boulevard, Austin, TX 78704

T: 512.433.6521 (book a table) | oddduckaustin.com


Belly & Trumpet

Photograph courtesy of Belly & Trumpet

Southwest | Dallas, TX

Belly & Trumpet

Chef Brian Zenner formerly of Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek serves inventive small plate dishes like Peeky Toe Crab Beignets with Pernod Aioli, Crudo of Hokkaido Scallops and Antelope Heart Tartare. Zenner was born in Bangkok, Thailand and lived in Dubai and London, so he brings an international flare to his cooking. Matt Perry is creating craft cocktails to pair with Zenner’s menu.

3407 McKinney Avenue, Dallas, TX 75204

T: 214.855.5551 (book a table) | bellyandtrumpet.com


Chef Omar Flores’s upscale seafood restaurant features contemporary and inventive dishes like Japanese Hamachi crudo with compressed Texas watermelon, Milk Poached Halibut with Black Mission Fig Mostarda, Atlantic Sea Scallops with white gazpacho and pickled purple scallions. Matt McCallister (FT33) calls the menu “inventive with great seafood.”

642 W Davis St, Dallas, TX 75208

T: 214.942.2530 (book a table) | www.driftwood-dallas.com


Willows Salad at Willows Inn

Photograph courtesy of Willows Inn

Northwest | Lummi Island, WA

The Willows Inn

“If I have a visiting friend who has a few days in the area, we head up to Willows Inn where Blaine Wetzel is doing awesome things,” says chef Jason Franey of Canlis. Located on a remote island, everything chef Blaine Wetzel cooks with is foraged, fished and farmed on the tiny nine-square mile island. Wetzel worked at Copenhagen's Noma before becoming the chef here.

2579 W Shore Drive, Lummi Island, WA 98262

T: 360.758.2620 | www.willows-inn.com


Woodsman Tavern

Photograph courtesy of Woodsman Tavern | Photo Credit: David Reamer

Northwest | Portland, OR

Block + Tackle

Chef Trent Pierce, a third generation seafood chef, turns to the classics like Shrimp Louis, clam chowder and fresh oysters for this modern fish house. Chefs Gabriel Rucker (Le Pigeon) and Jenn Louis (Lincoln) are fans of Pierce and the work he does with seafood.

3113 SE Division Street, Portland, OR 97202

T: 503.236.0205 (book a table) | blockandtacklepdx.com

The Woodsman Tavern

Owned by Stumptown founder Duane Sorenson, with barman Evan Zimmerman making outstanding cocktails and a notable ice-filled raw bar stocked with oysters, Dungeness crab and prawns. Chef Gabriel Rucker (Le Pigeon) comes for the oysters and Kim Malek (Salt & Straw) likes the platter of oysters and crab. “It’s just our old standby and then they have a trout that is not to be missed. Their desserts are really good and their cocktails are phenomenal.” Jeffrey Morganthaler (Clyde Common) calls Zimmerman’s cocktails “almost avant garde with his exploration of flavor. He is so cutting edge.”

4537 SE Division Street, Portland, OR 97206

T: 971.373.8264 (book a table) | woodsmantavern.com


El Molino Central

Photo Credit: Find. Eat. Drink.

West | Wine Country, CA

El Molino Central

A ‘chic-yet-totally-approachable’ tortillaria serving traditional Mexican classics and recommended by chef Ari Weiswasser of Glen Ellen Star. “It's the one place that I always point people to. For breakfast, they only do one thing which are the chilaquiles. For lunch, it’s a different menu and in the winter, they make pozole. They also make beer-battered fish tacos. It’s fun to try something new every time I come here. They do a Blue Bottle Coffee drip coffee and each cup takes about four minutes. They grind it and they put it in the filter, they heat the water and they basically brew it right in front of you. It’s probably one of the best cups of coffee in Sonoma.”

11 Central Avenue, Sonoma, CA 95476

T: 707.939.1010 | www.elmolinocentral.com


The setting will get you excited before you even get to the sophisticated Asian fusion food. Located in a restored 1880s rustic stone building, chef Charles Phan (The Slanted Door) says, “It's one of my favorite restaurants. Chef Hiro Sone's food is just amazing and the rustic stone building is timeless.”

1345 Railroad Avenue, St Helena, CA 94574

T: 707.963.8931 (book a table) | www.terrarestaurant.com


Yakitori at Ippuku

Photograph courtesy of Ippuku

West | San Francisco Bay Area, CA


Chef Christian Geideman is doing beak-to-tail food at this izakaya, including his attention-grabbing chicken tartare. It's raw chicken and raw egg with Korean chili paste. He also does yakitori with the full range of chicken bits - heart, liver, neck, cartilage, gizzards, tail and skin. Chef Russ Moore (Camino) says, “I’m obsessed with Koichi and Ryoji’s soba and tempura. They can only make so many orders of noodles a day because they are cut by hand. The combination of perfect soba and a plate of perfectly fried vegetables with a cup of sencha is hard to beat.”

2130 Center Street, Berkeley, CA 94704

T: 510.665.1969 | www.ippukuberkeley.com

La Nebbia

The newly opened enoteca and prosciutto bar by chef Massimiliano Conti of La Ciccia, who is loved by both chefs and sommeliers for his delicious food and great wine lists. The menu here features many fresh cheeses, Italian and American prosciutto, porchetta and pizzas.

1781 Church Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

T: 415.874.9924 | www.lanebbia.com


“This is one of the most unique restaurant experiences you can have and embodies the Bay Area,” recommends chefs Nick Balla and Courtney Burns of Bar Tartine. “Genuine friendliness, incredible food with laid back sunset surf vibe.” Chef Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski (State Bird Provisions) say everything here is delicious, “Even though it's still in the city, you feel transported to a place with a beachy vibe.” Note -- They are now expanding and will re-open in February.

4001 Judah Street, San Francisco, CA 94122

T: 415.661.6140 (book a table) | outerlandssf.com


Mussels at Bestia

Photograph courtesy of Bestia

West | Los Angeles, CA


“The charcuterie is great and the pizza gorgonzola—wow!” raves The Bazaar by José Andrés chef Joshua Whigham. This multi-regional Italian restaurant is serving food created by the husband-and-wife team chef Ori Menashe, formerly of Angelini Osteria, and pastry chef Genevieve Gergis. “The pizza and pasta are great,” says Hinoki & The Bird chef Kuniko Yagi, “but their antipasti is the best I’ve ever had.”

2121 E 7th Place, Los Angeles, CA 90021

T: 213.514.5724 (book a table) | www.bestiala.com

Hinoki and The Bird

Chef David Myers' newest project features small plate dishes and craft cocktails. The menu features everything from the much talked about lobster roll with green curry and Thai basil to the crispy marinated chicken with lemon aoli. Bestia chef Ori Menashe and pastry chef Genevieve Gergis love the coconut-curried mussels, the mochi on the dessert menu and they say the pickles “are the best we’ve ever had.”

10 Century Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90067

T: 310.552.1200 (book a table) | hinokiandthebird.com

Night + Market

What started as a casual pop-up behind a curtain in the back of a Thai restaurant by chef Kris Yenbamroong has become one of the most popular dining destinations in Los Angeles. Chefs Joshua Whigham and Kuniko Yagi are both fans. When it comes to ordering, Kuniko has trouble narrowing it down. “I love everything on the menu from top to bottom, hands down.”

9043 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90069

T: 310.275.9724 (book a table) | thenightmarket.blogspot.com