News – “America’s 38 Essential Restaurants”

eater.comWhat are the restaurants that altogether define dining in America? For nearly four years, I’ve been chasing this consuming riddle around the country as Eater’s national critic. There will never be an immutable answer, and that’s what makes eating across the nation so riveting. But this annual roadmap — the apex of my work, the result of 32 weeks of travel and over 500 meals in 36 cities — attempts to encapsulate our astonishing food culture at this moment.

As with the city-based Eater 38 maps upon which the list is patterned, restaurants rotate on and off gradually. Choosing which paragons to oust from the list is always agony. Eight remain from the original guide, published in January 2015, while a record 18 newcomers join the ranks in 2017.

In polarizing times, these places don’t just exemplify culinary excellence — they foster hospitality and pleasure and purpose in their communities. They show us who we are and who we can be. The roster includes a 24-seat destination for fiery Filipino dishes in Washington, D.C., a revolutionary steakhouse in Seattle, a Los Angeles kaiseki restaurant whose food uniquely marries intellect and emotion, and a New Orleans draw for finely calibrated Caribbean cuisine.

I’ve also named a Restaurant of the Year, an of-the-moment union of breathtaking design and rooted, spectacular cooking in one of the country’s most timeless towns — Savannah.

Among these national essentials, some are decades-old classics, while others represent the frontlines of culinary thinking and emerging cuisines (though all must be 18 months old to qualify). Taken together, they embody a definition of American dining that we can all savor.

I love articles like these, there like delicious homework assignments because I definitely add all the spots to my todo list.

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