Craving a delicious summer vacation? No need to break the bank or hop any borders; we’ve scoured the States for the top domestic destinations with specialty dishes worth traveling for. Check out these must-eat spots to sample local recipes that Food Network chefs praise as being The Best Thing I Ever Ate.
Fried chicken is tempting all year long, but our cravings for it intensify in the summer. Something about digging into juicy, crispy chicken with our hands, preferably while sipping a cold beer or lemonade, just puts us in a summer state of mind. You don’t need to be outside on a picnic blanket eating Grandma’s homemade chicken to achieve this. Once a Southern specialty, fried chicken has made its way onto restaurant menus across the country. Chefs from Philly to San Francisco are brining, buttermilk-soaking, boldly spicing and frying it up, with winning results. Here’s where you’ll find FoodNetwork.com editors’ favorites. Whether they’re served with cream gravy and collards or Sriracha and kimchi, these birds all have one thing in common: They’re downright irresistible.
Check out the full gallery and let us know your favorite spots for a fried chicken fix in the comments below!
Welcome to the Hamptons: home to beautiful beaches, incredible real estate and renowned traffic (especially during prime summer season). In the many villages and hamlets of the towns of Southampton and East Hampton, restaurants can cycle through as quickly as summer tourists. But an abundance of local produce and access to both the Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean for fresh seafood mean you’re guaranteed to get a great meal at any time of the year. Plentiful weekly farmers markets, along with roadside stands like Little Dog Farm (pictured above), The Green Thumb farm stand (one of Katie Lee’s favorites, where she buys local Mecox cheese) and North Sea Farms, mean you can also make a mean meal at home. To help craft this tour we reached out to a few experts, including Food Network stars Katie Lee and Geoffrey Zakarian; Dan Rattiner, the publisher of the local iconic weekly Dan’s Papers and host of Dan’s Taste of Summer (where you can try almost all of these spots in one place); and Kathleen King, founder and owner of Tate’s Bake Shop. And we added a few of our personal favorites.
It would probably be an overstatement to call the usual way of reserving a table at a hot restaurant at a prime time on a Saturday night an entirely democratic process. In theory, snagging a seat is simply a matter of dialing up the restaurant or booking online through a free website like OpenTable — equally accessible to all. In fact, it probably doesn’t hurt to know someone or be someone or, if conventional wisdom holds, be the kind of person who’s willing to slip a little cash someone’s way.
Now a new batch of fee-based apps is aiming to change the way tables at desirable restaurants are reserved. Whether these new apps, which claim to make hard-to-get reservations available to anyone willing to open their wallets, make the process more democratic is open to debate. Certainly they’ll make it more expensive.
Whether restaurants and diners will embrace the idea of paying for something that has always been free, if sometimes inaccessible, remains to be seen. In New York City, the market most of these new apps initially aims to serve, people are already used to paying a fee to book tickets to events — even to movies.
“But for restaurateurs — even those who demand $6 for a baked potato to accompany a $48 steak — charging patrons for reservations feels like touching the third rail,” Julia Moskin noted in a recent New York Times story about the new apps.
While the joke of photographing food has come and gone, what remains is beautifully lit pictures of truly delicious dishes. And if the hipsters started the trend, the restaurants are doing it even better. Which makes sense, because who better to capture the essence of your favorite menu items than the team responsible for creating it? Even better, restaurant Instagram feeds provide amazing behind-the-scenes snaps of how your favorite food gets made. Here are 10 restaurants (well, eight, plus fantastic ice cream and coffee shops) that really up the food-photo game: Read more
by Todd Coleman
I made my first trip to New Orleans in the late ’80s and remember one thing vividly: the muffuletta sandwich. Salty, sweet and tangy between two pieces of bread, it was delicious, perfect. Little did I know how important it was to become to me.
I grew up as an Air Force brat, moving all around, all the time, and had just moved from Germany to Florida with my family in 1986. It was a shock, to everyone. Quickly, instinctively, my dad took us on a trip to New Orleans. The relief set in immediately. I reveled in the old buildings, the Stephen King novel I was reading, the endless cultural thingamajigs and the food. I read about the muffuletta in my dad’s guidebook and begged to go the Central Grocery — the sandwich’s creator.
With family and friends spread far across the country, you’re likely to spend a lot of time on the road visiting this month. While en route, embrace the busy travel season with these Food Network-approved restaurant dishes that will guarantee you a happy holiday road trip. We’ve rounded up the top festive spots to find eggnog, gingerbread and yule logs galore, stretching all the way from the East Coast to snowy Alaska. Here are a few highlights to get your merry eating season started.
Ronnybrook Farm — Ancramdale, N.Y.
Sugarplums may be the traditional dancing vision this time of year, but Alex Guarnaschelli always dreams of rich eggnog instead. Her favorite kind hails from Ronnybrook, where the creamy classic is made with whole milk and heavy cream, and it’s spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg. Alex suggests adding a splash of bourbon to Ronnybrook’s glass bottle of ‘nog for an extra-cozy holiday sip.
While so many restaurateurs struggle to launch and maintain businesses in New York City, Chef Marc Murphy appears to have found the secret to success. When this Chopped judge isn’t joining his fellow panel members at the table in reviewing contestants’ best attempts at basket dishes, he’s busy running restaurant kitchens at his five Manhattan restaurants: two locations each of Ditch Plains and Landmarc, plus his newest venture, Kingside. Having opened just last month, Marc’s Kingside is the first of his restaurants to reside in a hotel, and it is his only “new-American” menu, featuring a list of offerings with French, Spanish and Italian influences. FN Dish caught up with Marc at Kingside, located in midtown Manhattan’s Viceroy Hotel, to chat about his latest project, learn more about his goals in opening the restaurant and find out how he manages his busy schedules, both in the kitchen and on Chopped. Read on below to hear from Marc, then browse exclusive snapshots to take a photo tour of Kingside and see some of Marc’s most-popular dishes at Kingside.
What are you most excited about in opening Kingside?
Marc Murphy: I haven’t done a new concept in about five years, and in those five years, I think I’ve gotten a lot more popularity on Chopped, and I think a lot of the times people are like, “Oh, those chefs on TV kind of thing,” and I’m like, “Well, yeah, I’m still a working chef,” and I love doing what I do, and I’m excited to be able to produce new food and [a] new concept to my beautiful city.
How is Kingside different from your other restaurants, Ditch Plains and Landmarc?
MM: I guess I’ve opened myself up to be able to do different cuisines here, in the sense we’re calling it “new American,” where I can really sort of branch out and pull different influences from other countries, like Spain. You sort of let loose a bit with new-American cuisine, I feel. I can have a little more liberties, because Ditch Plains is really a New York-style fish shack, so I kind of have to stay within that vocabulary, and Landmarc is a bistro with some Italian influences, so you can’t start making sushi if you’re doing a bistro. I feel as though if somebody is going to come to your restaurant, you have to sort of keep true to what the concept is.
The Thanksgiving feast just isn’t complete without an irresistible piece of pie at the end. Something about the buttery crust and rich filling brings comfort and nostalgia to the table, and we’ve rounded up plenty of restaurants and bakeries that dish out just-like-mama-made pecan, pumpkin and apple pies. There are also outside-the-crust options (could you turn down a Fat Elvis Pie?), so check out our full coast-to-coast pie guide and grab a slice — or two! Here are a few highlights to warm up your sweet-seeking taste buds.
Four and Twenty Blackbirds — Brooklyn
Nothing’s more American than apple pie, but this bakery manages to improve on the classic with a mouthwatering salted caramel version. Inspired by caramel apples, this salty-sweet slice is a “taste bud waker-upper” and was praised by Bobby Flay as “what apple pie would look like if your grandma had game.”
Just like his attitude in the face of Kitchen Stadium battles, Iron Chef Marc Forgione‘s approach to the restaurant business is fearless. This longtime chef and the winner of The Next Iron Chef, Season 2 opened his first New York City eatery, Restaurant Marc Forgione, in 2008, and since then he’s gone on to launch American Cut in Atlantic City and Khe-Yo, also in New York. To that list of accomplishments Marc can now add one more venture: a Manhattan outpost of American Cut, located in the downtown neighborhood of Tribeca, just blocks away from his other Big Apple businesses. Overflowing with inspired creations like tender hiramasa, fish floating in a sweet and spicy miso broth, and succulent bone marrow with short ribs, plus tried-and-true dishes done correctly, like moist crab cakes, perfectly seared porterhouses and creamed spinach, the menu at American Cut offers perhaps the ultimate steakhouse experience — and in a space that is as comfortable and welcoming as it is chic and refined.
FN Dish visited Marc at American Cut in New York City and chatted with him and John Meadow — a co-founder of LDV Hospitality, which owns and operates the restaurant — about their journey in opening the business. Read on below to learn more about their inspiration for American Cut, and find out what Marc says are a few must-have menu items.
How is American Cut different from your other restaurants?
John Meadow: This is our loftiest, most ambitious restaurant we’ve done. It’s the highest design. I think the notion of taking classic American fine-dining cuisine and doing it at that level represents a very ambitious task that we’re glad Marc is our partner in the process of doing so.
Marc Forgione: If you go to Restaurant Marc Forgione, it’s for one thing. If you go to Khe-Yo, it’s for another thing. If you go to American cut, it’s for another thing. We want to make it so that you can eat at all three in the same week and have a beautiful, consistently different experience.