Our Foodable Top 25 Restaurants have been released for this month, featuring Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia and Phoenix.
This Month’s No. 1’s
With a stripped-down, minimalistic interior with floor-to-ceiling wood and cube stools, Avec’s color shines through in its dishes. The food menu — with a theme to Midwestern interpretations of Mediterranean — includes both small and large plates, a “cheese from our cave” section with varieties from France, Spain, Italy and the U.S., and desserts. Guests can enjoy anything from beef and pinnate kibbeh sausage with pomegranate, dill, farro and feta cheese to shrimp pizza with meyer lemon, calabrian chile, and rapini pesto. With Chef de Cuisine Perry Hendrix at the forefront (he’s also CDC at Blackbird, one of Avec’s sister restaurants), the menu is packed with fresh local ingredients and the restaurant is considered wine-focused, which is fitting considering wine is how Hendrix initially became involved in the culinary scene. Avec, which started in 2003, is owned by One Off Hospitality Group. This year, Avec launched its Friends of Avec Brunch Series, featuring a rotating chef or beverage professional once a month to bring added flavors to its brunch menu. Check out the full Chicago Top 25 Restaurants for April here.
615 W. Randolph
Chicago, IL 60661
Nestled in the Bishop Arts District, Lucia is an intimately sized, Italian-inspired restaurant owned by Chef David Uyghur and his wife Jennifer. According to its website, Lucia’s chefs make fresh bread, hand-crafted salumi and pasta in-house daily. The restaurant’s menu changes frequently, but its sample menu includes dishes like squid’s ink tonnarelli with Nantucket bay scallops, citrus, sea urchin, chile and breadcrumbs, and Berkshire pork shank with parsley puree and fall root vegetables. Between its mix-and-match decor, colorful accents surrounded by wood, the interior brings out a uniquely comforting sense of local southern charm. Check out the full Dallas Top 25 Restaurants for April here.
408 West Eighth Street, Suite 101
Dallas, TX 75208
Los Angeles: Spago
Steered by the legendary Wolfgang Puck and co-owner Barbara Lazaroff, with Lee Hefter as Executive Chef and Managing Partner, Spago takes California cuisine to the next level in a fine dine setting. With interior and exterior seating, the L.A. flagship restaurant boasts a simple, clean aesthetic. Using a farm-to-table philosophy with a seasonal mentality, Hefter brings eight menus to Spago, including lunch, dinner, dessert, bar bites, a pre-theater menu, tasting menu and cocktail and wine menus. Though it rotates, some of the sample dishes off the dinner menu include handmade agnolotti with sweet peas, mascarpone and Parmesan; a composition of farmer’s market vegetables with wild mushroom vinaigrette and Tuscan kale chips; and whole roasted Cantonese duck, steamed bao buns and fruit compote (for two). Check out the full Los Angeles Top 25 Restaurants for April here.
176 North Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
New York City: Marc Forgione
Nestled in Manhattan, Chef Marc Forgione’s eponymous restaurant, from its exposed brick and dark aged wood to its boxy hanging lanterns filled by candlelight and dimly lit dining room, breathes new, sophisticated life into its rustic feel. Co-owned by business partner Chris Blumlo, the restaurant serves up New American cuisine. Its menu, like many others we’re seeing, is on rotation to cater to seasonal ingredients. A sample menu includes starters like kampachi tartare with avocado, pinenut, saratoga chips and sechuan button; Creekstone 28-day dry aged rib eye, short rib, bone marrow, sunchoke, and Béarnaise reduction; and Jurgielewicz duck with yogurt and granola, quinoa, vadouvan curry, and a langue de canard jus. Check out the full NYC Top 25 Restaurants for April here.
Restaurant Marc Forgione
134 Reade St.
New York, NY 10013
Philadelphia: Vernick Food & Drink
Co-owned by James Beard Award nominee Chef Greg Vernick and wife Julie Vernick, Vernick Food & Drink’s website alone is a visual smorgasbord of food porn, showcasing numbers like beef coulotte, bok choy, charred eggplant and spicy peanut sauce; and sweet pea ravioli with braised rabbit and mint. Dishes feature a minimal amount of to-the-point ingredients that bring out well-rounded flavors and play well with each other. Vernick makes these equations look easy. Also on the restaurant’s executive team is Ryan Mulholland as GM and Pastry Chef Jennifer Sokoloff. Check out the full Philadelphia Top 25 Restaurants for April here.
Vernick Food & Drink
2031 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phoenix: Mastro’s Steakhouse
Mastro’s Steakhouse, which has locations in Arizona, California, Illinois, Nevada, New York and Washington, D.C., is a sleek, upscale steakhouse that is, according to their website, “recognized for their combination of world-class service, highly acclaimed cuisine, and live entertainment in an elegant yet energetic atmosphere.” Though it has a handful of locations, the original family-owned Mastro’s was located in Scottsdale in 1999, and now, owned by Mastro’s Restaurants, LLC, it’s part of a family of Mastro’s restaurants, including steakhouses and fish houses. White tablecloths don the spacious dining room, which includes unique touches of exposed brick and long tables. An expansive menu includes filets, including a bone-in filet; New York pepper steak; strips, porterhouses and chops; Chilean sea bass and lobsters; and a lengthy list of sides, sushi, soups and salads. Check out the full Phoenix Top 25 Restaurants for April here.
8852 East Pinnacle Peak Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
Stay tuned for next month’s rankings!