Best New Suburban Restaurants: Outside San Francisco
When chef Scott Howard shuttered his eponymous San Francisco restaurant to open this comfort-food spot in Marin County, he cut his commute time to 10 minutes. Now he's making pimento burgers with Sonoma cheddar and serving rotisserie chicken with sourdough bread pudding.
At Marin County, California's Brick & Bottle, Scott Howard might follow a house-made pasta dish with butterscotch pudding.
Insider's Wine Tip: California's Brick & Bottle has a great corkage policy: only $5 for each of the first two bottles. Proceeds benefit local charities.
Best New Suburban Restaurants: Outside Chicago
The suburb of Evanston recently legalized one thing the big city hasn't: food trucks. In his lime-green-and-white truck, chef Vince DiBattista (who pushed for the legislation) makes new American dishes like smothered chicken stew with marsala gravy and chocolate brownies, which he serves warm.
Best New Suburban Restaurants: Outside Portland, OR
Although Oliver's is in Washington, it's invariably packed with diners from Oregon (Portland is only 30 minutes away). Chefs Morris Fenton and Gwyn Manney focus on Pacific Northwest ingredients in dishes like open-face ravioli with wild mushrooms; Ben Edel oversees the drinks list. On select Saturday nights, the toughest seats to get are at the bar, where Edel gives "Drinking Lessons" focusing on a single spirit (it's tequila in February).