1. Next-Level Bread
At High Street on Hudson in Manhattan, crusty, hearty loaves, like Anadama, dominate the breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. Meanwhile, at Shaya in New Orleans, the pita breads that are constantly coming out of the oven make this perhaps the best-smelling restaurant in America. And then there’s burger buns. Super-baker Chad Robertson created the tender griddled ones for the $4 cheeseburgers at Locol in Los Angeles, while at Launderette in Austin, baker Laura Sawicki makes buns that are impossibly squishy and delicious.
2. Pig Skin
It’s not new for chefs to make good use of all parts of the pig. But our ROTY are especially innovative with pig skin. Monteverde in Chicago makes pig-skin tortellini, while The Dabney in Washington, DC, offers BBQ pork rinds as a snack. Townsman in Boston puts cracklins on its ham-and-porchetta sandwich (and, in related news, a pig-fat crouton on its Brussels sprouts).
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3. Local Cider
The beverage of the moment is cider, especially the locally made kind. Look for it at The Dabney, Monteverde, Townsman and Launderette. Launderette and Townsman even work these ciders into house cocktails.