For owner Joan McNamara, fresh meals made with love are at the heart of her family and her restaurant. Katie Lee raves about the “wonderful, homey taste” of the short rib sandwich. Buttery sliced bread is stacked with a layer of pickled onions and a mound of tender meat smothered with melty cheese.
Billed as an Indian gastropub, this hip spot offers a menu of innovative dishes that combine Indian street eats with North American bar snacks. Aarti Sequeira recommends the Chicken Tikka Poutine Fries. A fiery dusting of a paprika-centric spice mix gives each and every fry “a little kick,” Aarti says. These flavorful golden fries come topped with a creamy mound of cheese curds, a generous ladleful of beef gravy and a heap of tender, grilled chicken finished with fresh cilantro.
This homey restaurant has put itself on the map with The Showstopper, a Maryland take on traditional surf-n-turf. Duff can’t get enough of this craveworthy dish, which features a half-pound crab cake composed of jumbo lump crab. The crabmeat is dipped in a creamy egg mixture laced with Old Bay seafood seasoning, then baked until golden brown. Adding to the decadence is a full rack of smoky, tender baby back ribs.
Foie gras and lobster salad are among the many beloved menu items served at this storied restaurant. The Chocolate Soufflé is a favorite of Geoffrey Zakarian (he was once a souffle chef here). Valrhona chocolate is folded into a Swiss meringue base that’s baked until fluffy, then served with gelato.
This trendy hot spot delivers a decadent array of seafood dishes in chic surroundings that attract a celebrity crowd. Tia Mowry is a fan of the Macaroni & Lobster Cream. This elevated version of classic mac features a buttery mascarpone sauce threaded with tender morsels of Maine lobster.
Head to this spot for a hearty breakfast: a burrito stuffed with scrambled eggs, sauteed onions, peppers and tomatoes. This beauty comes topped with chipotle salsa and super-melty cheese. Prefer your breakfast at dinner? Try the Pasta Mama dish: a deliciously simple mix of pasta and scrambled eggs.
Tuck into classic American comfort food at this casual joint. The most-indulgent dish on the menu is arguably the chicken and waffles. The chicken is battered in a pickle juice-laced mixture to kick up the Southern flavor, then blanched in pork lard and double-fried until extra crisp. The twice-fried bird comes nestled on Belgian-style waffles stuffed with housemade applewood-smoked bacon
Crowds flock here for ’cue like the Memphis-style dry ribs that are seasoned with a dozen or more spices. These ribs are so juicy you won’t even miss the sauce. One unexpected place you will find barbecue sauce is in the nachos, which also feature pulled pork, cheese sauce and jalapenos.
Locals can't wait for Magnolia Cafe's giant gingerbread banana pancakes, and lucky for them, they don't have to. Guy loved the menu, packed with everything from chipotle hollandaise sauce on eggs Benedict to jambalaya stuffed in red peppers. As he says, "come back for the food and the funk."
Head to this food truck for Mexican favorites like tacos and burritos with a smoky barbecue twist. Come for the meaty entrees, but don’t leave without the Cajeta-Stuffed Churros. A vanilla-laced batter is fried in sweet duck fat until it transforms into fluffy churro balls. The fried treats are then rolled in cinnamon sugar, stuffed with cajeta (a caramel sauce made from goat’s milk) and drizzled with caramel and chocolate ganache. Fiery jalapeno bacon crumbles complete the creation.
This sleek eatery’s take on American fare is anything but typical. Take the “Cleveland” Nachos, for instance. This cheese-forward creation starts with housemade potato chips, which are smothered in a roasted garlic-Parmesan fondue, then topped with bacon, scallions and, of course, more cheese.
Chef-Owner Dena Marino uses locally sourced produce to create dishes bursting with modern Italian flavors, like her restaurant’s signature Paccheri. The indulgent pasta dish starts with housemade Italian sausage, which is cooked in white wine before being coated in mascarpone cheese to ensure maximum creaminess. To balance out the heaviness, Marino serves the sausage and pasta with broccoli rabe and pickled onions. Buon appetito!
If you’re in the mood for a comforting treat, stop by Barrel and Ashes. This barbecue joint offers a scrumptious take on old-fashioned-style cornbread. You’ll want to savor every bite of the Hoe Cake, which is a soft-centered beauty slathered with maple butter and finished with fresh scallions.
Rao’s classic Italian-American cuisine is legendary. The tangy lemon chicken and the tender meatballs made of beef, pork and veal taste like they came straight from Grandma’s kitchen. Another must-try is the Beef Lasagna featuring ricotta, pecorino, mozzarella and a sausage-studded Bolognese sauce.
When this bar opened, it was all about craft brews and music, but soon the burgers (almost all named for bands) caught on. Graham Elliot is fan of the Mastodon, a beefy patty topped with strips of crispy bacon and a squirt of bourbon-laced barbecue sauce, plus a slice of melty cheese and a pile of fried onions. It’s the perfect fuel for rocking the night away.