Aarón Sánchez says the underrated Brussels sprouts take an "evil, decadent" turn at Lolita, where Iron Chef Michael Symon and Executive Chef James Mowcomber fry them in pork fat and then coat every leaf in citrusy shallot vinaigrette. It's a great lead-up to Lolita's pork chop.
When Picholine updated its French-Mediterranean menu, it took Frank Bruni by surprise as did the "Bacon and Eggs" (note quotations). Typically made with bacon, this version uses tuna belly and black truffle polenta. With a poached egg, the dish, Bruni says, is "the universe as it should be."
A mother-son duo brings the flavors of Costa Rica to Chicago at the family-friendly Irazu. On Triple D, Guy sampled two traditional dishes: classic fried Chicarron with pico de gallo; and Pepito sandwiches made with steak, onions and black beans, before telling Chef Henry Cerdas, "You rocked it."
Brennan’s has been serving seafood straight from the ocean to the dining room table since 1946 – and nothing has changed. Their roasted oysters are topped with creamy chipotle butter, Manchego, fresh garlic and parsley. “It’s just heaven in a shell,” gushes Iron Chef winner Walter Royal. For an authentic taste of New Orleans, try the thick and hearty seafood file gumbo stew which is made with fresh oysters, shrimp and crab, or as Chef Royal calls them, “the holy trinity of the sea.” For dessert, don't miss the world-famous Bananas Foster.
The moment Iron Chef winner Ed Lee lands in New Orleans he heads to Domilise's Po-Boy & Bar for their legendary fried oyster and roast beef po' boys. The fried oyster po' boy is made with crisp gulf oysters stacked on local bread and doused with mayonnaise, ketchup and hot sauce. It is, “the most perfect sandwich ever invented,” opines Chef Lee. The roast beef po' boy is draped with warm roast beef topped with mayo, lettuce and pickles doused in two mustards and hot gravy. “You hold on for dear life and you just go at it,” explains Chef Lee.
On The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Cupcake Wars judge Candy Nelson gave the Caramel Corn at ArcLight Cinemas two thumbs up. It melts in your mouth with just enough buttery goodness and crackle, as Nelson explains in her gleaming, ultimate review: "Little golden, toasted-brown balls of perfection."
With only one pancake on the menu, breakfast hotspot BLD knows that their Ricotta Blueberry Pancake is killer. Aida Mollenkamp vouches for the amazing pancake on The Best Thing I Ever Ate. But BLD's hashes, rustic frittatas and Benedicts (also served vegan), satisfy the savory, too.
For a hearty meal and delicious breakfast to start the day, head to Guelaguetza, located in Los Angeles. This restaurant is known for its authentic Oaxacan dishes. Rachael ordered tamales with the specialty mole negro--a complex near-black sauce with more than 20 ingredients, including chocolate.
A Financial District institution, Delmonico’s is one of the most influential restaurants in the United States. George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt sat in its mahogany-covered dining room to feast on signatures like steak and lobster newberg.
In New Orleans' French Quarter, Cafe Du Monde is a historic coffee shop famed for its French-style beignets and cafe au lait. The coffee is blended with chicory and the beignets come dusted in powdered sugar. Since the original was establish in 1862, seven more outposts have opened across Louisiana.
Since 1913, Grand Central Oyster Bar has been housed in New York's famed Grand Central Terminal. Scott Conant calls the Oysters Rockefeller made with spinach and melted hollandaise old-school cooking at its best. The crowds also clamor for the New England clam chowder, which features a roux of flour and cornstarch that’s added to a base of celery, onions, clam juice and potatoes. Surf clams and plenty of both light and heavy cream add to the richness. If you love oysters, make sure to try the oyster pan roast.
Fans of French dip sandwiches have Philippe Mathieu to thank. As the story goes, in 1918 Mathieu accidentally dropped a French roll into the roasting pan. The customer didn't mind the wet bun and today, neither does Wolfgang Puck, who likes his sandwich with horseradish mustard.
Open since the turn of the 20th century, Louis' Lunch is rumored to have made the first hamburger. Geoffrey Zakarian is hooked on the original burger with cheese, tomato and onion. No condiments are offered in order to preserve the pure beefy flavors of a fresh burger grilled to perfection.
This Tex-Mex pioneer has been the driving force behind legendary dishes like fajitas and Tacos Al Carbon. But Mo Rocca finds his favorite in the Queso Flameado (think Oaxaca cheese and spicy chorizo rolled into a warm tortilla). The nachos strewn with cheddar and refried beans are also a standout.