The hottest destination since its December 2011 opening (and nearly impossible to get into thanks to online reservations that are never available), this American dim-sum restaurant snared a James Beard Award right out of the gate—a nearly unheard of occurrence. Chef Stuart Brioza’s creative, fresh internationally influenced small plates are wheeled around on carts and carried on trays—just like at your favorite Chinese restaurant—and they are impossibly good. In the casual, friendly dining room with a shockingly tiny open kitchen, everything comes easily—perhaps too much so—as you need only point to what you want as it passes by and is described by enthusiastic staff. You may be presented with Nova Scotia oysters with spicy kohlrabi kraut and sesame seeds or croquettes created from rabbit and fontina cheese. Or you might order from their small menu of standards, which includes savory pancakes. Whatever the case, you’re bound to have a meal to remember. Reservations are necessary up to 60 days in advance. If you don’t have one, stand in line at 4:30pm, and wait for the doors to open at 5:30pm—you will eventually get seated; one third of the restaurant is set aside for walk-ins, including the chefs’ counter where you may sit or stand, but get the best view of the cooks in action.
- Erika Lennert