Esquire magazine today released its list of this year’s best new restaurants. Of course, we need to ask, “OK, but can they make a burger?” Surprisingly, and encouragingly, eight of the 17 restaurants selected menu America’s favorite.
Recognition goes first to Kris Morningstar (at right), executive chef at one of the winners, Ray’s & Stark Bar, Patina Group’s striking restaurant in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In these haute surroundings, Morningstar delivers what sounds to be a masterpiece: his Benedict Burger, with house brioche, red-onion confit, Gruyère cheese, sunny-side-up egg, watercress, béarnaise and gaufrette potatoes.
Seven others on Esquire’s 2011 list also have created burgers:
● Ai Fiori, New York City. The White Label burger is 8 ounces of Pat La Frieda prime ground beef with Nueske’s bacon, American cheese, black tomato and pomme dauphines.
● Chicago Cut Steakhouse, Chicago. Not fancy but prime is the Chicago Cut Prime Burger.
● Fiola, Washington, D.C. The Fiola BLT Burger is topped with smoke provolone cheese and served with rosemary fries.
● Millesime, New York City. The Millesime Burger is topped with Monterey Jack cheese, avocado, roasted red peppers, spicy onion rings and french fries.
● The Pullman, Glenwood Springs, Colo. The Pullman burger begins with grass-fed beef and adds caramelized onions and white Cheddar.
● Tico, Boston. The menu reflects Chef-owner Michael Schlow’s interest in the foods of Mexico, South America and Spain but, yes, there’s a burger. The Great Bacon Cheeseburger is served with house-made fries.
● Towne Stove and Spirits, Boston. The Deluxe 8-oz. All American Bacon Burger is a 70/30 mix of ground skirt steak and short rib, with or without Cheddar.
Esquire’s other best new restaurants, which don’t yet offer a burger are:
● 1500°, Miami Beach
● Boulud Sud, New York City
● Congress, Austin, Texas
● Cotogna, San Francisco
● Dominique’s on Magazine, New Orleans
● Legal Harborside, Boston
● Lincoln Ristorante, New York City
● Salinas, New York City
● Sotto, Los Angeles