Ask Tom: Rants, raves and questions on the DC dining scene

Apr 24, 2019

Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema entertains your dining questions, rants and raves.

Find all of Tom Sietsema's Washington Post work at washingtonpost.com/tomsietsema.

Would you please tell me why would a restaurant charge $20 for a glass of wine but then bring it to the table in a flask? Arghh!!!

Who, pray tell, is guilty of this crime against humanity?

 

I'm with you; flasks might be viewed as a fancy touch, but the skeptic in me always wants to see and confirm the source of my wine by the glass.

 

Happy Wednesday, everyone. Have you been following the Top 10 countdown to my No. 1 best new restaurant ahead of the the release of  my spring dining guide? Today finds St. Anselm near Union Market in the No. 6 position.

 

Coming up this Sunday is the luxury issue of the Magazine. For this special edition, I went to the farm-fresh Blue Hill at Stone BarnS in Pocantico Hills, N.Y., where the esteemed chef Dan Barber benefits from land donated by the late David Rockefeller Sr.  My review published earlier this morning.

 

Weird trend alert: Has anyone else noticed how short some dessert lists have become, especially at some of the new places? Estuary, Punjab Grill and Buena Vida all offer a mere three ways to conclude a meal. What's up with that?

 

To your questions and comments!

 

 

Hi Tom--Next month my "baby" brother will graduate from the SFS (Hoya Saxa!) and I've volunteered to handle the dining plan for the weekend. We'll be a group of six and while we're open to any location in the city, we prefer somewhere that's a relatively easy Uber from my house in Brookland, which will be HQ for the weekend. We like any cuisine and price is not really a concern, though we're probably not looking to spend at P&P or Komi levels. The family has previously loved Rose's, Sfoglina, Espita to name a few. I know they'd love St. Anselm, for example, but that seems too everyday for the occasion. Fiola Mare is on my mind, but I want to give the graduate-to-be a few options to choose from. Where would you recommend for a celebratory vibe? Thank you!

The aforementioned Estuary in the chic Conrad hotel would be perfect for the occasion, given that the menu is a celebration of the Mid-Atlantic. I was at Masseria near Union Market not long ago and was reminded how good the pastas, the wine list and the hospitality are there. On 14th St. NW, I'm high on the new Seven Reasons and the sophisticated Latin-inspired cooking of Enrique Limardo. Do not miss the tomato jelly salad, or the chorizo and lobster over rice. 

Hi, Tom: Do restaurants want their patrons to use opentable or would they rather we call? I've noticed that when I call the restaurant directly for a reservation, I am more likely to get a nice table than if I use opentable. If I do use opentable, I find that my table is often the worst in the restaurant. I've noticed this after visiting the same restaurants multiple times; visits to Le Diplomate, RPM, and Succotash, for example, resulted in very different tables based on whether I had called or used opentable.

I've not heard of this before. I'd welcome a response from the restaurant community. 

Hi Tom - Love the chats! We have family coming to town this summer and would like to find a couple restaurants where we could all go out, including their two kids (3 yrs and almost 1 year). Our relatives are used to taking their kids out and we're perfectly happy dine at more kid-friendly times like an early dinner or brunch. They live in NYC and haven't spent much time in DC, so we would love to be able to show them that this is a great restaurant city, too! We'd prefer locations in DC or Northern Virginia and are flexible on price. Thanks in advance for your recommendations!

In the District, considerer Comet Ping Pong for very good pizza, table tennis in the back room and sundaes for dessert. In Penn Quarter, near the Mall, I've seen lots of families at the festive Jaleo (think Spanish small plates, with something for everyone). On 14th St. NW, Ted's Bulletin is good for breakfast or lunch.  

 

Any parents care to contribute some ideas?

Speaking of dessert, I had a delicious coconut ice cream sundae at Riggsby. Is there anywhere else I can get coconut ice cream? It was yum!

Coconut ice cream, anyone? 

We were celebrating our daughter's 25th birthday on a Tuesday evening at Osteria Morini. We started at the bar and moved to our table about 15 minutes after our reservation. The restaurant was not crowded. We piled gifts and birthday cards on a little table behind us. We ordered wine, antipasto, a plate of their incredible burrata, and our entrees. As our waiter was clearing the antipasto dishes he told my daughter, "I haven't put your entree orders in yet because I can tell you are having a good time." Perfect.

That observant waiter was adept at "reading" the table: monitoring the behavior of diners, taking cues from what was being said, and acting accordingly. In this case, the server picked up that your party was in the mood for a leisurely meal.

Top 5 mother's day brunch for 8 in DC. One visitor from the South is visiting who would love to have the DC experience. No seafood. Go!

Based on restaurants that offered Easter brunch (and positive reader feedback), my picks would include A Rake's Progress in the trendy Line hotel; Blue Duck Tavern in the West End for regional fare; the Hay Adams (with a view of the White House); and Central Michel Richard for whimsical French-American fare on Pennsylvania Ave. NW.

Hi Tom--I'll be the first one to admit I am guilty of asking you/chatters for non-DC recommendations ahead of a trip or two, but last week's chat felt like 50%+ about dining in other places. At that saturation, it's honestly not interesting to read (and not the stated purpose of your chat "about the DC dining scene"). Can we refocus to local chatter?

I might have to change the verbiage of the introduction. The Washington Post is aiming for a national audience, and has for several years now. 

 

Yes, it did seem as though I addressed a lot of questions about where to eat outside Washington in the last chat. But not every discussion is like that one, and you should feel free to ignore the posts that don't interest you. (I get the same response when the discussion focuses on kids and restaurants, by the way.)

 

Krakow

As a daughter of a Polish ex-pat, my family always loved trips to Krakow, staying in the Old Town or neighboring Jewish Quarter (Kazimierz) when possible. My father's favorite fancy restaurant was always Wierzynek, a beautiful, elegant and delicious reminder of Poland's long history and cuisine. As a student there in the early 00s, I saved up my pennies to eat the delicious Italian fare at Leonardo, and maybe have enough left over for a glass of wine afterwards at the cellar restaurant, Pod Aniolami. All three are in the old town, and worth a visit. Thanks!

I missed the live chat, but just wanted to add my two cents (old people love to do that, right?). My husband and I are 60. We also like high tops; luckily we have no mobility issues to prevent our using them. We like restaurants with a fun, casual vibe, especially when we are traveling. I also wanted to address the snark in the YOUNG PEOPLE comment, and I guess in society in general. Why do we have to be at odds? I frequently find myself defending millennials to their detractors. I certainly don't want to be pigeon-holed myself. Why Can't We All Get Along? ;)

I like the way you think. Thanks for chiming in. 

Hi Tom, For my parents anniversary in early June, I got them tickets for a night at Strathmore on a Saturday night and was hoping to give them a suggestion/gift card to a restaurant in the area to go to first. I did look to see if you'd given advice on this earlier but hadn't found anything - and I did find a review of yours for City Perch and was not excited... Do you have any suggestions? Doesn't have to be super close, but wouldn't want to go into the city, they live in Olney. My mother doesn't eat gluten and my father is sensitive to spiciness but otherwise they're pretty open, they do have a particular taste in Mediterranean food. Less than $150 for both of them, including a drink each. Thank you!

The restaurant I'm most excited about near the Strathmore is Julii, from the owners of fast-casual Cava. The dining room, lush in shades of green suggests a jewel box and the food is French-Mediterranean. Think salmon crudo, pasta Bolognese, roast chicken and such. Julii is less than three miles from the music venue. 

Tom- I'm sure you've mentioned this in previous chats, but I'd love to know your favorite burger(s) in DC. Cheap/pricey, basic/fancy, whatever! For whatever reason, this warmer weather has me craving a good burger. Thanks!

Johnny Spero serves a delicious burger, based on youthful memories, at the otherwise avant garde Reverie in Georgetown. At the Wharf, I'm partial to the whopper on the (mostly-seafood) menu at Rappahannock Oyster Bar, which has the bonus of an outdoor patio now.

Haven't you been read the dark web? LOL!

Uh, I chose to ignore that ..... (poor Comet).

Hi Tom! I'm a mom of four (almost five!) year old triplets, and as a result rarely get to put your wonderful reviews to good use. However, this Friday a fellow mom of preschool triplets is coming into town and wants to meet up for brunch or lunch Friday morning near the White House. I'll have my bonus baby (now a toddler) in tow. The other mom is an "adventurous" eater, but I would need a place with at least a few vegetarian options. Thoughts? Excited to be asking your advice again and know you'll steer us well!

That's a *lot* of young mouths to feed and I think Old Ebbitt Grill, across from the Treasury, would be up to the task. The long-running establishment is open practically around the clock and its breakfast menu runs to pancakes with fresh fruit, huevos rancheros and chicken and waffles. (The lunch offerings are more extensive, fyi.)  Good luck. 

We are going to France this summer and want to thank you the great sources of information on Paris restuarants. We will be traveling around France, while I assume that all the places with Michelin Stars would be good - they are also very expensive. Do you think that we can generally rely on Michelin Bib Gourmand listings as reliably good and probably not super expensive. Thanks

In my experience, the Michelin guide is best for restaurants -- of all stripes -- in France, where the guide is headquartered. The publication gets less reliable outside the country, where I've used it in Germany and Italy, for instance, with less luck. P.S. If it makes you feel any better, some of my best experience in France have been in the one-star establishments. They tend to be less stuffy, and serve more approachable food.

I plan to move to Europe this summer to cook. I am wondering if you know anyone that I could reach out to about finding a job in a nice restaurant?

Uh .... where in Europe? What's your experience level? How long do you plan to stay abroad?

 

In order to help you, I need more details.

As a diner (not a restaurant owner), I gather restaurants pay OpenTable for every reservation (in addition to a monthly service fee). So it's not surprising that restaurants might provide better seating for customers who reserve directly. In a related anecdote, the website of a restaurant I want to visit in NYC linked to Yelp for its online reservations. The system required a credit card guarantee (with a $10 per person fee if not cancelled more than 24 hours prior to the date and time). However, when I called yesterday the host completed my reservation without any request for credit card details.

Interesting. A human exchange can be very reassuring -- and even save you money! 

When I was visiting my sister in Columbus, OH we were told by a trendy new restaurant there that it always is better to call as Open Table can show a place as fully booked when in reality they still have openings. Something about the metrics they use. I like Open Table but will definitely call popular spots in the future.

Yet another reason to deal with the restaurant directly. 

ChiKo has incredible coconut custard!

Yes Chiko does! And the panna cotta is all the better for its grace notes: candied almond slivers, lime zest and a lashing of caramel. 

Counter-point: I find them very useful! Whenever someone has recommendations for an interesting destination, I always clip them into Evernote. Then, when we are planning a trip somewhere, I can go back into Evernote and pull up those recommendations. (I get tired of the comments: "I live in Backwater County, 60 miles outside of DC. Why don't you review our local restaurants?" Unless it's a truly special destination (like the Inn or something), I don't care about the new Italian joint that just opened in Backwater.)

Thank you for the feedback. 

for breakfast/brunch - Busboys and Poets on 14th. Nicely curated selection of kids books, too.

Great idea: books and eggs!

Black Market Bistro is nearby and always a consistently great meal

Thanks for the memory jog. I owe it a visit. 

Tom, Where would you go for an anniversary dinner near Arena Stage? It's our 10th anniversary and we first met at Arena's production of Cabaret. I'm surprising my husband with tickets to their upcoming production and want to start the evening with an unforgettable meal.

Now that the Wharf exists, your options have blossomed around Arena Stage. The best, closest dining experience is Del Mar, the opulent Spanish restaurant from Fabio Trabocchi. It's about a nine-minute walk from the theater.

My bride and I are heading to Miami in the next couple of weeks (South Beach area). I did some online searching of your articles and haven't seen much (maybe bad searching?). Any recommendations. Much appreciated!

For a splurge, find time for dinner at Surf Club: updated Continental cooking from the esteemed chef Thomas Keller. The Art Deco-style dining room is part of a renovated resort that includes a Four Seasons hotel. Go early, to enjoy the water views on the terrace. 

How about Eithiopian? That's something really good here that you don't get in NYC. They tend to have US kid friendly things too.

My distant cousin Robert Sietsema (also a critic, for Eater in New York) might disagree with you there, but the idea of introducing kids to Ethiopian is terrific. They get to eat the meal with their hands, then eat the utensil -- a.k.a. injera -- too! 

A big fan here who rarely writes in. I finally made it to St. Anselm last weekend and was left...disappointed. I went for Saturday brunch with a friend and both the food and the service were mediocre. As a big fan of both Marjorie Meek-Bradley and Stephen Starr restaurants I was surprised. Our server never checked on us after our food was delivered, we were never offered beverage refills and the check was just dropped on our table, without asking if we wanted anything else. The hash brown cakes served with our entrees were salty to the point of almost being inedible and my wild mushroom omelette was extremely light on the mushrooms. I ended up paying almost $50 (with tip) for a meal I could have gotten elsewhere that would have cost less and tasted better. To me, none of it rose to the point I needed to talk to a manager, but it was disappointing. As an entry on your top 10 list, I felt like I wanted to let you know.

Thank you for the feedback, which obviously disappoints me.  Brunch is a different animal than dinner, but even so, diners shouldn't get less attentive service or less careful cooking than at night.

Why ever would an otherwise very good restaurant spray the entire space with air freshener just before opening? Luckily I was able to sit outside but the smell kept wafting out of the open front door and the servers arrived at my outdoor table wearing a cloud of this. It smelled like somebody had dropped a bottle of perfume. Another customer walked in the door and walked right back out. I stayed for lunch and the food was fine though the take home bag smelled. I mentioned the strong smell to the hostess and the waiter and got a shrug from the first and “Oh inside? I am working in there so I don’t notice.” from the waiter. There should be nothing to notice! This was not the smell of the bathrooms being cleaned in the corner. This was like a stink bomb. Don’t they know it isn’t erferes with tasting the food? I cut my lunch short because I didn’t even want to go back inside to use the bathroom! This is Supra on 11th Street NW and my friends and I always love their food. Jan NE DC

Let this be a lesson to restaurants and staff members to go easy on the air-fresheners, the cologne, the cigarette smoking and the restroom "enhancers."

 

What most diners really want to smell when they walk into a restaurant is the aroma of good cooking. At least I do.

top of the Ken Center. the cafeteria has great selection and the views are magnificent! Kids can run around safely on the rooftop and moms can visit.....can even bring your own sandwiches of so desired for the kids.........

I'm not so sure the staff at the KC will be thrilled to hear of customers bringing in some of their own food, but otherwise, a good recommendation there. 

Hi there! I'm looking for a restaurant in DC for a retirement celebration for my in-laws. There will be 9 adults - 2 kids. We could also get a babysitter for the kids. Would be great to have both options to look into. Looking for somewhere nice & quieter (takes reservations), but not crazy expensive, like a Minibar. Thanks!

You don't say whether you want a private room. If that's the case,  I'd suggest Centrolina for Italian or   Poca Madre for modern Mexican, two always-delicious dining destinations  that don't require a loan to enjoy.

 

I haven't been in awhile, but the sedate, Asian-themed Source next to the Newseum might work for your group, too. And for something different, what about dinner on the patio at the lovely Iron Gate in Dupont Circle?

With the absolutely lovely the weather the past couple of days, where would you go to really welcome spring with a nice drink in the late afternoon/early evening? Bonus points for outdoor patios and good food for leisurely snacking!

Given the nice weather, The Pembroke's al fresco space in Dupont Circle must be open. I'd go there, and ask for a French 75 and maybe a crudo or beet salad to accompany it. On 14th St, The Cuban-style Colada Shop calls to me with its dog-friedly patio and Maketto on H St. NE lets you enjoy Cambodian and Taiwanese food on its lovely rear patio, separating kitchen from front dining room. 

Hi Tom- First of all, I look forward to your chats every week, thanks for doing them! Secondly, I just wanted to give a shout to Unconventional Diner. I booked a dinner reservation there last weekend for 6 (some of my family was coming into town to visit). I took your advice and booked a table there because we had a mix of adventurous eaters, not-so adventurous eaters, and super picky children. The day before the reservation I find out that another picky eater wanted to join us, so I sheepishly called and asked if there was any way possible to make our 6 a 7 on a Friday night! They were very accommodating and said they'd squeeze us in, though we might have to wait a little longer for the table to be ready. When Friday arrived, a couple of us got there early and had fantastic cocktails at the bar with the fantastic bartender, we were seated pretty much on time, and then had fantastic food and a fantastic server! Fantastic all around!!! The picky eaters were pleased, the adventurous eaters were pleased, and a good (*fantastic) time was had by all. We will definitely be back!

Take a bow, Unconventional Diner

Hi Tom, Long time reader, first time asker. I have read many times about you/others raving about Rasika but have never been, but I'm finally going next week (West End location)!!! I am curious if there are any must-have vegetarian dishes. Everything looks good, but I'm guessing some dishes must rise above others and would love to get an insider scoop on what to order. Thanks so much!

From the griddle, be sure to try the kale uttapam, little cakes served with coconut chutney. Of the chaat, or snacks, I'm partial to avocado and banana (you read that right) lit with red chili powder and cumin. For a main course, I would steer you to sweet potato and peanut curry. That help?

 

Honestly, it's hard to go wrong at Rasika West End. If you're lucky, you might be seated in a carriage-shaped booth near the windows. 

Tom—Following your rave review of Rooster and Owl, I made an immediate reservation for my birthday dinner, which my partner treats me to every year. But the recent comments about the small portions has me rethinking that choice; previous experiences with even relatively pricey but paltry fixed-price meals have annoyed him (and he likes a place with an engaging design sense, which sounds like is not R&O's strong suit). I know, my birthday, my choice, but if someone else is paying, I want them to feel good about it (and he is interested in the menu itself). My inclination is to switch to St. Anselm, which sounds like more fun, filling, and attractive, and to treat myself at R&O another time, maybe for their Tuesday night special. Thoughts?

It's up to you, obviously, but unless the portion sizes have been tweaked since my review, you might want to switch gears. I'd be sure to "gift" a food-loving friend your reservation, though. Spots are hard to come by at  Rooster & Owl.  

In NW, consider Millie's and Pizzeria Paradiso in Spring Valley, as well as Little Beasts on Connecticut Ave. (though we haven't been there but have heard good, kid friendly things). America Eats Tavern in Georgetown has some good options as well.

Yes, yes, yes, yes. I love the ice cream window at Millie's and the arcade games at Paradiso. And AET is a delicious lesson in American cooking. Another poster shares this good suburban idea:

 

Kid-friendly restaurants

We sometimes take out-of-towners with kids to Eden Center (Rice Paper, specifically). A unique experience all around.

 

What's the right way to handle being gouged on a cocktail? I was at the bar of one of your 3 star restaurants. Everything on the cocktail list was $15; expensive, but which Wharf restaurant isn't? Instead of choosing from the list, I ordered my favorite, bourbon-based cocktail. The bartender asked if I had a bourbon preference, and I asked him what he recommended. Having never heard of Angel's Envy rye, I looked forward to trying something new. After some excellent tapas and pricy wine, I wasn't expecting a small check. But I was more than surprised to find out that my one cocktail was priced at $28. I might understand had I asked specifically for that brand or just something very high end. But to recommend an ultra-premium rye to mix with Campari and sweet vermouth? I think not. The service, um, belied your 3-star review, and not just because of the gouging. After waiting 10 minutes to try to get his attention and complain, I gave up and let a food runner (!!) run my credit card. I stiffed him on the tip, which actually cost me less that if he had served me a regular priced drink. I know that's not the best way to handle the situation, but what else could I have done short of making a scene in a crazy-busy, upscale restaurant. There wasn't an obvious manager and the feeling of being scammed made me just want to leave right away.

Why didn't you give the bar tender in this clearly-expensive restaurant some perimeters, as in a price range? Sure, he poured you a premium drink, but you more or less gave him permission. And what if the booze had been, say, Pappy Van Winkle?

 

I've said this a million times, but if you have a problem, bring it to the attention of a supervisor and see if you can find a resolution. Because after you're gone, it's harder to right a wrong. If this is the place I'm thinking it is, the staff is pretty vigilant. 

 

I don't blame you *completely.* The bar tender should have asked you a few more questions. But to not say anything to anyone and stiff the staff? Not cool in my book. 

 

Hi Tom - Can you recommend a place to have a late lunch or early dinner (i.e., between 2:30 and 4:00) for a milestone birthday on a Friday? Anything but fish/seafood will do, but I'd like it to be something special (ideally with fabulous cocktails). Thanks.

Of the established places around town, the restaurant that pops into my head is Fiola in Penn Quarter. Lobster ravioli followed by lamb chop Milanese followed by tiramisu sounds celebratory to me. And the service is top-drawer. 

Hi Tom, several weeks ago a reader requested recommendations for memorable restaurants in several cities in France, including Lyon. They should go to L'Auberge du Pont de Collonges, just outside Lyon. It's Paul Bocuse's (RIP) beautiful main restaurant, 3 Michelin stars and an experience they won't forget. If they don't speak French, they should bring a French/English dictionary to translate the menu (probably a good idea everywhere in France).

Merci for the suggestion. Let's hope our Lyon-bound poster sees it. 

I've always disliked your constant refrain of finding managers when there are problems. When I go out, I'm thinking about getting good food. You seem to think I'm thinking about which restaurant staff I would like to manage that evening. But after listening to an interview with a manager on the Eater podcast, during which she said she wouldn't say anything to customers arguing or making out in the dining room, you might want to consider at least that the manager might also not be very good in a restaurant that isn't serving its customers well.

Not sure if I'm understanding your post, but if you have a problem with something in a restaurant, why wouldn't you raise the issue with someone who can turn your experience around? 

My boss put in his two weeks notice and now the clock is ticking to find a location for a farewell happy hour. Any idea of a bar that might be able to accommodate a group of maybe 15-20 (private or semi-private would be awesome but not necessary) in the Gallery Place/Chinatown to Union Station area? We're govt so probably can't swing rental of a private space. Did see some suggestions from a couple weeks back, they're a little further flung than I'd like (though Shaw's Tavern might work). Thinking Wednesday evening because more people are in the office. Thanks!

Bars to think about: the light-filled Olivia and the jumping Smith in Penn Quarter

Unlike the youngster in his/her sixties, my husband (79) and I (78) hate high tops because I have a hard time moving my chair. Please, regular tables for us oldies but goodies.

Catch that, restaurants?

Just wanted to say that we really enjoyed one of your top picks for Las Vegas - Pizzeria Monzu. We ordered a "small" pizza and an appetizer for the 3 of us. It was more than enough food for our group. We went during non-peak hours and were treated with great service/ attention. Will definitely be going back during future trips to the area!

it pays to eat off the Strip, right? Thanks for the feedback. 

Hi Tom! I went to ChiKo in Dupont the other day and the food is fantastic and the people are (mostly) great. The one problem I had with the service is that the food runner just came out and slammed down the plates not caring a lick about where he put them on the table. But not a big deal. I'm writing with two questions: 1) Staff were just wiping down the metal serving bowls with a rag right in front of everyone, and then putting the rag on a random table next to the register. They did this same thing with probably 20 or so bowls, taking breaks, putting the rag down on the table, and then getting back at it when they had a minute with nothing to do. This seems rather un-hygenic, no? Or is that just me being picky? 2) As you know, ChiKo doesn't have a typical dining room where you have a server. You order your food and pay at the register, sit down, and wait for someone to bring it out. What's the appropriate tip in this type of set-up? It's confusing because it's kind of a hybrid between a restaurant (where I always tip 20%) and a fast casual place where I don't tip at all, with some exceptions when people are extraordinarily nice...so, I've been splitting it down the middle at 10%. Is this the right way to go? Thoughts? Thanks!

Hey, Chiko, diners are watching you!

1) Clean rags are best. Rags that are frequently replaced are good, too.

 

2) Ten percent is fine for tipping when you order at the counter and simply have your food dropped off. I'd tip more if you have extra or special requests. If you sit at the chef's counter -- more food, more service -- tip as you would in a full-service restaurant, because thats what the experience there is. 

 

Tom! Help! I’m tasked with a last min Rez every yr. table for 5, not to pricey, old friends gather from across the country so low noise is good. A few not too adventurous folks in the mix. We’ve done Le Dip, Bombay, Riggsby, Estadio, corduroy, Brass Beck, Bibiana, etc. like to stay close to downtown. Convivial? Unconventional Diner? Momo?

See the rave for Unconventional Diner, above? It gets my applause, too. 

 

That's a wrap for today, everyone. Let's do this again next week, same time, when I'll share my No. 1 favorite new restaurant with you. 

In This Chat
Tom Sietsema
Tom Sietsema has been the Washington Post food critic since 2000. In leaner years, he worked for the Microsoft Corporation, where he launched sidewalk.com; the Seattle Post-Intelligencer; the San Francisco Chronicle; and the Milwaukee Journal. A graduate of the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, he has also written for Food & Wine, Gourmet, GQ, Travel & Leisure and other national publications. In 2016, he received an award from the James Beard Foundation for his series identifying and rating the "10 Best Food Cities in America" the previous year.
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