Virtuoso Life - September/October 2010 - 112
or sit down, tuck in your napkin, and share plates with friends. The maialino itself – suckling pig – is a marvelous, gutsy dish for two or three people to share and maybe even bring some home. Come early or after the theater, and the place will be jammed. 2 Lexington Avenue; 212/777-2410; www.maialinonyc.com. become an Upper East Side watering hole. The Pierre New York; 212/940-8195.
London society, celebs, and royals have been packing Le Caprice in St. James for decades, and now New Yorkers can enjoy quite the same experience at The Pierre New York. Chef Michael Hartnell shows his experience with an international menu of impeccably wrought, simple dishes to appeal to a broad crowd, from textbook-perfect fishand-chips with minted pea purée and tartar sauce to excellent rack of lamb. Desserts are good, but don’t miss the selection of British cheeses you won’t easily find elsewhere. A pianist plays softly at the bar, which has already
Elate: Not quite back to basics. The Pierre New York’s Le Caprice.
Asian street food won’t likely come to mind when you think of Philadelphia and its cheesesteaks, scrapple, and sticky buns. But chef-owner Michael Schulson knows that Philadelphians are adventurous eaters, and his new, very cool Center City restaurant (with an even cooler Graffiti Bar out back) brings them in for a wide array of inexpensive dishes that jump off the table with spice, zest, and sizzle, from hamachi tartare with tempura flakes to oxtail-and-kimchi dumplings. 124 S. 13th Street; 215/732-3501; www. sampanphilly.com.
Washington has its share of he-man steak
Chicagoans have had their share of prissy restaurants, small portions, food that doesn’t look like food, and waiters with their noses in the air. None of that prevails at this new bar-centered, chef-driven place. Chef Randal Jacobs’ mantra – to get back to simple cooking – means braised skirt steak on a crusty baguette with mozzarella and smoked-tomato compote, or grilled short ribs with truffle cheese fries laced with garlic oil. What’s not to love? 111 W. Huron Street; 312/202-9900; www.elatechicago.com.
Master restaurateur Danny Meyer has given New York several of its finest and most novel dining spots, from the casual Union Square Cafe to the fine-dining Eleven Madison Park and the funky Shake Shack hamburger stand. His gift this year is as close an approximation to a true Roman trattoria as any outside of Trastevere. Maialino is a throwback, with blue-checkered tablecloths and reclaimed oak. You could just drop by the bar and nosh on antipasti and a glass or quartino of wine,