Best Fried Chicken - 2011
The Pinyon - CLOSED
From the moment the doors flew open at the Pinyon, there was an audible cluck about a bird that flies right. Executive chef/owner Theo Adley, who commands an exhibition kitchen surrounded by voyeurs, many of them local chefs, rubs his chickens with a housemade chile-and-garlic paste sweetened with sugar and tarted up with vinegar. He then floods the fowl in buttermilk for 24 hours and dredges it in potato flour before it hits the sizzle of the frying pan. It's finished in the oven, emerging with a vividly golden crust that adheres to the flesh, so juicy it slobbers. This is the kind of fried chicken that should be boxed and sold on the black market, right alongside the griddled cakes studded with corn and Adley's breakfast syrup, colored ebony with maple and molasses.