Best New American Restaurant - 2011
Is it the smashing wine list, the Sunday brunch that encourages a pajama-clad clientele, a sommelier who has a fetish for deliberately mismatched clothes, the riotous din, or chef Scott Parker's exceptional food that makes you wonder if you've somehow just stepped into a restaurant that's more akin to a playground, where frolic and fun are the name of the game? Parker's daily-changing, seasonally conscious menu never gets tired, and never, ever feels aggressively trendy. Instead, he does what he wants, when he wants, culling from cult-quality ingredients that are carefully prepared with subtle fits of flair. His innovative split-pea and porcetta soup is mind-numbingly good, as is the shrimp risotto, matched with melted leeks and arugula. And whereas many restaurants view their sugar finales as afterthoughts, here they're anything but: Try the close-to-perfect beignets or the lemon panna cotta, then express your gratitude by buying the kitchen crew a six-pack of suds.