Super Soups: Warm Up with 10 Classic Soups This Winter

In the cold winter months, nothing satisfies like a hot bowl of soup. This country is home to some famous and a few perhaps less well known (but still delectable) regional and adapted ethnic soups — from New England Clam Chowder and New Orleans Gumbo to South Asian Laksa, Pennsylvania Mushroom, and Wisconsin Beer Cheese Soup. Here are 10 of our favorite classic soups and where to get yourself a bowl.

Cioppino, Cioppino’s, San Francisco, California
The name says it all. This beloved Fisherman’s Wharf restaurant has been churning out bowls of this uniquely San Franciscan spicy fish stew since 1997. Their namesake soup brims with mussels, Dungeness crab, shrimp, snapper, clams, calamari, and tomatoes swimming in fennel- and wine-scented broth. Thick hunks of sourdough toast served alongside are perfect for sopping every last bit of that spicy, rust-colored broth. Make a reservation at Cioppino’s.

Classic soups

Mushroom Soup, Parc, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Half of America’s mushrooms are grown in the tiny Chester County borough of Kennett Square, about 40 miles southwest of Philadelphia. So if you find yourself in the City of Brotherly Love, you’d be remiss to pass up on mushroom soup. At Rittenhouse Square French brasserie Parc, the velvety mushroom soup combines cremini mushrooms, shallots, garlic, thyme, tarragon, and bay leaf with mushroom and chicken stock and a touch of cream. The soup is pureed and then garnished with a mix of roasted exotic mushrooms (beech, piopini, maitake, and more creminis) for texture, minced chives, and a drizzle of olive oil. Make a reservation at Parc.

Classic Soups

Laksa, Cassia, Santa Monica, California
This popular soup slurped on the streets Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore has numerous adaptations, though its common elements are chili-infused coconut milk broth and a generous portion of noodles. At Asian-influenced L.A. brasserie Cassia, Bryant Ng’s seafood laksa combines shrimp, mussels, rice noodles, herbs, and a hardboiled egg in a thick, fiery coconut curry broth with the subtle funk of shrimp paste. Make a reservation at Cassia.

Classic soups

French Onion Soup, Bistro Campagne, Chicago, Illinois
There’s no shortage of terrific French bistros around the country — nearly all of them offering some variation on this beefy soup teeming with caramelized onions and topped with bubbling Gruyere croutons. At this little spot in Chicago’s residential Lincoln Square neighborhood, the soup a l’oignon gratinée is simple yet beautifully executed, with a tangle of sweet, caramelized onions bobbing in savory, beefy broth capped with a dense layer of nutty, blistered Gruyere —enough cheese to have some in every bite. Make a reservation at Bistro Campagne.

Classic Soups

Ramen, Bar Chuko Izakaya, Brooklyn, New York
There’s a reason Americans have fallen hard for this Japanese soup made from thick, savory broth and slurpable noodles. As one of the first U.S. cities to embrace ramen, New York has no shortage of great options, but this Prospect Heights spot from three Morimoto alums is surely a top contender. Their delectable kimchi ramen packs ground pork, toothsome hand-pulled noodles, seaweed, egg, and thin scallion ribbons. But the vegetarian — with seasonal veggies, kimchi, spiced tofu cubes, and noodles bobbing in miso-soy broth — is a sleeper hit. Make a reservation at Bar Chuko Izakaya.

Classic Soups

Beer Cheese Soup, Rumpus Room, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
As the nation’s top cheese-producing state that also ranks in the top 10 for craft breweries, Wisconsin takes its cheese and beer very seriously, so it’s no surprise there’s a soup that embodies the best of both. The Rumpus Room’s version blends creamy, tangy Carr Valley cheddar and bright, mildly tart Weiss beer, topped with airy morsels of house-spiced popcorn for a rich, comforting bowl to warm you through after braving the bitter Lake Michigan winds outside. If you’re really starved for comfort, throw on an optional brown sugar bacon topper. Make a reservation at Rumpus Room.

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Mocktail Hour: The Best Booze-Free Mixed Drinks in NYC

If the five weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve are one long party — filled with office fetes, a few too many holiday spirits, and just one more slice of pie — January is the hangover. Sometime in the midst of the third cookie swap of the season, the calibration shattered and excess became the standard. But the first month of the new year represents a fresh start in every sense, a time to reset the scale with healthier eating, extra trips to the gym, and, for some, cutting out alcohol. Whether you’re spending January atoning for all the gastronomic sins of the holiday season or have another reason to pass on the alcohol, these spots go beyond bland iced tea and club soda to offer the best booze-free mixed drinks in NYC worthy of the dishes they complement. We’ll drink to that.

Atera
Atera gets it. Bar Director Nick Duble explains that “for many people, enjoying a beverage pairing is just as essential to the overall experience as the food is” but he understands that the traditional wine pairing isn’t a fit for every guest. Enter the Temperance Pairing, created “to provide a non-alcoholic alternative that does not make people feel left out.” It’s hard to imagine feeling left out with cocktails that utilize ingredients and creativity to mimic the classics so sharply that the drinker might question how temperate these drinks really are. The Laurel Martini, for example, is made with cucumber and bay leaf and adds “a theatrical component to the pairing and increases its overall enjoyment.” Make a reservation at Atera.

Best Booze-Free Mixed Drinks in NYC

Gabriel Kreuther
New York magazine calls chef Gabriel Kreuther’s first solo restaurant, opened last summer, “the most elegant new boozehound destination in midtown.” (They, like many others, also recognized it as one of the year’s Best New Restaurants.) Luckily, even if you’re abstaining beverage director Emilie Perrier has some tempting picks. The fragrant Verte Light blends kale, green apple, mint, and coriander syrup while The Virgin Glory is inspired by the Morning Glory Fizz. The latter is typically made with Scotch, absinthe, and lemon for a hair-of-the-dog hangover helper, but Perrier’s version substitutes in Lapsang Souchong smoked black tea, fennel, and lemon for a similarly soothing, anise-flavored alternative. Make a reservation at Gabriel Kreuther.

Best Booze-Free Mixed Drinks in NYC

Riverpark
Highlighted as ‘Temperance Coolers’ on the menu, Tom Colicchio’s restaurant overlooking the East River features several seasonally-appropriate, alcohol-free choices. Bubbles is a blend of apple cider, cinnamon, lemon, and bitters for a festive, warming soft cocktail, perfect for pairing with the Berkshire pork chop or the pasta with Zucca (winter squash) and pumpkin pesto. Or, get your dose of Vitamin C with the Maiden Voyage, with pineapple, orange, lemon, lime, and Peychaud’s Bitters, and toast to a healthy new year. Make a reservation at Riverpark.

Best Booze-Free Mixed Drinks in NYC

Saxon + Parole
Non-drinkers won’t go thirsty at this stylish spot on the Bowery named after two famous racehorses. Among the six deliciously offbeat options, there’s the zippy Bell Pepper Lemonade with fresh red bell pepper juice, lemon, chili tincture, and Perrier, and the uniquely refreshing Garden Tonic with lime juice, celery bitters, celery juice, housemade tonic, and herbs, or with a little kick. (We’ll wait until February to request a splash of vodka in either.) Make a reservation at Saxon + Parole.

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Michelin Guide New York City 2016 Restaurants: An Inside Look

The Michelin Guide New York City is celebrating its first decade in the Big Apple, having recently anointed the city’s best restaurants from a city with among the richest selection in the country. We’re pleased to highlight the Michelin Guide New York City 2016 restaurants and provide an inside look at how the stars awarded.

Michelin Guide NYC 2016 Winners

Michelin’s top secret elite team of professional inspectors have been swarming the city over the past year, literally dining out twice a day, every day, evaluating and re-evaluating well over a thousand of the city’s eateries to tasting their way to the finest. It’s an enviable job, but a grueling one. The inspectors consider a broad array of criteria to sift out the very best. This year, out of hundreds considered, a mere 76 got stars.

Receiving just one of these coveted stars is a considered a huge honor and is often a career-changing affirmation of a chef’s (and his kitchen’s) talent. The dark side is the incredible pressure to maintain that standard since Michelin continually checks in (always anonymously) to ensure things are up to snuff.

Alas, the lion’s share of the attention invariably gets showered on the perennial (albeit deserving) winners that garner the pinnacle of three-stars: Eleven Madison Park, Per Se, Masa. Without a doubt, each offers breathtaking culinary delights. But their experience is more akin to a seismic event than an ordinary meal. For mere mortals, though, just scoring a table at most of them can require months of waiting. The typically epic tasting menus can be multi-hour endurance challenges that culminate with a bill that may rival your mortgage payment. They are memorable extravaganzas perfect special events and life milestones but probably not a weekly ritual for most of us.

Hidden in plain view, though, are some lesser-known finds among New York City’s 60-odd one-star winners. Despite the coveted endorsement of Michelin, many of these places are neighborhood treasures sometimes better known to well-prepared European tourists brandishing their telltale Red Michelin guides than to local New Yorkers. Get in while you can. These spots are home to some of the city’s very best meals and their secret won’t last forever.

Here are a few of our favorites…

The Musket Room
Self-trained Kiwi chef Matt Lambert first solo effort caught the eye of the Michelin crew mere weeks after opening and, in a rare feat, earned its first star just a few months later. A celebration of the ingredients and cuisine of his native New Zealand, Lambert’s kitchen is constantly innovating but always seeming to hit the mark. The understated, stark dining room is the ideal canvas to show off his gorgeously painterly dishes. The menu now includes a nine-course chef’s tasting, but the a la carte is hard to beat. The signature Red Deer flavored with deconstructed essence of gin is a sophisticated and nuanced combination of flavors that never gets tired.

2016 Michelin NYC Winners

The Finch
Another rookie, Gabe McMackin, quietly launched Finch Clinton Hill’s The Finch less than a year ago, but the intrepid Michelin crew discovered his bold-flavored approach to farm-to-table soon after. Much to the chef’s surprise and delight – they were soon awarded their first star. McMackin’s conceptual menu can seem deceptively simple, but his tiny (I mean tiny) kitchen packs tremendous skill executing each dish beautifully. His much discussed, but not to be missed, $8 bread plate is a restrained showcase for exceptional, local ingredients to shine including some of the best butter you may ever have the privilege of eating.

Michelin Guide NYC 2016 Winners

Meadowsweet
Polo Dobkin, who earned his first Michelin nod at the now defunct Dressler is now on his own and better than ever. His delicate pastas and earthy mains (try the duck with black mission fig) prove the first round of kudos were no fluke. The unrecognizably transformed space is a lighter, more inviting home to kick back and savor the kitchen’s prowess.

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2015 100 Best Restaurants for Foodies in America + 16 Delicious Instagrammable Dishes

The results of our most delicious annual awards are in! Work up an appetite and make a reservation at one of the OpenTable 2015 100 Best Restaurants for Foodies in America. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 20,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Showcasing both new and established restaurants in some of the nation’s most rapidly growing dining destinations, the complete list features winning restaurants in 22 states and the District of Columbia, and includes Al’s Place in San Francisco, La Vara in Brooklyn, and Parachute in Chicago. The honorees show a commitment to local, sustainable sourcing and the creation of craft cocktails, soulful plates, many of which are finished in wood-fired ovens, and warm hospitality. Check out these 16 dishes from the winning restaurants that should be on every foodie’s must-try list.

Newer restaurants proved most popular, with a quarter of the eateries having opened in 2015 alone, and the majority of honorees were founded in the last five years. Restaurants serving American fare dominate the awards; however, the list represents cuisines from every corner of the globe, including Asian, Basque, French, Israeli, Mexican, Middle Eastern, and Scandinavian. Geographically speaking, New York has 12 winning restaurants, followed by California with 11, Texas with nine, and Minnesota and Oregon with eight each. Colorado, Illinois, and Pennsylvania each have six honorees, while Washington boasts five. Arizona, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Virginia have three each. Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Tennessee, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin all have two eateries. Connecticut, Florida, Nebraska, and Ohio are also represented.Continue Reading