We live in a society that values speed. We push a button on our phones to conjure a ride, then stare at the screen as the car inches closer. We watch an entire season of a buzzy new show in a weekend because waiting a week between episodes would be sheer insanity. In a time when the world is moving at warp speeds, let’s pause to celebrate the things that take a little more time, starting with pot roast. Braised and simmered for hours to tender, flaky perfection, the classic pot roast is the O.G. of slow food and the antithesis of instant gratification in the best possible way. See how chefs around the country put their own signature spin on the beloved American dish that is perfect pot roast.
The Red Cat, New York, New York
Wrap up a stroll around Chelsea’s art galleries with a visit to this charming neighborhood staple. For most artists, the process is as important as the end result, and the same could be said for chef Mike Cooperman’s carefully crafted Brisket Pot Roast. Braised with onion, garlic, red wine, and veal stock, the whole brisket is cut before he adds a horseradish-bread crust to each piece and returns it to the oven for a final slow roast. He makes the accompanying spaetzle by hand-pressing dough through the holes of a colander, boiling, and then pan-crisping the deliciously irregular noodles with broccoli. Finished with a Dijon mustard sauce and broccoli puree, each bite is a work of art. (The dish is being offered as a special in March.) Make a reservation at The Red Cat.
Washington Place, Cleveland, Ohio
By all means, order the traditional, perfectly prepared pot roast with mashed potatoes for dinner at this inviting bistro in Cleveland’s Little Italy, but if you’re visiting for brunch don’t miss the Pot Roast Hash. General manager Megan LeFebvre explains, “Brunch is a really big part of what we do at Washington Place. Tying one of our signature comfort food entrees to brunch was a priority to us, and we loved the idea of replacing the traditional corned beef with our fork tender pot roast.” Served with a poached egg, potato hash, white cheddar sauce, and toasted challah, it’s definitive proof that pot roast is a great way to start the day. Make a reservation at Washington Place.
Mity Nice, Chicago, Illinois
On Tuesday nights at Mity Nice, two classic comfort dishes become one. The stylish spot on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile serves a Pot Roast-Stuffed Shells special — we’ll pause while your mind is blown — blanketed in fontina and Asiago cheeses and marinara sauce. With each rich, creamy bite, wonder why no one’s thought of this before. Make a reservation at Mity Nice.
Beatrix Streeterville, Chicago, Illinois
This popular spot in Chicago’s Near North Side is open all day — from coffee and pastries to dinner and cocktails. In the morning, upgrade your breakfast BEC (bacon, egg, and cheese) with the hearty Braised Pot Roast & Egg Sandwich, featuring aged white cheddar and jalapeno relish for a little kick to get your day going. Circle back for your dinnertime pot roast fix with their Slow Braised Short Rib Farrotto and a slice of the Oh My! Caramel Pie. Finally, congratulate yourself on a banner day of eating. Make a reservation at Beatrix Streeterville.
Grill 23 & Bar, Boston, Massachusetts
Opt for something a little different (but no less outstanding) at this celebrated Back Bay steakhouse. The Epic Beef Cheek Pot Roast is roasted for more than six hours for the juiciest, most flavorful result, and plated with sauteed green beans and a sweet pea ebelskiver (i.e. a soft, chewy Danish pancake puff). In keeping with the elegant steakhouse tradition, savor it with a Cabernet or Bordeaux from the restaurant’s impressive wine list. Make a reservation at Grill 23 & Bar.
Brooklyn Diner, New York, New York
Located in the heart of New York’s Times Square, The Brooklyn Diner highlights some of the most renowned dishes of its namesake borough, from the chicken soup with egg noodles and a side of challah, to the Dodger Pot Roast. Called stracotto by the generations of Italians in Brooklyn’s Bay Ridge neighborhood, their version is served with mashed sweet potatoes, pan-roasted broccolini, and the diner’s signature noodle kugel. Take a break from the bright lights and buzz of the city’s busiest neighborhood and tuck into this comforting dish that’s just like Nonna used to make. Make a reservation at Brooklyn Diner.
Spoon and Stable, Minneapolis, Minnesota
At this charming North Loop restaurant, James Beard Award-winning chef Gavin Kaysen offers an elevated twist on the classics with dishes like the Bison Tartare and Wheat Tagliatelle with oregano parmesan-crusted sweetbreads. Dorothy’s Pot Roast — charmingly named for his grandmother — is served in a rosemary broth with mushroom confit and creamy pommes aligot, striking the perfect note of nostalgia with delicious originality. Add foie gras for a truly decadent spin and admit that it’s world’s better than your grammy’s. We won’t tell. Make a reservation at Spoon and Stable.
Durgin-Park, Boston, Massachusetts
While soaking up American history at Boston’s Faneuil Hall, stop in to this equally historic spot for a taste of some quintessential New England fare. Durgin-Park has been in operation for more than a century and dishes out regional classics such as New England clam chowder, Boston baked beans, Boston cream pie (Are you sensing a theme?), and, fittingly, the Yankee Pot Roast. Served with gravy, mashed potatoes, and squash puree, for $15.95, it’s an unbeatable deal. Pair it with a craft beer from their vast selection and toast to a meal our forefathers would appreciate. Make a reservation at Durgin-Park.
Regan Stephens lives in Brooklyn, New York, and when she’s not writing about food or beer, you might find her taking in all the great things about the city (restaurants, museums, plays!), reading on her Kindle, or eating ice cream. Probably the last thing. Say hi on twitter @reganstephens.