Thursday, May 26, 2016

More love for Shaya and Cane & Table from national magazines

Posted By on Thu, May 26, 2016 at 5:56 PM

click to enlarge Chef Alon Shaya. - COURTESY BESH RESTAURANT GROUP
  • Chef Alon Shaya.
Chef Alon Shaya's namesake restaurant is on a roll. The restaurant was named Best New Restaurant in America at the James Beard Foundation awards in May, and Shaya was named Best Chef: South by the group in 2015. Esquire's Tom Junod named Shaya the magazine's restaurant of the year in March. And Shaya (4213 Magazine St., 504-891-4213) also drew recent accolades from Saveur and Garden & Gun, among others.

This week, GQ included Shaya among its top restaurants in America. Written by New Orleanian Brett Martin, the survey explores dining trends from New York to Los Angeles, as well as cities less well known for dining, such as Atlanta. Martin reflects on everything from yacht club restaurants to more casual concepts, such as David Chang's chicken sandwich concept Fuku, and Shake Shack creator Danny Meyer's Chick'n Shack. 

It's in extolling the virtues of simpler things, such as cabbage and pita bread, that he arrives at Shaya:

"It is nothing less than astonishing that the number one culinary destination in the city of gumbo should be, at the moment, a high-end Israeli restaurant. When I moved to New Orleans, not six years ago, the city was still giddy about finally getting a modern regional-Italian spot, at least a decade after the rest of the country had learned to take handmade pasta for granted. As it happens, the chef of that Italian place, Domenica, was and is Alon Shaya, and his strengths come into full flower at his new namesake."

Today, Esquire published David Wondrich's list of the magazine's 18 Best Bars in America. It includes Caribbean-themed Cane & Table (1113 Decatur St., 504-581-1112). In the brief, Wondrich explains:

"Why you're here: Because this new New Orleans favorite gives a word like distressed a good name. A few years back, when the owners of Cure, the city's seminal craft-cocktail bar (Best Bars, 2011), took over a vodka-and-absinthe bar a block from the old French Market, they had the good sense to rip out the features and expose the old bones lying beneath. They continued to exploit that good sense by stocking the place with rum, as if to remind us that should you sail southeast from New Orleans, the first place you'll hit is Havana."

Wondrich is a regular visitor to New Orleans and a regular presenter and participant at the annual bartending industry and craft cocktail event Tales of the Cocktail.

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