Esquire critic John Mariani dropped his annual list of America's Best New Restaurants today, and the winner for Chef of the Year turns out to be far from new: industry vet Michael Chiarello took home the prize for Coqueta. Frustratingly, said accolade doesn't appear to be anywhere on the Web, but it can be imagined that Chiarello was hailed for his seamless shift from Italian to Spanish cuisine, which also earned 3.5 stars from Michael Bauer and has made the 50-odd-seat restaurant one of the city's toughest-to-snag reservations. Alternatively, he could be getting the nod for his skill at knocking back porrónes with guests, but that seems less likely.
The overall Best New Restaurant prize went to NYC's Betony (also nowhere to be found on the Esquire Web site), while L.A.'s Hinoki & the Bird and Trois Mec and Marina del Rey's Paiche were among the 20 members of the list honored. Mariani is generally fond of SF's dining scene, having awarded Michael Mina the Restaurant of the Year prize in 2011, and given the Chef of the Year prize to Gather's Sean Baker in 2010. Last year, State Bird Provisions and AQ made his longlist, and Brasserie S&P's Adam Mali was named a chef to watch.
Here are all of Esquire's 2013 Best New Restaurants:
· Betony, New York City
· Blue Dragon, Boston
· Bronwyn, Somerville, Massachusetts
· Carriage House, Chicago
· Coqueta, San Francisco
· Del Campo, Washington, D.C.
· The Elm, Brooklyn
· Embeya, Chicago
· Hinoki & the Bird, Los Angeles
· Juni, New York
· King + Duke, Atlanta
· Mariza, New Orleans
· MC Kitchen, Miami
· The Ordinary, Charleston, S.C.
· Paiche, Marina del Rey, CA
· Rolf and Daughters, Nashville
· Spoon Bar & Kitchen, Dallas
· Stampede 66, Dallas
· Trois Mec, Los Angeles
· Virtù, Scottsdale
Update, October 8, 11:58 am: Michael Chiarello's win as Esquire Chef of the Year yesterday was marred by a lack of Web completeness, as Esquire forgot to actually put up the content from the magazine. They've fixed the error, and here it is in all its glory. "[Coqueta] has a bighearted buzz...I've never eaten better food in Spain," writes Mariani.
· Esquire Announces 2013 Best New Restaurants List [~ EN ~]
· Sean Baker of Gather Named Esquire Chef of the Year [~ ESF ~]
· Eater Inside: Coqueta [~ ESF ~]
[Photo: Carolyn Jung]