Wow! What a year it's been. It's been a truly magical 2015. I've had some amazing meals in NYC, and beyond. I ate pretty much every meal out. 2015 was the year I explored what America has to offer on the culinary scene, besides the love of my life, New York City. With trips to Nashville, New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Charleston, I can tell you that the food in America is better than ever.
New Orleans is amazing. It has a lot to offer in the food world, and not to be missed are two of the best restaurants in the country: Shaya and Cochon Butcher. Shaya, is Chef Alon Shaya's modern Israeli restaurant and it's unbelievable. Besides serving some of the best bread in the country, the price point is-on point. Go. Cochon Butcher is serving some of the Best sandwiches in our country. Go. And they just opened an outpost in Nashville.
Nashville is another great town. It's fun, and the culinary scene is picking up steam. Besides Cochon Butcher, check out Husk and Rolf and Daughters for sure. My favorite bite in Nashville came from one of the only restaurants I'll ever wait in line for their food. Hattie B's Hot Chicken. Worth the wait.
The culinary scene in Los Angeles is beaming as of late. I had some great meals in 2015 in LA. Cassia in Santa Monica is a must. Gjusta Bakery in Venice Beach is also a must. If you like steak and meat, Chi Spacca should not be missed. Everyone loves the cult favorite Sugarfish, which is fab, but check out the newly opened Tsuri on Melrose too. Similar to Sugarfish, it matches awesome sushi with a great price point. #magical
My last days of 2015 have been spent in the charming city of Charleston. Their food scene is top notch. Not to be missed is the wonderful FIG, and for a true taste of the South, for fried chicken and sides, and an ambiance and staff that can't be replicated, Martha Lou's Kitchen is a must.
And then we have my girl, New York City. The love of my life. My home. It was a great year in the culinary food world in NYC and I had plenty of amazing meals. Two of my favorite newcomers were, the LES Greek joint Kiki's, and the East Village Korean joint Oiji. Kiki's is laid back and cool, matched with great Greek fare. I had every dish on the menu at Oiji, and loved every bite.
If you are a sushi lover like me, then you must check out Shuko, one of the best restaurants to open this year as well. Their Omakase is spectacular.
The best pastrami sandwich in NYC, if not the World, is being served at the 2015 opened Harry & Ida's Meat Supply Co. This general store of sorts is special. And you need to go.
The new Mission Chinese 2.0 was also a showstopper this year. In it's new space it has developed into something bigger and better. Extremely fun place, and I'm excited for what it has in store for us in 2016.
In fact, the entire LES crushed it in 2015. Besides Mission Chinese and Kiki's, you got two amazing spots on Orchard Street, Wildair and Wassail. Both are worth a trip. I found myself most weeks devouring the grain and crudite salad (fully loaded) at El Rey Luncheonette on Stanton. Also on Orchard, the Chinese joint Fung Tu does not get enough praise as it should. It's great. Major Food Group's Dirty French gave us a delicious Chicken for Two. And I continued to be wowed by Russ and Daughters Cafe, also on Orchard, and also one of NYC's Best restaurants.
I predicted last year that this would be the year of the market/food hall. And I was correct! With the opening of UrbanSpace Vanderbilt near Grand Central, and City Kitchen in Times Square confirmed that, with much more to come. I'm excited to see what Anthony Bourdain has to offer in the future with his big planned food hall.
I also noticed how huge and influential Instagram has become. I have become more and more addicted to it. My following is growing. But, I have noticed now, everyone with a smart phone think they are a food photographer, review, influencer. I'm curious to see how long this Instagram boom lasts. It's bound to crash at some point, and the next big social media storm will take over. Until then, I'm gonna keep on eating at restaurants. Like crazy. All day, every day.
What's next for 2016 for the Foodie Magician? I plan on exploring more of the World. Traveling outside of the U.S. to check out the food in other countries. And, some more TV coming too. Look out. Have an amazing and magical New Year! Lets eat soon!
All The Best,
The Foodie Magician