There are those who would have us believe that burgers are yesterday’s news. To them, I say, please visit ABC Kitchen, the stylish restaurant-within-a-showroom in New York City that Esquire magazine this week named 2010’s Best New Restaurant. Plunk down $21 and enjoy ABC Kitchen’s Akaushi Cheeseburger with herbed mayo and pickled jalapeños. There’s nothing yesterday about it.
Akaushi is a Japanese Wagyu-family cattle breed that only Chef-restaurateur Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who created ABC Kitchen, would think to make into a burger. But if one of the world’s great chefs is still finding new ways to make a burger, it’s today’s news.
Burgers also find a place on the menus of eight of the other 19 restaurants on Esquire’s list of this year’s best new restaurants:
Θ Bibiana, Washington, D.C.
No burgers here, but it boasts an amazing list of house-make salumi.
Θ Bistro Niko, Atlanta
Le Grand “Bleu Burger”: Rouge et Noir Bleu Cheese, brioche bun, Bibb lettuce, tomato, pickled red onion ($12)
Θ Cook & Brown, Providence, R.I.
C&B Burger: Cheddar, caramelized onion, Russian, house-made pickles ($12)
Θ Culina, Los Angeles
JC Burger: Short-rib burger with caramelized and crispy onions, Maytag blue cheese, tomato, brioche ($24)Turkey burger with spicy tomato pesto, avocado, mozzarella, Mediterranean ciabatta ($19)
Θ Epic, Chicago
Cheeseburger Sliders with house-made butter pickles ($9; lounge menu only)
Θ Frances, San Francisco
No burgers but there are applewood-smoked bacon beignets.
Θ Gather, Berkeley, Calif.
Prather Ranch Burger: Sierra Nevada Cheddar, aïoli, caramelized shallot-tomato sauce ($13)
Θ Haven, Houston
Texas Gold Cheddar Burger with house-made tater tots, smoked ketchup ($12)
Θ Julian Serrano, Las Vegas
The glittery, new Aria Resort & Casino in Vegas’s CityCenter isn’t the place ot go for burgers.
Θ Kalu Asian Kitchen, Charlotte, N.C.
Burgers at Chef Bryan Emperor’s sushi/susume restaurant? Um, no.
Θ Longman & Eagle, Chicago
Slagel Family Farms Burger: Aged Windmer’s Cheddar, Neuske’s bacon, brioche bun ($12)
Θ Maialino, New York City
No burgers, but Exec Chef Nick Anderer’s Malfatti al Maialino (Suckling Pig Ragu & Arugula) sounds awfully good, too.
Θ Menton, Boston
Burgers on Chef Barbara Lynch’s $95 prix-fixe or $145 chef’s tasting menu? Not a chance.
Θ Miller Union, Atlanta
“The Daily Grind” cheeseburger with all the trimmings and french fries ($13)
Θ O-Ku, Charleston, S.C.
You’re just not going to find a burger on a sushi menu that includes Kanpachi with Himalayan salt dust. You’re just not.
Θ Red O, Los Angeles
Chef Rick Bayless knows Mexican street food. But not burgers.
Θ Samar, Dallas
Chef-owner Stephen Pyles’ ode to the foods of India, Spain and the Eastern Mediterranean has kebobs but no burgers.
Θ SD26, New York City
Tony May’s successor to his legendary San Domenico lists 24 cheeses on its menu, but none is available on a burger.