Emmer & Rye
Rather than just a pastiche of food trends or cultural appropriation, the dishes here are original and cerebral. This is food for serious eaters. You can order from a menu of small plates perfect for sharing or wait as trolleys are wheeled to your table loaded with tidbits that feature a seasonal or hyperlocal ingredient, like a surprisingly delicate raw Gulf oyster with a zesty red tomato relish (it almost overwhelmed the poor bivalve). Wheat is the restaurant’s inspiration, and it was a good thing the bread cart came mid-meal: we kept stuffing ourselves with the Red Marquis boule, alternating bites dolloped with cloudlike romanesco cream and fresh butter with a fermented note. Course strands of durum wheat spaghetti with challerhocker cheese in a cacio e pepe–style sauce is a perennial favorite. An avocado salad with local chile pequins balanced the cellulose frenzy.
Cuisine: New American