The NRA Restaurant Show is a month away— so if you’re an attendee, you’re already screwed for snagging a reservation at a lot of hot spots people are talking about. Restaurant Hospitality published a list of places to consider while you’re in town that makes for an interesting window on how somebody sees our town from outside. The list has clearly been calculated with a few parameters in mind— they’re new (since many attendees come here every year), they’re almost all big places (the exception being Sumi Robata Bar), they’re downtownish— and not least, they’re all places that you have a realistic chance of getting into; there’s no point in hyping Next or Goosefoot or Girl & the Goat on this list.
And the reality is, the show is not about fine dining but the industry as a whole, so this isn’t a ten-best list but, more profitably perhaps, ten places that are likely to influence other places by the nature and scope of their operations. So yes, Grace is on there, but so are much more casual big cheffy places like BellyQ, and so is the latest thing from one of the industry’s most-admired figures (Bub City), and so are some other mega-operations which impress for size and celebrity (Howells & Hood, Siena Tavern). So check it out to see what the trade thinks the trade should pay attention to— even if it isn’t always where you’d suggest to a visitor. [Restaurant Hospitality]