After a week of serving others, there's no greater reward than to be served on a day off. Here is where some of the top culinary talent in America go to grub when they have time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of someone else's labor. Try their recommendations, because - as we like to say - chefs know best.
1) Chef Rick Tramonto, founding partner at Chicago's famed prix fixe French restaurant Tru and chef at New Orleans' Restaurant R'evolution, likes to frequent Girl & the Goat when he's in the windy city. The menu is full of small plates to suit many tastes: oysters, kohlrabi salad with fennel and shitake, salmon tartare, fresh baked artisan bread, and goat prepared four different ways (mousse, carpaccio, empanadas, confit).
(left: hiramasi crudo, right: woodfired oysters)
2) William Dissen, over at Asheville's Marketplace Restaurant & Lounge, likes to keep it casual. On his day off he either goes to All Souls Pizza or Tacos Jilasco. All Souls mills their own flour and polenta, and sources their produce as close to the Smoky Mountains as possible.
(photo credit Johnny Autry)
4) Chef Matthew Kajdan of Parlor Market in Jackson, MS frequents Walker's Drive-In. Walker's is a new American restaurant, revered by Yelpers, open for lunch and dinner. The name can fool you, because Walker's is no drive-in. Dinner entrees include: wagyu hanger steak, pan roasted gulf grouper, and a local favorite dish called redfish anna.
5) "By Hand" chef and forager Tyler Williams picks Century House Tavern in Woodstock, GA. The colorful and quaint restaurant is located inside a century old house in the historic downtown district. The kitchen is run by another Best Chef, Bacchanalia alumni Daniel Purobianski, who cooks contemporary American fusion cuisine.