The breakfast spaghetti at San Morello in Detroit. // Photo courtesy of San Morello
The breakfast spaghetti at San Morello in Detroit. // Photo courtesy of San Morello

Dining Access Hit ListNational

Ten Restaurants That Define Great American Cooking Right Now

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“Dinner is a meeting place for the sharpest minds, the most heroic hearts, the most independent spirits,” is how Balzac put it, and even if that was nearly two centuries ago, who are we to disagree?

That’s to say: A great meal is far more than the sum of its parts. It’s a chance to be thrilled for a couple of hours, to take delight in how a great cook sees pleasure in the world.  And in America today, there is so much opportunity to be excited by great cooking as never before — yes, after 15 months of pandemic and crisis for restaurants, and yes, in a time of great change. American cooking no longer need make apologies to anyone (take that, Balzac).

It’s important, though, to consider that fact through the prism of what it means to be a great restaurant today. Sure, American chefs have long had fancy cooking down. But that’s not what we’re talking about. Brilliance comes in many guises nowadays; great cuisine invokes the full range of American traditions. It could come in the form of a revolutionary reconsideration of Korean banchan in New York. Or the best of modern Mexican cooking making itself known in Los Angeles. It could be an homage to great Midwest pizza, or a chill New Orleans dining room where you can experience the symbiosis of all that city’s many influences.

It’s why we don’t even like to talk anymore about “fine dining.” Instead, “great cooking” feels more appropriate today, reflecting the idea that both food and setting have evolved in American cuisine.

With all that in mind, we wanted to highlight 10 restaurants that we think prove our point. And there’s a twist: All are part of American Express’ latest benefit for premium card members: Global Dining Access by Resy. This new program not only highlights some of the best cooking across the country (and eventually beyond), it also can reward diners with exclusive access to those tables.

Moreover, we’ll be coming back to you each month with an updated list of 10. That habit might feel familiar if you know our Hit List — which has defined Resy since the very beginning. You can consider this our Hit List to the best of dining across the country — and the best of Global Dining Access. Each month, we’ll highlight can’t-miss tables from coast to coast — to enjoy whether you’re at home, or on the road.

So let’s get to it. There’s Priyanka Chopra Jonas’ swank new Indian boîte in New York; Denver’s epic tribute to Israeli cooking from celebrated New Orleans chef Alon Shaya; unforgettable cocktails and unforgettably hedonistic vegan food in Atlanta; and much more. Dive into our debut Dining Access Hit List — and explore some of the most pleasurable cooking that America has to offer today.

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