Best New Restaurant - 2012
The Dutch is an American-roots-inspired restaurant (and oyster bar) that takes homestyle foods such as roast chicken and braised short ribs and then shapes them for big-city palates. It is a partnership among New York restaurateurs Andrew Carmellini, Josh Pickard, and Luke Ostrom (who operate a Dutch in New York's SoHo neighborhood) and Karim Masri and Nicola Siervo of Miami's Quattro Gastronomia Italiana, Sosta, and Wall Lounge. Although the Dutch premiered November 14, 2011, it is new in ways beyond the opening date. For instance, let's compare a typical stale restaurant concept ("old") to the Dutch ("new"):Old: The head chef previously helmed the kitchen at a place called Fondue & Brew.New: Andrew Carmellini is a two-time James Beard Award winner with a few hugely popular New York City restaurants, a couple of cookbooks under his belt, and national recognition as a topnotch culinary talent.Old: Flowing white drapes, monochromatic décor — a sophisticated-chic look.New: White brick walls lined with bookcases, blond-wood tables, bursts of color, and an elegant yet casual look.Old: Fried calamari ($15), followed by macadamia-crusted grouper in mango sauce ($30).New: Lobster salad with palms hearts, mangoes, and cucumber ($22), followed by crispy branzino ($28).Old: A square of tiramisu ($8) or a commercially produced, sugar-laden wedge of cake with raspberry purée squiggled on the plate ($8).New: Fresh pies baked daily ($12), toasted-almond panna cotta with yuzu sauce and fresh raspberries ($12), or any or all of seven artisanal American cheeses ($12 to $19).Old: Lots of hype, not much else.New: Lots of hype, with the food, drink, ambiance, and attitude to back it up.