I have reached out to many Chefs across the country to get their recommendations on restaurants that are Chef Approved.
Please feel free to respond and share your choices.
Chef Len Elias
Some of Chef Len's Favorites
I have reached out to many Chefs across the country to get their recommendations on restaurants that are Chef Approved. Please feel free to respond and share your choices.
Stay Hungry and Eat Well!
Chef Len Elias
I love a first class, creative, fine dining experience as much as the next chef. But honestly like many chefs, I have a lot of food in my life so when I get a chance to go out, I usually gravitate towards restaurants that have lots of appetizers, small plates and are just plain easy. I look for a restaurant that I can sit at the bar; maybe an outside patio or it’s a unique and interesting venue. I like just about anything that is well prepared and over the top good. I love Hot Dogs as much as I love Foie Gras or Diver Scallops. I have always believed that "it’s not what you do", "but how you do it", it’s about the passion to execute at the highest level.
A few months ago I was in Saint Helena, California. I had driven by this drive-through many times, but never considered stopping to check it out. I see now that it’s had its fair share of notoriety and accolades but its all true. Point Reyes Blue Cheese Burgers, Ahi Tuna Burgers, Killer Tacos, Garlic and Parsley Fries and on and on. I would love to own Gotts (http:/gotts/.com/) and would probably be quite content cooking the best drive through food in the country.
Here are some of my favorite spots in Atlanta
The JCT Kitchen and Bar-Westside=ATL
When people come to town, I love to bring them here first. Great Gastro Pub Fare with Southern Influences amazing views of Downtown from the PatioTons of things to taste and share. Try the Foie Gras PB&J
Chef William Valentine
CEO of Valentine Culinary Consulting
Chef Valentine frequents The “North Fork Table and Inn” Southold, LI, NY where the menu is seasonally inspired, featuring locally grown biodynamic and organic produce, the freshest seafood from the pristine Peconic Bay and Long Island Sound and award winning North Fork artisanal cheese.
Some of the Chef Valentines favorites are Chef Gerard Hayden’s and Chef de Cuisine Kevin Penner’s Raw Hamachi & Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras and the Striped Bass en Barigoule. Another favorite spot is Nick and Toni’s Restaurant, East Hampton NY. Chef Joseph Realmuto cooks up Baby Octopus alla Piastra, (Eggplant Caponata, Wood Roasted Scallion) and the Spaghetti with Jumbo Lump Crab, Balsam Farm Sun-Gold Tomatoes, Local Arugula, and Toasted Bread Crumbs.
Chef Lenny Ventura
Executive Chef at Dolce Hotels & Resorts, Dallas/Fort Worth
Chef Ventura is originally from Chicago where he spent almost 20 years at the Ritz Carlton and Four Seasons. Chef Ventura is a big fan of "The Publican” in Chicago where Executive Chef/Partner Paul Kahan cooks up an eclectic menu inspired by simple farmhouse fare in a space evocative of a European beer hall. Chef Ventura’s favorite dishes would be the Sardine with Tessa, Parmesan-Breadcrumbs & Harissa as well as the Porchetta, which is made with Pesto, Rapini & Pine Nuts. Chef Ventura states don’t miss the Mission Figs, Potato Fry Bread, Crescenza Cheese & Aged Balsamic. Chef Ventura also likes Alinea and states that the seasonal tasting menu is to die for. On a local Dallas-Fort Worth note, one place he likes to go is called the Rodeo Goat, great local beers and great burgers; his favorite burger is the Whiskey Burger.
Mark Sapienza Executive Chef
The Langham Hotel, Boston Mass
Mark Sapienza is one of the best Chefs in Boston and an old friend. We earned our stripes together at Apleys Restaurant an amazing 1980’s Hotel Restaurant located at the Sheraton Boston Hotel. Mark likes Chef Jasper Whites Summer Shack, the quintessential New England Seafood Restaurant. When asked what are some of his favorite dish’s, Chef Mark states, that at some point you have to order Jaspers “Pan Roasted Lobster” with bourbongo for th espei, shallots and chervil. It may be a bit Nostalgic; it was made famous at “Jasper's”; Chef White’s legendary 1980’s era fine dining restaurant. Chef Mark usually goes for the specials, they are always true seasonal dishes, utilizing only what he can be sourced fresh. The Summer Shack is dedicated to fresh, local seafood where up to 50% of sales come off the blackboard specials. Other restaurants on Chef Mark’s list are Chef Barbara Lynch’s No. 9 Park and Legal Seafood’s.