In an open letter to newbie WGN morning host Greg Jarrett (cross-published in both the Tribune and R&I Mag), Phil Vettel offers up his suggestions of where the San Francisco transplant ought to be eating. No real surprises on the list — the Beard Award-winning trifecta of Charlie Trotter's, Alinea, and the Bayless joints; a Chicago-originals tour of Italian beef at Mr Beef, chicken vesuvio at Harry Caray's, and the obligatory Pizzeria Uno pilgrimage. But it's the laundry list of Vettel's favorite ethno-genre-driven dining destinations that's particularly breathless:
Heaven on Seven for Cajun, Santorini for Greek, Lao Sze Chuan or Emperor's Choice for Chinese (but Phoenix for dim sum), Udupi Palace for Indian (vegetarian too), Cafe Iberico or Emilio's for tapas, Keefer's for bistro French (it's really a steakhouse, but I like chef John Hogan's French dishes there), Table Fifty-Two for white-tablecloth Southern and Wishbone for down-home Southern. Arun's for Thai, Salpicon for Mexican, Reza's for Persian and Middle-Eastern cooking, and Mercat a la Planxa for Spanish. Sunda for pan-Asian dishes, and Viet Bistro for Vietnamese. Aigre Doux for its global menu. Spiaggia for formal Italian. Piccolo Sogno for casual Italian. Anteprima for neighborhood Italian. Everest for formal French. Cafe Des Architectes for casual French. Le Bouchon for neighborhood French.
Among top American restaurants, make time for Boka, Crofton on Wells, Eve, graham elliot, Hot Chocolate, mk, North Pond, one sixtyblue, Province, Sepiaand, out west, Vie. Eat at a Paul Kahan restaurant. Blackbird, Avec, The Publican. Pick one.
Pick one? How many of Vettel's can't miss restaurants have you eaten at so far? Even better: how many do you think are completely missing the mark?
[Photo: morel pizza at one sixtyblue, via RIA]