This person needs no introduction. As the face of Food & Wine Magazine (where she's special projects director) and through her role on Top Chef, Gail has become one of the most recognizable and well respected people in food media.
Here are her favorite Los Angeles and New York City restaurants.
gail's "Perfect for" Picks
"Even though it opened less than two years ago, it feels as if Alimento has always been part of the neighborhood. It’s the kind of place where I could happily eat several times a week. Chef Zack Pollack is a pasta genius, well beyond his years. Rush there for his legendary Tortellini in Brodo, rush back again (and again) for everything else."
"Chef Antonia Lofaso (Top Chef star extraordinaire) has a knack for knowing exactly what I want to eat, and then exceeding my expectations. In this case it usually means shrimp toast, spicy Korean wings, buttery corn ravioli, and a deep fried fluffier nutter sandwich, along side any of her fancy cocktails!"
"There aren’t many restaurants in LA where I can sit at the bar and enjoy a perfect omelette and a serious glass of red wine for dinner, which is why I love it here so much. Ludo Lefevre (with partners Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook) goes back to his roots and helps me remember why simple, authentic French food never goes out of style."
"It’s a lavish spot for sure, as much focused on design and vibe as it is on food, but thankfully excels on it all. The menu teems with classic fish and seafood dishes from all over the globe, each with its own distinct, refreshing twist. I was a big fan of Andrew Kirschner’s Tar & Roses down the block, but I think SMYC is even better! There for dinner recently I was struck by his attention to detail from the mid-century furniture and ceramics to the intense, bright flavors and thoughtful presentation of every drink and dish."
"I dream about eating here on a regular basis; the sweet and salty party wings, the grilled fatty pig neck, the lime soaked, chili infused larb, the khao soi covered in chili jam and cilantro, the addictive crab fried rice. And a TOWER of cold Chang Thai beer to wash it all down. Doesn’t that sounds delicious? I assure you it is. Every. Fiery. Bite."
"Boston restaurateurs Tim and Nancy Cushman opened an outpost of their famed sushi den here last year and it couldn’t have made me happier. It’s a special occasion splurge for sure (omakase only) but Tim’s inventive, pristine food is downright drool-worthy."
"My current Italian obsession in a city saturated with pasta, pizza and burrata. The room is so bright, warm and comfortable (what downtown restaurant has a huge skylight in an open kitchen?!) and feels equally perfect for a work lunch, weekend date night or with out-of-town guests. Plus Chef Hilary Sterling is super cool and seems to genuinely be having a blast, cooking modern, delicious food in a badass wood burning oven."
"I love this tiny Chinatown spot for fresh, healthy breakfast and lunch. It’s one of those perfectly curated menus that makes decisions impossible, so I always order way too much. Which is fine since its seems like there is some sort of superfood on every plate."
"It should be noted that Leah Cohen (a former Top Chef contestant) is quietly crushing the Southeast Asian restaurant game on the Lower East Side. For three plus years now she’s been cooking some of the tastiest, most exciting Thai and Filipino food in the city. Every time I eat there I am reminded how vast and diverse these cuisines are, and we have barely scratched the surface!"
"A new favorite hang in my Brooklyn neighborhood, a collaboration between the kids who brought us Mile End and Rucola. I am crazy about their smartly crafted drinks as well as their simple, seafood-focused menu. What can I say, I’m a sucker for a good raw bar and a smoky blended scotch cocktail…plus it’s got a casual, awesome vibe and is walking distance from my house."