Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Best Restaurant Between New York and Chicago?


Leonard Kim
 Share

Recommended Posts

This is just one of those random, "people-state-your-opinion" questions. In 1997, R.W. Apple wrote in the New York Times that Tribute, near Detroit, "may be the best restaurant between New York and Chicago," an opinion that understandably still gets trotted out today (for example, it leads the "Accolades" section of their website.) My parents ate there recently, and my father, who admittedly said the meal was wonderful, came across that line and nevertheless thought it must be an overstatement. I explained to him that line was written over ten years ago and though it may have been true at the time, it may well be an overstatement now. But that raises the obvious question, what is the best restaurant between New York and Chicago?

"Between New York and Chicago," is obviously ill-defined. By car, there actually isn't all that much in-between, and if that's what Apple had in mind, the statement becomes less impressive than it sounds -- really just Detroit and Cleveland. A less direct route might encompass Pittsburgh. I don't think he could've meant a pure east-west demarcation (that would include Philadelphia, D.C., Toronto, Atlanta, Miami, etc.), and that would make the exercise less interesting besides.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Between New York and Chicago," is obviously ill-defined.  By car, there actually isn't all that much in-between, and if that's what Apple had in mind, the statement becomes less impressive than it sounds -- really just Detroit and Cleveland.  A less direct route might encompass Pittsburgh.  I don't think he could've meant a pure east-west demarcation (that would include Philadelphia, D.C., Toronto, Atlanta, Miami, etc.), and that would make the exercise less interesting besides.

I don't see how Philadelphia wouldn't fit the description. Incidentally, I would offer it as the home to the best restaurants between New York and Chicago (the fact that I just returned from Philadelphia has nothing to do with this). If you wanted me to name one specific restaurant, I'd be tempted to offer Vetri, where I recently had two very good dinners.

But, I fail to see how this inquiry falls under the purview of "The Heartland."

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

By car, there actually isn't all that much in-between, and if that's what Apple had in mind, the statement becomes less impressive than it sounds -- really just Detroit and Cleveland. 

Detroit is a major detour from the driving route I've taken to Chicago from New York City (through PA and Ohio). Toledo is en route, but from there it's about 60 miles north to Detroit one way. Or, if you take a northern route through Buffalo to intersect with Detroit, it adds about 130 miles to the trip. So I think the claim is more colloquial: "West of New York and east of Chicago and not too far north or south of either."

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Detroit is a major detour from the driving route I've taken to Chicago from New York City (through PA and Ohio). Toledo is en route, but from there it's about 60 miles north to Detroit one way. Or, if you take a northern route through Buffalo to intersect with Detroit, it adds about 130 miles to the trip. So I think the claim is more colloquial: "West of New York and east of Chicago and not too far north or south of either."

And, of course, then you get into the arbitrary definition of what is "not too far north or south of either". Downtown Cleveland, home of Lola, is 25-30 miles from I-80. Is that "not too far"? The small Lake Erie town of Vermilion, home of Chez Francois, requires a detour of 15 miles. South Bend, where LaSalle Grill is located, is right along the Toll Road. Toledo straddles the Toll Road, too, although its dining offerings are not as impressive since Diva closed.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

But, I fail to see how this inquiry falls under the purview of "The Heartland."

I stuck it here because it started with Apple's comment about Tribute. Obviously it's a fuzzy statement, but on the east side, I'm personally taking it to mean, "not on the East Coast," which excludes Philadelphia. As I said in my original post, I think the exercise is probably most interesting if you take it to largely mean Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, etc. Or perhaps more to the point, given Michigan's woes, is there a place in, say, Cleveland, that takes the laurels, surpassing Michigan places like Tribute, the Lark, etc. (and not much of an etc. at that)?

Edited by Leonard Kim (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...