Little For Vegetarians In Daily Meal’s ‘101 Best Restaurants in America’ (But Plenty Of Sea Urchin)

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The editors at The Daily Meal have released their list of the “101 Best Restaurants in America” for 2013. The process of compiling the list starts with editor recommendations and ends with a panel of 174 food critics, cookbook writers, food bloggers and others in the food business. The end result is a pan-regional restaurant list with lots of interesting-sounding menus but surprisingly bland-looking decor and not a single restaurant that specializes in vegetarian food.

There are plenty of lot of what look like hotel restaurants and French fare. There are also plenty that sound creative and delicious, like The Barn at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tenn, which serves truly farm-to-table “Foothills Cuisine, a term that has actually been copyrighted … a dynamic menu of Smoky Mountain regional dishes with a global flair;” The Publican in Chicago, with its communal seats, hanging globes, fresh oysters, cured meats and daily pickles; or Zahav in Philadelphia, a “modern Israeli” restaurant serving persimmon salad with Bulgarian feta and olives, date and hazelnut rugelach and “one of the largest arrays of boutique Israeli wines outside the country itself.”

What there’s very little of is anything resembling vegetarian fare; I went through the list specifically looking for vegetarian-friendly restaurants to highlight and found none. But here are 15 dishes that were highlighted from Daily Meal’s best restaurants:

1. Fried pig’s ear and watermelon summer salad
2. Santa Barbara sea urchin with soft scrambled eggs and champagne beurre blanc
3. Glazed pork shoulder with tuna cream risotto and trout roe
4. Crispy pig head with salsa macho
5. Sea urchin tarte flambée
6. Crostini with lardo and sea urchin
7. Antelope with cactus pear glaze, rabbit enchilada, and jicama slaw
8. Confit and roasted milk-fed pig’s head with Peking pancakes
9. Grass-fed veal with chicories, caper berries, and Seville orange
10. Saffron malloreddus with bone marrow and fennel
11. Oxtail ravioli
12. Terrine of lamb with preserved lemon and pistachio,
13. Smoked lamb belly roulade with confit Brussels sprouts and pepper jelly
14. Oven-baked black sea bass with syrah sauce and bone-marrow-crusted sweet potato
15. Sea urchin and avocado steamed buns

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    • Jessie

      I consider myself a fairly adventurous eater. But I don’t think Im interested in anything containing ‘bone marrow’ (because it makes me feel a little cannibalistic) or ‘Pigs head’ specifically when it is also ‘milk fed’ (because…no…).