Pullman among Esquire’s ‘Best New Restaurants’ | PostIndependent.com

Pullman among Esquire’s ‘Best New Restaurants’

John StroudPost Independent StaffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Charles Engelbert photo

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The Pullman is not only one of the finest new dining establishments locally. It’s one of the best new restaurants in America, according to Esquire Magazine Food and Travel Correspondent John Mariani.Mariani has included The Pullman among 20 new restaurants – in places like New York, Boston, New Orleans, Chicago and San Francisco – on the magazine’s annual list of “Best New Restaurants of 2011.”The list featuring Mariani’s “Restaurant of the Year,” “Chef of the Year” and “Design of the Year,” among other honors, is included in Esquire’s November issue. The latest edition hits newsstands Oct. 18.”This is an honor that’s just beyond my comprehension,” said Pullman chef-owner Mark Fischer in a phone interview from New York City, where he and his wife, Lari, attended the awards dinner on Monday.”It’s something you don’t really appreciate until you hear your name along with all these other great restaurants and chefs,” he said. “To be included in that group is an honor of great magnitude.”Fischer and his wife also own Restaurant Six89 and Phat Thai in Carbondale. They opened The Pullman on Seventh Street in Glenwood Springs at the beginning of this year.The new restaurant was an instant hit, with its unique menu including dishes such as bacon beignets with a maple crema, pierogi with caramelized onions, truffled potato and scallion crme fraiche, and Colorado lamb shoulder with lemon risotto and mint-almond gremolata.And don’t forget the whoopie pie with cola ice cream, suggests Esquire’s Mariani.”A casual restaurant that sums up everything good about American omnivorism right now,” Mariani writes. “Chef-owner Mark Fischer has come up with a menu on which there’s nothing you won’t want to try.”Fischer said he’s been reading Mariani’s columns for many years. His other restaurants have gotten a good word in previous articles. “He happened to visit us on a good night,” Fischer said of Mariani’s visit to The Pullman this past spring.”The honor is really due to the labors of other people,” he said of his restaurant staff. “They do most of the heavy lifting, and help make me look good. It’s something that motivates all of us to get better at what we do.”The Monday awards dinner was held at one of the other new restaurants on the list, New York’s Boulud Sud.”The food world is currently experiencing a trend mashup,” Mariani writes of this year’s honorees. “The best chefs and restaurateurs are leaving behind the recent comfort-food fad and heading off in strange new directions – pop-ups, comebacks, smaller small plates, bigger big plates, richer dishes, lighter touches.”It’s all a little confusing, and much of it is wonderful. With this list, Esquire celebrates the wonderful,” he writes.Earning honors as this year’s Restaurant of the Year is Michael Mina, a San Francisco establishment named for its famous chef. Chef of the Year is John Sedlar of Restaurant Playa in Los Angeles, and Design of the Year goes to San Francisco’s Twenty Five Lusk.Also making the Best New list with The Pullman are, from Boston: Legal Harborside, Tico and Towne Stove and Spirits; from Chicago: Chicago Cut Steakhouse; from Austin, Texas: Congress; from New York: Ai Fiori, Boulud Sud, Lincoln Ristorante, Millesime and Salinas; from Miami Beach, Fla.: 1500˚; from New Orleans: Dominique’s on Magazine; from Los Angeles: Ray’s & Stark Bar and Sotto; from San Francisco: Cotogna; and from Washington, D.C.: Fiola.For more on Esquire’s 2011 Best New Restaurants, visit http://www.esquire.com/best-restaurants-2011.jstroud@postindependent.com

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