It used to be that most restaurants kept their chef and all their cooks tucked away in the back of the house, well out of

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Best View From the Inside

Crush

It used to be that most restaurants kept their chef and all their cooks tucked away in the back of the house, well out of public view. And this was smart, since in many cases the swells in the dining room really didn't want to see the kind of people who were cooking their dinner. And it was good for the cooks too, because being shut away from the public meant they could play their own music and behave as badly as they wanted without ever breaking the illusion that the kitchen was staffed by nothing but quiet geniuses, serious about their craft. This all changed with the advent of the open kitchen—a development that changed galley culture forever by bringing the customer right into the bash and clamor of a working kitchen. And while this was not always the best idea, one of the places it works best is Crush, where the cooks don't just pretend to be geniuses and artists and careful, quiet masters of their craft, but actually are. Dinner at Crush is an incredible experience no matter where you sit, but to pull a stool up to the bar counter and watch the white jackets work is a special kind of thrill: It allows you to bear witness not only to the result of brilliance and years of rigorous training from Beard Award–winning chef Jason Wilson, but the actual process as well—watching every move as your dinner comes together right before your eyes. —Jason Sheehan 2319 E. Madison St., 302-7874

 
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