tonys.JPG
While Brian Canlis feasted on Michael White's cappelletti, I ate spaghetti with meat sauce at Tony's in Atlantic City. No fooling.
At this very moment,

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Seattle's Beard Delegation Devours the Big Apple

tonys.JPG
While Brian Canlis feasted on Michael White's cappelletti, I ate spaghetti with meat sauce at Tony's in Atlantic City. No fooling.
At this very moment, the nation's top chefs are converging on Lincoln Center for the James Beard Foundation awards, the event that ostensibly drew all of them to New York this weekend.

But for many chefs, the ceremony also provides a convenient excuse for checking out the city's top restaurants. Award nominees and judges carefully plot their Big Apple dining dates, jiggering their schedules to accommodate visits to favorite haunts and buzzy new eateries.

While my abbreviated trip to New York this weekend didn't allow for any fancy meals, I managed to snag creamed herring and a bialy at Russ & Daughters; sample the broccoli rabe and anchovy focaccia at Eataly; and enjoy a superb post-awards dinner at Yakitori Totto (hooray for late-night agedashi tofu and tori zousui, a congee-like porridge that our sherpa John Kessler suggested.)

Seattle's other delegates have been eating their way through the city, too:

"I've been going crazy for crudo this trip," e-mails Voracious contributor Leslie Kelly. She was especially impressed by hamachi at Eataly and sea bream at John Dory Oyster Bar, the April Bloomfield production that surfaced on many James Beard participants' must-eat lists.

Brian Canlis, in town to possibly claim a best service award for Canlis, rated pasta at Michael White's Morini Osteria Romagnola--which Canlis calls "a little baby Marea"--as the most memorable dish of his trip.

According to the menu, Canlis had "truffled mascarpone ravioli, melted butter, and prosciutto." He describes the experience in more emotional terms.

"After my first bite, I cried a little bit," Canlis says. "It was insane. The guy can do pasta like nobody's business."

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