You know how it is on the Web. I was looking something up and somehow came across Boston chef Ana Sortun (Oleana) mentioning that she’d used the app Chefs Feed for restaurant recommendations on a recent trip to Seattle and liked it.
I downloaded the free app and played around with it a little. It’s pretty nifty. And hey, Sortun contributes her own suggestions for Boston-area eating.
Here’s the way it works:
You choose a city for your home page -- L.A., naturally, but it could also be any of more than 20 cities, including London, Toronto and Vancouver. The app can also detect where you are and show you “Dishes Nearby.”
At this writing, for example, I’m 1.9 miles from prosciutto and arugula pizza at Mother Dough. When I click on the name, I get all the relevant information (including the fact that it's currently closed because it only serves dinner) plus a link to Mother Dough’s website. And below that, chef reviews -- Michael Cimarusti of Providence has this to say: “Care and attention go into every pizza that comes from this tiny shrine to wood, flour, water, and wild yeasts.”
I’m 2.1 miles from chubby pork belly at Chego too. And that is open. Ben Bailly of Public Kitchen & Bar says in his review: “The pork belly bowl offers a well-balanced dish of spicy and sweet flavors; the jalapeños, sour cream sauce, cilantro, and watermelon radishes make it my favorite dish on their menu.” Well said, Ben.
A list of featured dishes, such as sushi at Sugarfish or Gal-bi at Park’s BBQ or even the chef’s tasting menu at Providence shows up next on the home screen. Then there are featured chefs, namely Roy Choi (A-Frame), Nancy Silverton (Osteria Mozza), Michael Voltaggio (ink), Andrew Kirschner (Tar & Roses) and more, each with their favorite dishes -- at other restaurants. That's a pretty great crew to advise you.
Some chefs recommend just a few. Others go hog wild, like David LeFevre of Manhattan Beach Post, who cites the NOLA-style shrimp boil at The Hart and the Hunter as one of his faves. And who knew? David Myers of Comme Ca has a thing for the crackling beer can chicken at A-Frame. Joe Miller of Bar Pintxo likes the kimchee at Beverly Soon Tofu Restaurant? And Karen Hatfield of Hatfield’s favors the Southern fried chicken salad at Tender Greens?
You can also follow chefs and their latest recommendations will show up in your feed. It's also fun to see which chefs across the country have just joined the app and follow them as well.
Some cities are more active than others. London, for the moment, seems a bit thin on chefs. New York City, though, has lots of chefs to follow, including Carlo Mirarchi of Roberta’s, Brooks Headley of Del Posto, Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar, Dan Kluger of ABC Kitchen, Daniel Boulud of Daniel, Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park and many more. These are major talents telling you what they like to eat in their own city.
I like it. How can I pass up the veal and pepper sandwich at the wine bar Terroir now that I know it’s one of David Chang’s favorite dishes? Or the regular slice of Joe’s Pizza that Mario Carbone of Torrisi Italian Specialties favors?
No smartphone? You can also go to the Chefs Feed site and get the same info.