For food lovers who prefer to dine in their jeans but still have discerning taste buds, a new list of the top gourmet casual restaurants serves as a handy guide to the best addresses across the US.
At the top of Opinionated About Dining's top 100+ US Gourmet Casual 2017 restaurants list is Husk, in Charleston, South Carolina -- no big surprise within the food world.
Helmed by Sean Brock, both the chef and restaurant have received a string of accolades over the years, including titles like best new restaurant by Bon Appetit magazine in 2011 and multiple James Beard award nominations in categories of best chef and outstanding restaurant.
Diners flock to the restaurant for Husk's take on new Southern cuisine and for a culinary philosophy that aims to revive lost and forgotten flavors of the old South.
The overarching motto?
"If it doesn't come from the South, it's not coming through the door," Brock says.
On the menu, that translates to a benne or local sesame seed and honey lacquered duck with pickled blueberries and chanterelles; crispy heirloom pork collar served with cornbread puree and greasy beans; and sassafras glazed pork ribs with pickled peaches and "Rev. Taylor" butter beans.
While a Southern restaurant topped the OAD list, New York dominates the ranking having landed 51 addresses to hold a healthy lead over its biggest rivals San Francisco (24) and Chicago and Los Angeles (tied with 14 each).
OAD is headed by influential New York-based food blogger Steve Plotnicki, whose claim to fame includes discovering Run-DMC when he was a music executive. He's also been called the "king of food bloggers" for his widespread influence.
The list is based on the reviews of "highly literate connoisseurs of the culinary arts who travel the world to experience the art of food."
Here are the top 10 gourmet casual restaurants on the list:
1. Husk, Charleston, South Carolina
2. Roberta's, Brooklyn
3. Wildair, New York
4. Ox, Portland, OR
5. Peche Seafood Grill, New Orleans
6. Son of a Gun, West Hollywood, CA
7. Au Cheval, Chicago
8. Bestia, Los Angeles
9. Rose's Luxury, Washington DC
10. Le Pigeon, Portland, OR