Clean Plate Awards
Akamaru Modern Ramen
Ippudo, New York City
This is my go-to choice when I fly into New York City late at night and want something quick. I go to the East Village branch and sit at the bar, usually ordering a couple of pork buns and a bowl of this ramen. The pork broth is complex and the noodles are silky, making for a very warming dish, especially in winter.
Squab With Ash, Okra, Pudding and Silk
Quince, San Francisco
Squab is one of my favorites. I would probably choose it as my last meal. Quince does an amazing preparation; the breast turns out rosy red and the skin has a delicious dark coating. I’m not sure what it’s dusted with—coffee blended with a spice mix—but it’s memorable.
Whole Rabbit Roulade With Oyster Mushrooms
Range, Washington, D.C.
This dish really expresses [Chef] Bryan Voltaggio’s impressive technique. The rabbit is boned, and some of its parts, including the liver and kidneys, are made into a farce. The rabbit is rolled around the farce, cooked sous vide and caramelized in a sauté pan. Nothing is tastier than rabbit when it’s done right. I’m incredibly proud of Bryan.