Top Dishes of 2017

By Team StarChefs


Team StarChefs
Some of Team StarChefs' favorite dishes of the year
Some of Team StarChefs' favorite dishes of the year

Team StarChefs eats, drinks, dissects, discusses, celebrates, and breathes food all day, every day. In 2017, we met with more than 450 professionals and consumed upwards of 1,800 dishes and drinks in strip malls, white tableclothed restaurants, bars, neighborhood joints, food trucks, bowling alleys, and pop-ups. We’ve distilled our favorites here for you to eat with your eyes. 

Top Savory—a Baker’s Dozen
The top dishes of 2017 were personal. They displayed clarity of voice and technical acumen. They challenged and informed us, and drew us in with singular flavor, texture, and balance. The breadth of the dishes and their genres demonstrate the strength in the diversity of (mostly) American cuisine. Our editors were weak for homey, lush Russian rabbit stew in Portland, smitten with boiled peanuts in Austin, and bowled over by an eight-dish first course in Napa. 

Pastry for the Win
Our favorite American pastry is wickedly inventive and bold. We ate a cheese course disguised as a tart, sorbet flavored with caramelized onions, and the format-crushing cannoli to end all cannolis. This year, desserts had flash, substance, and plenty of salt. 

Cocktails of the Year
Confession: The StarChefs team loves martinis. And in 2017, bartenders took a chance on altering and updating this perfect-as-is classic cocktail. To balance out our drinking diet, we also indulged in killer dessert cocktails (Jager and soft serve … swoon) and were impressed by the sophistication of culinary-leaning drinks. 

What We Crave
Our top cravables are the dishes that haunt us when hunger pangs hit. Give us a napkin (or not), and we’d fly across the country for crab fat noodles, cheeseburger spring rolls, or the world’s most sexy baked potato. Proceed through the following photo gallery with caution—or wild abandon.

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