Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo's second restaurant delivers a certain type of sun-drenched seashore nostalgia. Dropping into the nautically adorned dining room for chilled peel-and-eat shrimp and a rum-spiked Hurricane feels as effortless as putting your toes in the sand. The menu is both Jimmy Buffett and Warren Buffett: There are buttery lobster rolls and fried chicken sandwiches as well as flawlessly calibrated crudos, artful plates of uni with burrata, and gently poached fish swimming in an aromatic pho fumet.
Best Shrimp Toast, August 2013
The Bread: Vinny Dotolo and Jon
Shook source pain de mie from a local bakery. Two slices of the butter-sautéed bread are sandwiched together for a heavenly stack.
The Filling: Each half is spread with a mixture of ground shrimp, ground pork fat, ginger,
garlic, and soy sauce. An herb salad adds freshness.
The Sauce: Sriracha mayo and hoisin sauce are a tasty mishmash.
The Top Ten Best New Restaurants: No. 7, January 2012
Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo earned their stellar reputation with Animal, a casually spare room where they injected mirth and irreverence into the nose-to-tail discussion. At Son of a Gun they've swapped out the protein and broadened their source of inspiration, channeling those hoary coastal dives with a Miller Lite sign buzzing in the window and killer seafood in the short-order kitchen. Adorned with potato chips, plump browned rolls bulge with lobster. Plates of sliced Benton's country ham arrive heaped with warm corn bread and honey butter. Alligator schnitzel is topped with hearts of palm slaw that's shot through with a Myers's Rum sauce. Don't let the ship wheels and netting and seaside knickknacks on the walls fool you: They're not just kitsch; they're a tip of the toque (or trucker's cap, at least) to an increasingly rare type of restaurant where nothing gets gussied up.