The Top 10 Best New Restaurants of 2012


Cooks County


The Parish

840 S. Spring St. 


What with the silver punch bowl at happy hour, the Victorian wallpaper, and a suspenders-clad bartender slinging gin gimlets at a streamline bar, food could easily have been an afterthought downtown at the Parish. Instead chef Casey Lane (he also heads the more sedate Tasting Kitchen in Venice) gains by having to fight for attention in the rocking room, imbuing hearty booze-friendly offerings with subtle poetry. He uses a side salad of celery and big-leaf parsley to parry the richness of the wood-grilled marrowbones he serves with country bread. For the oyster poutine Lane leaves the skin on the fries, gracing the bivalves that sit atop the pewter bowl with a wicked combo of gravy and sauce gribiche. Most lyrical of all are the vegetables. After soaking up the cooking juices and melted anchovy butter beneath a grilled salmon, shards of shaved sunchoke make for one powerful bite.