It has been a terrific 12 months for Karen Akunowicz.
In May 2018, the former Myers + Chang chef gained a James Beard Award for Best Chef: Northeast. A month later, she left the Asian-inspired South End restaurant to focus on her first solo project, Fox & the Knife, an Italian enoteca that attracts from her revel in living and cooking in Modena, Italy. The restaurant opened in February to rave reviews — and, on Tuesday morning, it changed into announced that Fox & the Knife is one of Food & Wine’s 2019 Best New Restaurants.
The ebook’s annual list, which acknowledges 10 high-quality new restaurants across America, is curated by using editor-at-huge Jordana Rothman, who traveled 30,000 miles to 24 towns to get a sense of the united states’ present-day culinary landscape. This yr, for the first time, the list is ranked, with Fox & the Knife coming in at No. 7. It is the maximum currently opened restaurant at the list, a testimony to Akunowicz’s considerate menu that, she formerly told Boston.Com, is “very rooted in culture with a cutting-edge lens.”
“We were handiest open some weeks once I was given the decision approximately Best New Restaurant,” Akunowicz told Boston.Com on Tuesday in an electronic mail. “When [Rothman] called me, I notion perhaps she wanted a reservation. She shared the information with me, and I simply started crying. I don’t assume something I turned into saying made sense. To have the most effective been open a few weeks and to have her understand us so completely was a present. It made me experience seen in what we were seeking to [do] with our little piece of the community.”
In writing about the enoteca, Rothman mentioned that Akunowicz’s dishes are “not something you’d stumble throughout round Piazza Della Pomposa. But right here in Boston, within the care of Akunowicz along with her surprise of red hair, and within the light of a neon ‘live foxy’ signal, and with the din of Bostonians turning up with spritzes and Americanos, it all feels precisely proper.”
Landing at No. 1 on Food & Wine’s list is Cadence in Philadelphia, a BYOB American restaurant that emphasizes regional substances. Other restaurants that made the list encompass Konbi (No. 4), serving Japanese-style sandwiches in Los Angeles; Adda Indian Canteen (No. 6), a comfortable Indian eatery making waves in Long Island City; and Indigo (No. 8), a tasting menu idea in Houston.
In addition to Fox & the Knife, earlier this month Akunowicz opened SloPoke, a fast-informal poke keep nestled within the Whole Foods Market at Charles River Plaza. The Hawaiian eatery serves more than a few signature poke bowls in conjunction with customizable items, and is a nod to Akunowicz’s previous schooling and revel in working at Myers + Chang, in which she created the eating place’s popular poke dish.
“[Fox & the Knife and SloPoke] are totally distinctive, however, they’re each mine,” the chef wrote. “I love the fresh, wholesome meals we serve at SloPoke, the huge flavors, and how much fun it’s miles. I love that we will offer it quickly and to an extraordinary community. I assume that each is an expression of my food on two exceptional ends of the spectrum.”
As for a way Akunowicz goes to have fun the big Food & Wine accomplishment, she said that a party is so as.
“We are going to preserve doing what we do every day: making exceptional food and developing space for people to attach,” Akunowicz wrote. “Then, we are going to have a huge birthday celebration for our body of workers. They are those that deserve the congrats. Every cook dinner, bartender, server, host, and food runner that were given our vision believed in it and share[s] it with absolutely everyone who walks within the door. I’m venerated to work with every unmarried one in every one of them every day.”