Aska Is The NYC Pick For Best New Restaurant In America, Says GQ — And More Intel

Used to be that most chefs thought they had to cook in a city teeming with foodies, expense accounts, and publicists. Now some of them — including the man below — are proving that not everyone who likes great food lives in a metropolis.

Elm, New Canaan, Connecticut

The train from Grand Central Station to Bedford Hills, New York, takes fifty-five minutes. That's how you get to the last place Brian Lewis cooked, the Bedford Post Inn, an honoree on this list three years ago, where he served people looking for a break from the city but not necessarily from its caliber of dining. This year, Lewis cemented his status as one of the best chefs not working in a major city, or any city, taking his talents to New Canaan, Connecticut, sixty-seven minutes from Manhattan by train, cooking for people who work in the city but want to eat well where they live.

And they are eating very well. Elm sits on the town's main shopping drag, among stores where you can buy jewelry and expensive children's clothing. The dining room nails that difficult combination of sleek and comfortable — all glass and latte-colored leather. Lewis is at the top of his game, invigorating black bass with chorizo and eggplant aioli, and swathing sweet griddled langoustines with earthy garlic soup, uni butter, and lardo. Born in Somers, New York, a Manhattan suburb, he's thought about opening a splashy restaurant in the city, sixty-seven minutes away. But, he says, "I decided that the stage is where you make it — you know, wherever you go, there you are. I'd become involved with a terrific network of talented chefs, passionate farmers, and artisan craftsmen, all that any urban hot spot would need, only it was right here in my backyard. So we just put our heads down and cook from our hearts."

73 Elm Street; 203-920-4994;

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