There’s a lot of iconic food in New York City; we’re used to ambitious decor, meat as both entree and garnish, and traditional dishes done right. But as the clean-eating trend shifts, restaurants have gone in the opposite direction: smaller, veggie-focused and innovative.
And it’s just such a tiny tasting counter in Brooklyn that caught the eye of Bon Appetit for its annual America’s Best New Restaurants issue. Semilla beat out fellow nominees like Mission Street Food, Santina and Cosme for a spot on the list, to give you an idea of the competition.
Here’s what you need to know about the city’s new instant celebrity.
It began as a pop-up
Before Semilla, there was Chez Jose, a pop-up project by Jose Ramirez-Ruiz. He was joined by pastry chef Pam Yung for the opening of the restaurant back in October, which has been hailed as no less than “New York’s next great restaurant” by Eater. In its two-star review, The New York Times’ Pete Wells mentions Ramirez-Ruiz’s stints at Per Se and the Brooklyn Fare Chef’s Table coming out “in the way he elegantly props one flavor against the next.” It even serves bread and butter worthy of being one of Bloomberg’s best dishes of 2014.