— Bon Appétit announced its annual list of "America's Best New Restaurant" nominees compiled by editors Andrew Knowlton and Julia Kramer. The 50-strong list features a number of restaurants from New York City including the upgraded versions of Momofuku Ko and Mission Chinese Food. San Francisco has six nominees on the list including chef Ravi Kapur's Liholiho Yacht Club and The Progress, the newest restaurant from the team behind State Bird Provisions. They face stiff competition from hotspots like Portland's popular Russian restaurant Kachka, Los Angeles' Petit Trois, and Chicago's Parachute. The top ten restaurants or "Hot 10" will be announced August 18.
— People are boycotting sandwich chain Jimmy John’s over founder Jimmy John Liautaud’s big game hunting habits. In 2011, Liautaud posed with elephants, rhinos, and leopards that he allegedly killed and now the story has sparked outrage again in light of the killing of Cecil the lion by dentist Walter Palmer.
— The man behind what Parts Unknown host Anthony Bourdain declared the best cheesesteak has passed away. Bob Lucas, the owner of New Jersey restaurant Donkey's Place died last week after battling lung cancer since 2009. Bourdain and his crew stopped by the Camden restaurant — which has been open since 1947 — earlier this year and noted that the "cheesesteak at Donkey's was better than any he'd sampled in Philadelphia." Lucas was 75 years old.
— Pret A Manger, the UK-based sandwich chain, is toying with the idea of opening vegetarian-only stores. CEO Clive Schlee notes in a blog post that sales of the chain's vegetarian options were growing faster than any other items. "The top selling SuperBowl in our latest salad launch was Beets, Squash & Feta, beating chicken, salmon and crayfish alternatives... This would have been unheard of five years ago." Schlee notes that a vegetarian only store may alienate some customers and is also contemplating just adding in vegetarian fridges to each location.
— The Washington Post explores the latest trend in dining: thin, flat carpaccios. The dish is popping up all across the city (and country) and variations now go beyond raw beef thanks to "molecular food science, liquids, and powders." Chefs will go to great lengths to make everything from lobster to striped bass carpaccio: "Restaurant chefs start with a sharp knife, but they also use plastic wrap, rolling pins, ring molds, meat pounders and the intimidating French mandoline in service of stunning carpaccio presentations."
— FLOTUS Michelle Obama knows how to dine well and has a penchant for trendy hot spots. The latest one to be checked off of her list is D.C.'s Maketto. Obama and her friends ordered "pretty much everything on the menu" and especially loved the apple brandy pie.
— Today is also her husband, President Barack Obama's birthday. Here is what his cake looked like two years ago:
— Pricey home goods chain Restoration Hardware is opening a brand new store in New York City's Meatpacking neighborhood and it will include a hotel and restaurant. There are few details available about the restaurant, though, it is opening the space that used to house restaurateur Keith McNally's Pastis.