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The 12 Hottest Chef Counters Across the United States

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All across the country, cooks have been developing intimate, ambitious, and inevitably exclusive kitchen counters in their restaurants. Though some critics and diners have recently called into question the idea of extended tasting menus that offer paying customers few, if any, choices, the trend of leaving matters in the chefs' hands shows few signs of letting up.

Several of these spaces have been specifically designed to offer one long tasting menu only (José Andrés revamped minibar in DC, Carlo Mirarchi's Blanca in New York City), while others are counters within larger and slightly less expensive restaurants (Mike Solomonov's Zahav in Philadelphia, Joshua Skenes' Saison in San Francisco, Bryan Moscatello's Storefront Company in Chicago). Some might be called pioneers of the format in their cities (Catbird Seat in Nashville, Oxheart in Houston), while others represent the latest in the trend for their metropolis (Atera in NYC).

While for the most part very expensive, all of these embrace the fact that diners these days don't seem to want a traditional, haughty fine dining experience. It can be argued that these represent a different kind of pretentiousness, but the hyper-focus on food and the raw action of the kitchen is unquestionable. Here are twelve of the most recent entries in the genre:

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Atera

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77 Worth St
New York, NY 10013
(212) 226-1444
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2. Blanca

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261 Moore St
Brooklyn, NY 11206
(646) 703-2715
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3. Zahav

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237 St James Pl
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 625-8800
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4. Sbraga

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440 S Broad St
Philadelphia, PA 19146
(215) 735-1913
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5. minibar

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509 9th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20004
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6. The Catbird Seat

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1711 Division St
Nashville, TN 37203
(615) 810-8200
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7. Storefront Company

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1941 W North Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 661-2609
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8. Oxheart Restaurant

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1302 Nance St
Houston, TX 77002
(832) 830-8592
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9. é by José Andrés

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3708 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV 89109
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10. Saison

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2124 Folsom St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 828-7990
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11. The Restaurant at Meadowood

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900 Meadowood Ln
St Helena, CA 94574
(800) 458-8080
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12. Roe

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3113 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97202
(503) 232-1566
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1. Atera

77 Worth St, New York, NY 10013
[Photo Credit]
77 Worth St
New York, NY 10013

2. Blanca

261 Moore St, Brooklyn, NY 11206
[Photo Credit]
261 Moore St
Brooklyn, NY 11206

3. Zahav

237 St James Pl, Philadelphia, PA 19106
[Photo Credit]
237 St James Pl
Philadelphia, PA 19106

4. Sbraga

440 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19146
[Photo Credit]
440 S Broad St
Philadelphia, PA 19146

5. minibar

509 9th St. N.W., Washington, DC 20004
[Photo Credit]
509 9th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20004

6. The Catbird Seat

1711 Division St, Nashville, TN 37203
[Photo Credit]
1711 Division St
Nashville, TN 37203

7. Storefront Company

1941 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
[Photo Credit]
1941 W North Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

8. Oxheart Restaurant

1302 Nance St, Houston, TX 77002
[Photo Credit]
1302 Nance St
Houston, TX 77002

9. é by José Andrés

3708 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109
[Photo Credit]
3708 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV 89109

10. Saison

2124 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94103
[Photo Credit]
2124 Folsom St
San Francisco, CA 94103

11. The Restaurant at Meadowood

900 Meadowood Ln, St Helena, CA 94574
[Photo Credit]
900 Meadowood Ln
St Helena, CA 94574

12. Roe

3113 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202
[Photo Credit]
3113 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97202

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