– Let us judge this year
not on what we accomplished or whom we loved, but solely on what great
new restaurants we visited. Hello internet, I’m Wil Fulton
and this is “Invite Only,” where we normally show you the
best restaurants in your city, but today, well today is a very special episode of “Invite Only.” We’ve already shown you some
of the best new places to eat in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, but now we wanted to highlight
some of the most notable new restaurant openings of
2018 all over the country. And also one of Thrillist’s
biggest projects this year. Our senior food editor, Khushbu Shah, scoured the United States
to develop a thoughtful, diverse list of new restaurants that managed to truly
outshine all the rest, though she left off that new Waffle House down by the highway. Our incredibly talented “Eat Seeker” team captured some of the highlights on video, which is very convenient for
us as this is a video series. Here are some of the highlights from some of our favorite cities that aren’t New York or Los Angeles. SheWolf, in Detroit, Michigan, chef Anthony Lombardo’s restaurant dedicated to all things Roman. – Modern Rome is diverse cuisine to me. But it’s just kind of the
inspiration to SheWolf. A lot of chefs from Rome have traveled, been all over Europe, spent time in Japan, and they’re bringing a
lot of their knowledge back to Rome with them
and cooking with it. We wanted to do a baked pasta al forno. Stuffed shells are kind of a big Italian-American tradition. We take the octopus
bolognese and we mix it with our bechamel, add a
little bit of fat to it, and we pipe it inside the stuffed shells. Then we brush a little
bechamel on top and bake it. Once it gets those nice
crispy outside edges, kind of like lasagna,
everybody knows the best part of baked pasta is the crispy
burnt edges, we hit it on the plate and we garnish
it with our blush sauce and we top it with a
little pine nut gremolata. – Spoken English, in
Washington, DC, a standing room only spot serving epic snacks. – Spoken English is my fourth
restaurant, and all of our restaurants have a bit of
an Asian food story to tell. – We try to make sure that
people know that we want this to be an American
experience, but it’s through these different cultural lenses. – So we’ve been serving
the Taiwanese Blood Cake across our different
restaurants for a long time now, and the Taiwanese Blood Cake
is one of these Taiwanese night market dishes that was a
code that we wanted to crack. It’s kind of a mix between
a classic blood sausage, but you’re folding in a lot of rice. You’re basically steaming
pig’s blood with the rice and that’s how you get it. This is definitely like
a very rustic, old school type pastry dish that
we’ve put in this refined environment that people are really into. – I think in Taiwan, you
said, it’s usually like, on a stick, like a fair
dish almost like rolled in crushed peanuts and
a bunch of cilantro and we turned it into a really, like, nice, pretty plated appetizer. – Renzo, in Charleston, South Carolina, a whole lot of pizza and
even more natural wine. – I’d never actually made pizza before or really worked with Italian food. I’ve always admired Italian
cuisine from a distance. The Elote Pizza kind of
just came from, like, corn coming around in season and
I was like, “I want to do something with corn but I want
to do something different.” I’d eaten elote like a
million times, and I kind of thought it was kind of goofy, elote pizza. I wasn’t so sure about
it but then I was like, “(Beep) it, let’s try it,”
and I made the sauce, it’s like a ton of shaved
garlic, aromatics, corn, cream, a bunch of chiles,
cooked for a really long time then pureed so it’s super smooth, and then when we build the pizza it’s charred corn, charred shishitos,
mozzarella, when it comes out, guajillo chile, a little
bit of lime juice. So I think you would never
find that at a classic Italian place, they’d be
like, “Corn on pizza is silly, like, why would I do that?” But it’s really good, so,
I think it’s definitely an advantage for us. – Kargi Gogo in Portland, Oregon. It features the best of Georgia but, you know, the country, not the state. – I was accidentally introduced
to Georgian food, really. My wife and I volunteered for
the Peace Corps back in 2010. We were assigned to the
Republic of Georgia, so we went over not knowing anything
about the country, and very shortly after getting there started to really like some of the food. Acharuli Khachapuri is
probably the most famous Georgian cheese bread outside of Georgia. It’s shaped like a boat,
open-faced, with a big cauldron of cheese in the
middle, and then topped with an over-easy egg and a pat of butter. And so you mix that all
together and it becomes a really kind of cheesy eggy fondue. It’s super decadent and delicious. – Again, congrats to everyone
involved in Thrillist’s Prime 13, which ended up being
one of our most exciting and admittedly hunger-inducing projects we released all year. Now if you’ll excuse me,
I’ll be trying to find a Waffle House where I
can ring in the new year. For more excellent “Daily
Hit” videos, please remember to subscribe to our channel.
For more news on the best new restaurants in
your area, click the link in our description, and if
you want to find out about the best new restaurants
in Chicago, specifically, check out the video right to my left.