4 Restaurants Where You'll Never, Ever, Get a Table

These are absolutely the hottest, trendiest eateries in America today — and nyah, nyah, nyah, you can't get in

4 Restaurants Where You'll Never, Ever, Get a Table
Wikimedia Commons/Guillaume Paumier

Restaurants used to be places where people went to relax, be comfortable, get waited on, places where part of the appeal was that they got to choose from a whole menu full of dishes — with sauce on the side if you wanted it that way. (The very word restaurant, remember, comes from the French verb restaurer, to restore; you were supposed to feel better leaving than you did going in.)

Today, restaurants are something else: experiences, challenges, sometimes ordeals. Arrive at 5:30 or 10:30, not any reasonable dinner hour; sit in cramped quarters on tiny chairs; eat what the chef tells you to eat, and you'll take the damn sauce and like it. Oh, and no friggin' photos, dirtbag! What's important isn't being cosseted and well-fed, anymore, it's submitting to the authoritarian strictures of some arbiter of culinary taste who is obviously far, far hipper than you'll ever be. And — even more important — doing it before anybody else does.

Competition for reservations at such establishments is heated, and actually winning a (probably uncomfortable) seat at one of them is considered by some restaurant-goers to be the ultimate personal accomplishment. With that in mind, The Daily Meal has decided to showcase the four restaurants around the country that everybody who's anybody wants to go to most — places that are too cool to show up in the guidebooks, and far too in for any outsider. Restaurants, we regret to inform you, that an ordinary food-lover like you can only dream about.

 

Chunkie's Corner Brooklyn, N.Y.

Taking the concept of "street food" to its inevitable apotheosis, 19-year-old Otto "Chunkie" Blutwurst— who honed his skills as a grammar-school cafeteria monitor, then went on to earn instant acclaim for his ill-fated Eat It Or Starve on Manhattan's Upper West Side, which opened to great fanfare in late 2010 and closed after lunch — has eschewed not only bricks-and-mortar but also trucks, trailers, carts, and stands. "You could call this a 'virtual restaurant'," says Blutwurst. "If you were some stupid phony, or something."

How does it work? Exactly 19 lucky souls (chosen at random from the membership rolls of Match.com and the New York City Municipal Credit Union) gather on the corner of Keelhaul Terrace and St. Flocellus Street in the Rottenwood section of Brooklyn exactly 19 minutes after sundown every evening (a security force of pensioned-off Guardian Angels enforces the temporal parameters), mill around aimlessly until the unmistakable rat-a-tat-tat of a driveby gang shooting is heard from two streets over, and then line up in ascending order of height along the curb while Blutwurst and his team race by on their vintage Schwinn Couriers and toss exquisitely crafted morsels (Mangalitsa pork-fat shooters, rattlesnake-and-cannabis hand rolls, rabbit tartare with catfish-liver crostini, and the like) — though never quite enough of them to go around —into the air above their heads. Hilarity ensues. 

 

4-Edge Poisonfish, Mont.

Diners at Abraxis and Aphelion Satansdottir's rustic retreat — with its damp log walls covered with undulating bog moss, dirt floors alive with earthworms, and mismatched kiddie-size camp stools haphazardly arranged around massive moldy tree stumps — don't have to ask how fresh their food is: They know because they've had to forage (get it?) the ingredients themselves. "We're loco for locavoring," chirp the stylishly emaciated sisters in eerie unison.

Would-be customers have to pass a 30-page written exam covering botany, orienteering, divining, and warp knitting, among other topics. Those who get at least a B+ receive a trail map to the restaurant (be forewarned: rock-climbing, whitewater rafting, and a slog through quicksand are involved), and an illustrated guide to victuals they might encounter along the way — among them, 49 varieties of leaves, six species of river toad, and two kinds of edible pebbles.

"You eat what you bring, period," note the siblings, who add that they are minimalists in the kitchen: Most foraged foods are simply steamed over glacier water, then seasoned with nothing more than cobwebs from the Satansdottirs' extensive personal collection. 



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341 Comments

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...nor will I ever wear the Emperor's new clothes. After the shock value, they don't sound all that special.

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So I was duped into reading a satirical article about food from some smack who needs traffic for a website. Flooding rains, earthquakes, hurricanes and now this. Looking forward to next week.

lpgood's picture

Excited to see daily news on Fabulous Resturants

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who wrote this, a third grader?

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A great piece of satire, just a little cliche in the SF section however.

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I love home-cooking with organic natural food and lots of prime steak, The Country Hen eggs and Rudy's 14-grain bread from Whole Foods. Also, there's nothing more refreshing than water, orange juice and cherry juice or Moscato D'Asti wine (which goes with everything!) to drink.
Nancy Lou

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If you only knew.....and it has been that way FOREVER!!!!!!!!!Especially NYC & Chgo

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Shoot, I was about to google the places. lol

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Perhaps the definition of "fine dining" has changed, and someone forgot to tell me. Sounds more like the Minnesota State Fair. I'll take the exclusive Garmisch any day.

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ok anyone that thinks it is cool to eat at any of those places need psychiatric help.

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As does anyone who took this article seriously.

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Fifi is actually a wonderful name for a Bouv.

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O my palate doth suffer, spiderwebs I try, judges noses raise to the sky, no food network star am I..

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I thought the article was very, very funny. As strange as it sounded, I could easily believe the pretentiousness of some chefs and restaurateurs actually opening places as off the wall as these, having eaten out quite a lot in NYC.
While the article is hilarious, what has me laughing so hard I am in tears is people claiming to have eaten at any or all of these places.

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Your caveat...well said.

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Darling Colman: As ever, too hip for the room. Eternal xxx.

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LOL... Great article... the term douche came tumbling out of my mouth when I got to "Ugg-os" ya had me for sure :-)

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Funny read! Why all the fuss - can't a guy write a humor piece, anymore?

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where are the comments?

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May be fake, but not so far out of reality. The Grant Achatz restaurant Next is not terribly unlike Chunkie's Corner - it seats more than 19, but it's comparable in other ways! LOL

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Your writing was vague and cryptic and I found it hard to see your humor.

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what? Is this fake? There is no way these places are real.

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Haha at the liars claiming to have dined at these imaginary restos.

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waste of time
what is this, a middle school zine?

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Wow. How in the world could someone be smart enough to find this article, and yet stupid enough to not get the writer's (funny) point- Are there grown adults who have yet to encounter any hint of the absurd in their daily lives, to the point where they actually make note of the concept without it being pointed out to them each time? Apparently there are plenty. God save us from the Literals.

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Easy. I was reading an article on my local newspaper's website, and the link was featured there. It's called "surfing the web."

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I can't believe all the comments blasting these chefs. I've been to 3 of the 4 and such memorable, life-lasting meals to be had.

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Although I soon realized this was a 'tongue-in-cheek- article, I actually enjoyed it. It's obvious that these characters are actually (loosely) based on 'real' (so-called) chefs and restaurants. I can't count the times I have read reviews that wax lyrical about one of the new 'hot spots' and praising the food. But, when you read a description of the food you don't need to be a professional chef to know some of the dishes they describe just can NOT be good. Seeing pictures of the interiors just 'caps the deal', and I know that I wouldn't go to that place if they paid me to eat there. (And, I'm convinced that some of these 'restaurant critics' accept money for writing good reviews. That's the ONLY way I could see that the critics would rave about some of these dishes. Of course, once a 'respected' critic gives a place a 'four-star' rating, the lemmings follow. Then, they in turn write glowing reviews about said restaurant on sites such as Yelp, and the 'fun' begins. It's all so 'The Emperor's New Clothes'!

All this being said, I cannot believe the number of people here who actually believe THIS is a 'real' story. They must be the same ones blindly following the critics. I guess the old adage about a sucker being born every minute is absolutely true.

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I can never, ever, get a table here. What a shame.

In twelve month's time and these silly little self important wannabe adonis like entrepreneurs are sitting on the sidewalk with a piece of cardboard looking for my sympathy, I will be sitting inside a real restaurant with a reputation grown from service, quality and appreciaion that their customers are their most important asset. Then I'll bring a doggie bag out and give it to adonis, with a mirror.

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Only morons would even be bothered with crap like this. Pathetic fools who must be abused by someone to feel important.

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