The food comes courtesy of chef Michael Friedman, who opened the hot spot with the team from his other restaurant, the Red Hen, as well as partners from Boundary Stone.
“All-Purpose felt like a natural for the No. 1 spot on my annual list of favorites,” Sietsema says. “I appreciate how approachable the restaurant is. (No lines to wait in!) The owners also more than fulfilled their mission, by serving terrific updated Italian-American food and doing so both consistently and with great enthusiasm. To me, All-Purpose is the ideal neighborhood restaurant. Let's hope it inspires others.”
Not only is All-Purpose vastly less expensive than Silverman's $250-a-person Pineapple and Pearls, the No. 2 restaurant in the fall guide, it actually has one less star, at three, versus P&P's four.
How does that work? Sietsema explained in his live chat that “favorites are highly personal,” and part of the appeal of the more affordable All-Purpose is that it's a place he's more likely to eat at on a regular basis. “I think about value a lot,” he said.
In general, Sietsema's Top 10 are a mix of splurge and everyday spots. In the special-treat category, along with Pineapple and Pearls, you can probably throw in Komi, Kinship, Minibar and the Inn at Little Washington. Assuming you can get a reservation or make it to the front of the line, your more wallet-friendly options, along with All-Purpose, are Convivial, Bad Saint, Little Serow and Rasika. (At the latter, there are plenty of entrees right around, or even under, $20.)