Esquire's November issue hasn't hit the stands yet, but Silvana Salcido Esparza, chef-owner of Barrio Queen and Barrio Cafe, is already celebrating the award Barrio Queen received from Esquire Magazine as one of the "Best New Restaurants in America."
In fact, she just got back from NYC, where she and 18 other winning chefs (one couldn't make it) were feted at an awards dinner at Tribeca Grill on Monday night.
Salcido says a handful of guest chefs cooked for the event, which was attended by Esquire's top brass, as well as food writer John Mariani -- who made the top 20 picks for the magazine this year, just as he has for the past 30 years.
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Salcido says she was impressed that during his visit here last spring, he had a lengthy conversation with her about Mexican cooking and what her premise was behind Barrio Queen. She was delighted that he asked questions rather than simply making assumptions. Any way you slice it, being named one of 20 best new restaurants in the entire country is incredibly prestigious.