Taste Max Mackissock's stunning beet appetizer—he presents the usually humble root vegetable smoked, pickled, and raw—and you'll agree that he's cooking some of the most stimulating and challenging food in the city. Mackissock made the leap from Vita to the original Squeaky Bean in 2009—where he cooked in a miniscule, barely equipped kitchen—and began to fully realize the innovative, out-of-the-box dishes he's known for today. Closing argument: Mackissock is the only local chef to catapult his restaurant (the Squeaky Bean) onto our Best New Restaurants list twice—once at the old space and now at the new.
Chef Bonanno's restaurant empire (10!) keeps growing. His success is especially impressive when you consider the depth—fine dining, barbecue, pizza, comfort food, noodle bowls, bar food, and pretty much everything in between.