Dine in With Our Readers' 5 Best Restaurant-Inspired Recipes

Pull out the good plates for dishes straight from the kitchens we miss most.

March 20, 2021
Photo by Mark Weinberg

From our community to your kitchen, here are our top five restaurant-inspired recipes, from sweet to savory (and everything in between)!

For our latest culinary contest, we asked for your best recipe inspired by a dish you've eaten at a restaurant (dessert included). We miss our favorite chefs as much as you do, and can't wait to resume in-person dining as soon as it's safe. In the meantime, we're excited to shine a spotlight on the dishes that keep you coming back for more, and promote the restaurants that have remained open. As always, our community members rose to the challenge, and delivered us a wide range of recipes that fit the bill.

It's always a challenge to select the best of the mix, but we've narrowed down our five finalists' favorite restaurant-inspired recipes sure to have you running for the cloth napkins and tea lights. From a sweet and spicy cheese spread to a creole white fish in brodo perfect for an elegant dinner party, you're certain to find your next special occasion dish, even if that special occasion is simply "restaurant-inspired night". Right this way to your (own) table...

1. Crispy Kale Chaat by Shri Repp

This flavor-packed appetizer takes its inspiration from Rasika restaurant in Washington, D.C. The original recipe used crispy spinach but we love Shri Repp's approach to slow roasting kale to get just the right amount of crisp without any bitterness.

2. Creole Whitefish in Brodo by Emily| Cinnamon&Citrus

This beautiful whitefish in brodo was inspired by Jacque's Imo in New Orleans. We loved the contrast of the seasoned fish and roasted tomatoes against the silky brodo with flavors of pecorino cheese.

3. Sweet and Spicy Piloncillo Cheese Spread by Meredith

This delicious appetizer is inspired by the Liberty Bar in San Antonio. The dish is a remarkable balance of spicy and sweet and hot and cool. Definitely take the time to find the piloncillo sugar at your local international market - its depth of flavor makes this dish truly special.

4. Spicy Miso Ramen in Oxtail Broth by Sarah D

Inspired by Jinya Ramen Bar in Santa Monica, California, this ramen recipe may seem to have a lot of steps but we found that it was well worth the effort to get restaurant quality ramen at home.

5. Beef and Fig Ragu with Rye Breadcrumbs by Emily | Cinnamon&Citrus

Central Provisions in Portland, Maine was the source of inspiration for this cozy ragu. We loved the addition of the sweet figs and the textural contrast from the rye breadcrumbs.

Give one or all of these recipes a try in your kitchen and let us know your thoughts.

Shop the Story

Voting for the final two will open April 1, 2021 at 12 p.m. EDT here. May the best dish win!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

Food52 (we cook 52 weeks a year, get it?) is a food and home brand, here to help you eat thoughtfully and live joyfully.

1 Comment

judy March 25, 2021
Interesting recipes for those who keep a vary extensive larder. Oxtail? Piloncilo? Brodo? then what does one do with the leftovers. Expensive, specialty meals requiring difficult to find, expensive ingredients, with expensive leftovers left over....Certainly special occasion, and we are still in quarantine mostly. So I guess I'll pass....Not for the masses with little throw-away money.