Rush Jagoe
Arnaud Cazenave opened his New Orleans restaurant, Arnaud’s, in 1918.

The Top 100 Independent Restaurants—The 1900s

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The FSR annual Top 100 report salutes restaurants that are legends and landmarks, and—in some instances—measuring success across centuries.

By Amanda Baltazar, Alex Dixon, Nicole Duncan, Connie Gentry, Danny Klein July 2017 Research

Imagine owning a restaurant that’s older than our Independence Day celebration. Impossible for most of us to grasp, but restaurants that have stood the test of time are lessons in excellence and entertainment. This collection of Top 100 Independents pays tribute to some of the industry’s oldest and most esteemed operations, including more than half of which have operated for 100 years or more. History always comes with its share of skeletons in the pantry, ghosts returning to haunt, and colorful stories—so to some extent there are restaurants among the group that are thriving on their own reputations.

READ MORE:

Check out the Top 100 Independent Restaurants from the 1600s and 1700s.

Check out the Top 100 Independent Restaurants from the 1800s.

The younger “oldies,” those that are 35 to 50 years old, are equally interesting because they’ve managed to succeed across decades without the benefit of historical precedence. Many of these independents have transitioned across multiple generations as well as through shifts in ownership and catastrophic events. Following the profile on Commander’s Palace, our Top 100 is presented from oldest to youngest, including some of the highest-grossing restaurants in the industry and others with modest, but sustained, performance.

Footnote: All sales reflect the annual revenue of the restaurant. The average check is per person and for food only, unless otherwise noted. Estimated figures are indicated as E.

1900s

20th Century Indies Making History

St. Elmo Steak House
St. Elmo Steak House is a place to be seen in Indianapolis. It's a favorite of celebrities, athletes, and locals alike.

St. Elmo Steak House

Indianapolis

Year opened: 1902

Owners: Steve and Craig Huse

Cuisine: Classic Steakhouse

Annual Sales: $19.4 million

Average check: $147.87

Named after the patron saint of sailors, St. Elmo has 14 people who have been on staff for more than 20 years. The Wall of Fame features everyone from rock stars to social leaders to professional athletes.

Columbia Restaurant

Tampa, Florida

Year opened: 1905

Owners: Richard and Casey Gonzmart

Cuisine: Spanish/Cuban

Essential item: The Original “1905” Salad and a Cuban sandwich press.

Owned and operated by five generations of the same family for more than 100 years, this is Florida’s oldest restaurant (it’s even trademarked). Founded in 1905 by Cuban immigrant Casimiro Hernandez Sr., the Columbia now has locations in Sarasota, St. Augustine, Clearwater Beach, and Orlando.

Barbetta

New York City

Year opened: 1906

Owner: Laura Maioglio

Cuisine: Italian

Average check: $70 prix fixe, $82 à la carte

Decorated with 18th century Italian antiques, the restaurant claims to be the first in the U.S. to serve white truffles. At one time, it even had truffle hounds.

The Monte Carlo

Minneapolis

Year opened: 1906

Owner: John Rimarczeck

Cuisine: Steaks and Seafood

A large patio and private dining rooms augment the intimate main dining area.

Gargiulo’s

Brooklyn, New York

Year opened: 1907

Owners: Nino, Louis, Rachel, Michael, and Anthony Russo

Cuisine: Southern Neapolitan

Average check: $125 per couple

The family-owned operation caters to parties and social gatherings of 40 to 400 people, and has become a legendary wedding destination.

Cole’s

Los Angeles

Year opened: 1908

Owner: 213 Hospitality

Cuisine: Classic American

Sales: $2.6 million

Average check: $28.73

Cole’s, the oldest operating public house in L.A., is known as the inventor of the French Dip Sandwich.

John’s Grill

San Francisco

Year opened: 1908

Owner: John Konstin

Cuisine: Steakhouse

Sales: $7 million

Average check: $30 to $40

It was a setting in Dashiell Hammett’s classic novel The Maltese Falcon, and guests have included Hilary Clinton, Francis Ford Coppola, Bill Gates, and Alfred Hitchcock.

J.J. Foley’s Café

Boston

Year opened: 1909

Owner: Jerry Foley

Cuisine: Irish-American

Average check: $36 E

In addition to Irish-American fare and beverages, Foley’s has a late-night menu, a brunch menu, and specialty desserts like the Banoffi Pie—a homemade biscuit base smothered in soft toffee and topped with fresh bananas and whipped cream.

Cattlemen’s Steakhouse

Oklahoma City

Year opened: 1910

Owner: Dick Stubbs

Cuisine: Steakhouse

Annual Sales: $10 million

Average check: $19

Essential items: Lamb fries (fried lamb testicles), signature salad dressing, and steaks.

The dining room walls host drawings of famous diners, including Gene Autry, John Wayne, Ronald Reagan, Reba McEntire, and George H. W. Bush.

Balboa Cafe

San Francisco

Year opened: 1913

Owner: PlumpJack Group

Cuisine: American

Average check: $49 E

What started as a butcher shop transitioned into a fine-dining respite. The elegant setting remains relatively unchanged from its early years, and a second Balboa Cafe opened just north of San Francisco in Mill Valley.

Grand Central Oyster Bar

New York City

Year opened: 1913

Owner: Employees via a Stock Ownership Plan

Cuisine: Seafood

Sales: $17 million

Average check: $45

Essential item: Chef Sanford Ingber says the Mandoline or the Japanese chef knife.

For almost six decades Grand Central Oyster Bar was a landmark restaurant—due more to its location than its food. With the decline of train passengers, the restaurant closed for two years, until the Metropolitan Transportation Authority persuaded restaurateur Jerome Brody to reinvent the space.

Joe’s Stone Crab is one of the highest-grossing restaurants in the country despite closing from early August to mid-October each year.

Joe’s Stone Crab

Miami Beach, Florida

Year opened: 1913

Owners: Stephen Sawitz and his mother, Jo Ann Bass

Cuisine: Seafood

Sales: $36 million

Average check: $80

When Joe Weiss opened up a small lunch counter on Miami Beach in 1913, he didn’t envision he would serve stone crab.

The indigenous crustacean wasn’t viewed as a culinary delicacy until a Harvard ichthyologist came to do research at a local aquarium. The researcher met Joe—who was serving crawfish and other seafood—and asked if he would serve them. “Nobody will eat them,” Joe reportedly told the researcher, who brought a burlap sack to the restaurant full of the crabs.

Legend has it that Joe threw the stone crabs in boiling water, serving the claws chilled and cracked, with hash brown potatoes, coleslaw, and mayonnaise. It was an instant success.

And a sustainable success at that: Despite closing from early August to mid-October each year (the off-season for stone crabs), Joe’s Stone Crab consistently remains among the highest-grossing restaurants in the country, reportedly topping $36 million in sales last year.

The restaurant has thrived through four generations of family ownership, and employees have also stuck with the business, some for as long as 50 years. Guests have included Amelia Earhart, J. Edgar Hoover, Al Capone, and Will Rogers.

Joe’s serves an average of more than 1,500 guests per day, and sells between 1,000 and 1,500 pounds of claws. The brand’s approach to its signature dish has also led to a sustainable supply, as Florida law requires stone crabs be returned to the water after a claw is harvested. A crab can regenerate claws three to four times.

Arnaud’s is currently being operated by a fourth generation of owners.

Arnaud’s

New Orleans

Year opened: 1918

Owner: The Casbarian Family

Cuisine: Classic Creole

Average check: $50

Owned and operated for 30 years by Arnaud Cazenave and then another 30 years by his daughter, Germaine C. Wells, the restaurant was acquired in 1978 by Archie Casbarian. His wife, Jane, along with their two children, Katy and Archie Jr., continue to run the restaurant.

The Arcade Restaurant

Memphis, Tennessee

Year opened: 1919

Owner: Harry Zepatos Jr. along with his sons, Jeff and Michael Zepatos

Cuisine: Southern

Average check: $10

Essential item: Sweet potato pancakes

Built in 1919, the restaurant was founded by Greek immigrant Speros Zepatos. The original business burned in the early 1950s but was rebuilt, capturing the feel of a ’50s-style Americana diner. The booth dedicated to Elvis Presley is the most-requested seat in the restaurant. Guests come from all over the world to sit there and feast on one of Elvis’ favorite combinations: the peanut butter and banana sandwich. The Arcade has been a setting for many movies and television shows, including “Great Balls of Fire!,” “The Firm,” and “Memphis Beat.”

Beaumont Inn

Harrodsburg, Kentucky

Year opened: 1919

Owners: Chuck, Helen, and Dixon Dedman

Cuisine: Traditional Kentucky Fare

Sales: $1.25 million

Average check: $25 to $35

Recipient of the James Beard: America’s Classics award in 2015, the restaurant still serves some items that were on the menu when it opened nearly 100 years ago. It’s also an official stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

Atkins Park claims to be the oldest continuously licensed tavern in Atlanta.

Atkins Park

Atlanta

Year opened: 1922

Owner: Sandra Spoon

Cuisine: New Southern American

Sales: $1.5 to $2 million

Average check: $25

With claims as the oldest continuously licensed tavern in Atlanta, the restaurant focuses on fresh by partnering with local farmers in the spring and summer to source its produce.

Carolina Coffee Shop

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Year opened: 1922

Owner: Gary Monroe

Cuisine: Traditional American

Sales: $370,000 to $420,000

Average check: $11.50

Essential item: The classic breakfast menu.

Before becoming a popular dining spot for students and alumni of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the space was a bookstore and the school’s student post office.

Jeveli’s

East Boston

Year opened: 1924

Owner: The Jeveli family

Cuisine: Italian, American, and Seafood

Average check: $29 E

Run for 93 years by the same family, whose name was inadvertently changed from Ievoli to Jeveli when Pasquale Ievoli arrived at Ellis Island in 1899. The restaurant serves some 250,000 people a year, mostly “diehard regulars.”

Greta Rybus
Palace Diner is one of only two operating Pollard diners in the U.S.

Palace Diner

Biddeford, Maine

Year opened: 1927

Owners: Greg Mitchell and Chad Conley

Cuisine: Classic American Diner serving breakfast and lunch

Sales: Less than $500,000

Average check: $11 to $15

The diner car was originally built in Lowell, Massachusetts, by the Pollard Company and is one of only two operating Pollard diners left in the country.

Emi Rigby
Ruth’s Diner says it is the second oldest restaurant in Utah.

Ruth’s Diner

Salt Lake City, Utah

Year opened: 1930

Owners: Erik and Tracy Nelson

Cuisine: American

Sales: +$3 million

Average check: $14 (breakfast, lunch); $18 (dinner)

The original proprietor, who lived to be 94, brought a sassy personality to her eponymous diner and left a litany of colorful stories in her wake: Ruth was a cabaret singer until 1916, reportedly designated a single bar stool as the “no smoking section” in the diner, and pretty much did as she pleased in both business and pleasure, from carrying a loaded gun at age 90 to keeping her angry Chihuahuas at the restaurant (even though they had a tendency to bite customers). She sold the restaurant in 1977, but lived out her life in a duplex behind the diner.

Peacock Alley American Grill & Bar

Bismarck, North Dakota

Year opened: 1933

Owners: Dale and Melodie Zimmerman

Cuisine: Classic American Steakhouse

Sales: +$2 million

Average check: $28

The oldest restaurant in the state, it’s also among the most prestigious and was named the Beef Innovator of the Year in 2012 by The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

Lloyd’s

Birmingham, Alabama

Year opened: 1937

Owner: Eli Stevens

Cuisine: Southern

Average check: $20 to $25 E

Tailgating orders and catering services are as much a part of the culture as in-house dining.

Weber’s Restaurant

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Year opened: 1937

Owner: The Weber Family

Cuisine: American

Sales: $7.3 million

Average check: $35

Added a hotel in 1970, but has the “attitude” of being a restaurant first—albeit one with late-evening meals and dancing. Founded in 1937 by Herman Weber and his older brother Rheinhold, the name changed two years later from Hi-Speed Inn to Weber’s. After 20 years of success, the business faced two potentially devastating circumstances: an encroaching interstate system and “dry” laws. Herman decided to move inside the “wet” city limits, and this location opened in 1963. Herman died in 2014, soon after his 100th birthday, but the restaurant continues to be led by his son and grandsons.

Ox Yoke Inn

Amana, Iowa

Year opened: 1940

Owner: Bill Leichsenring

Cuisine: German-American

Sales: $3 million

Average check: $19

Five generations of the Leichsenring family have worked at the Ox Yoke Inn, which serves traditional German fare and Old World favorites in a family-style gathering.

Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room

Savannah, Georgia

Year opened: 1943

Owners: Marcia and Ronnie Thompson

Cuisine: Southern

Sales: $700,000 to $1 million

Average check: $22

On a street shaded by live oaks thick with Spanish moss, Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room could pass for a private residence—except for the long line of hopeful diners that is often snaking around the corner.

“We have lines about half of the year,” says Ryon Thompson, who runs the restaurant along with his parents, Marcia and Ronnie Thompson. He estimates around 90 percent of business comes from out-of-towners, including well-known figures like then-President Obama, Walter Cronkite, and the cast of “Magic Mike XXL.”

Florida Avenue Grill

Washington, D.C.

Year opened: 1944

Owner: Imar Hutchins

Cuisine: Soul Food

Average check: $15 E

Established by Lacey C. Wilson Sr. to create a place where African Americans and whites could exist in harmony. Money was so short when he opened that his wife would buy just two chickens at a time. When those sold, she’d go back and buy two more.

Mary Mac’s Tea Room

Midtown Atlanta

Year opened: 1945

Owner: John Ferrell

Cuisine: Classic Southern

Sales: $8 to $9 million

Average check: $15 to $20

Essential items: A veteran staff, some having been at the restaurant more than 40 years, plus decades-old recipes.

In March 2011, the Georgia House of Representatives created a resolution declaring Mary Mac’s to be “Atlanta’s dining room.”

Chris Granger
Brennan’s is credited with creating the Banana’s Foster Dessert.

Brennan’s

New Orleans

Year opened: 1946

Owners: Terry White and Ralph Brennan

Cuisine: Creole and Contemporary NOLA

Average check: $50

Essential item: French Quarter Courtyard

An $18 million renovation in 2014 returned the culinary icon to its original glory. Best known for its “Breakfast at Brennan’s” and for creating the signature Banana’s Foster Dessert, the original restaurant was opened by Owen Brennan, the proprietor of the Old Absinthe House. The restaurant moved from Bourbon Street to its current location a decade later. The 1795-built building once served as a private residence frequented by President Andrew Jackson.

Helena’s Hawaiian Food

Honolulu

Year opened: 1946

Owner: Craig Katsuyoshi

Cuisine: Hawaiian

Average check: $15 to $20

Chef Craig is the grandson of Helen Chock, who opened the restaurant in 1946. In 2000, Helena’s won the James Beard Regional Classic Award.

Pheasant Restaurant and Lounge

Brookings, South Dakota

Year opened: 1949

Owners: Ronald and Georgiana Olson

Cuisine: Classic and New American

Sales: $1.2 million

Average check: $40

In 1968, the Olsons added Brookings’ first public bar. The city once said liquor would never be sold in Brookings because parents would not let their kids come to college there and women would be afraid to come into town to shop. Head chef and general manager Michael Johnson is the grandson of the owners.

Canlis

Seattle

Year opened: 1950

Owners: Mark and Brian Canlis

Cuisine: Fine dining

Average check: $200 per person

It’s a third-generation, family-owned and -operated restaurant that recently won the 2017 James Beard Award for Outstanding Wine Program.

Joe’s Inn

Richmond, Virginia

Year opened: 1952

Owner: Mary Miles

Cuisine: Classic Italian and Breakfast

Average check: $20 to $30 E

Opens at 8 a.m. daily, with breakfast served any time and an Italian menu that keeps diners lined up for seats.

 

Bern’s Steak House

Tampa, Florida

Year opened: 1956

Owner: David Laxer

Cuisine: Steakhouse

Average check: $50 to $75

Essential kitchen item: The restaurant’s famed dry-aging room.

The largest private wine collection for a restaurant in the world, with more than 6,800 selections and more than half a million bottles, Bern’s was the winner of the 2016 James Beard Award: Outstanding Wine Program. All Strips, Delmonicos, Porterhouses, and T-Bones are U.S. Prime and aged five to eight weeks.

Golden Steer Steakhouse

Las Vegas

Year opened: 1958

Owner: Dr. Michael J. Signorelli

Cuisine: Classic Steakhouse

Average check: $70 E

Guests have included the Rat Packers—Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr.—as well as Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali. Some staff members have been here more than 40 years.

Angus Barn

Raleigh, North Carolina

Year opened: 1960

Owner: Van Eure

Cuisine: Classic Steakhouse

Sales: +$15 million

Average check: $60

Owner Van Eure swears by the legend that her father, Thad Eure Jr. and his partner, Charles Winston—the two founders of the restaurant—flipped a coin to see who’d keep Angus Barn and who’d start a different a concept. Her dad won the toss, and Big Red has been part of the Eure family for 57 years and counting.

Sylvia’s

Harlem, New York

Year opened: 1962

Owner: The Woods Family

Cuisine: Southern/Soul

Average check: $39 E

The restaurant sells cookbooks, prepared foods, skincare items, and a children’s book written by founder Sylvia Woods.

Josh Branstetter
17Hundred90 is purported to be haunted, like many things in Savannah.

17Hundred90

Savannah, Georgia

Year opened: 1968

Owner: Patrick Godley

Cuisine: American with French and Southern influences

Sales: $1.5 to $2 million

Average check: $30 to $40

Essential item: Local favorite Leopold’s Ice Cream created the Kahlua and Coffee flavor exclusively for 17Hundred90.

The original structure was built in 1790, then rebuilt in 1821 after burning the previous year. To this day, the restaurant/inn is purported to be haunted.

Fred’s Hickory Inn

Bentonville, Arkansas

Year opened: 1970

Owners: Local investors including Randy Lawson and Dick Mahan

Cuisine: Fine Dining and Smoked Meats

Sales: +$1 million

A fire in October 2014 forced the restaurant to close for a few months, but it reopened to celebrate original owner “Lou” Gaye’s 100th birthday in 2015. She had sold the restaurant in 2005 following the death of her husband and co-owner, Fred.

Chez Panisse

Berkeley, California

Year opened: 1971

Owner: Alice Waters

Cuisine: Seasonal, Local, and Organic

Average check: $100

Named after a character from Marcel Pagnol’s 1930 movie trilogy about Marseille. The restaurant opened an upstairs café in 1980, with a more moderately priced menu.

R.J. Grunts

Chicago

Year opened: 1971

Owner: Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (leye)

Cuisine: American

Average check: $14.50 lunch, $18 dinner

R.J. Grunts is the first Lettuce Entertain You restaurant and claims to be home to the world’s first salad bar. Black and white photos lining the walls are of former and current servers, dating as far back as 1971.

Peppermill Restaurant and Fireside Lounge

Las Vegas

Year opened: 1972

Owner: Lorenzo Doumani

Cuisine: American

Average check: $41 E

Featured in music videos as well as in “CSI: Miami” and Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.” Its 24-hour Fireside Lounge boasts an engaging fire pit.

City Tavern

Philadelphia

Year opened: 1975

Owner: Walter Staib

Cuisine: Classic American

Sales: $3.8 million

Average check: $35

The original City Tavern opened in 1773 and was an integral part of history, including visits by Paul Revere and many of the founding fathers from George Washington to Thomas Jefferson. Chef Staib, the owner since 1994, hosts the PBS show “A Taste of History.”

Harvest

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Year opened: 1975

Owner: Chris Himmel, Himmel Hospitality Group

Cuisine: Contemporary New England

Average check: $72 E

The Sunday brunch has become a Harvard Square classic with starters like Carrot Ginger Soup or Strawberry Fritters, followed by entrées that include a Goat Cheese Omelette, Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict, and Buttermilk Biscuits with Chorizo Gravy. The go-to dessert is Pecan Doughnuts with a bourbon milkshake.

Irregardless Café

Raleigh, North Carolina

Year opened: 1975

Owner: Arthur Gordon

Cuisine: Farm Fresh and Contemporary

Average check: $50 to $65 E

The market’s first vegetarian restaurant and a supporter of sustainable practices long before they were mainstream, Irregardless also became the first restaurant in the “tobacco state” to declare itself a totally nonsmoking setting—that was in 1985, 25 years before smoking was banned in all restaurants. In 1994, a fire forced the restaurant to close for 11 months, but Gordon continued to pay his long-term employees in exchange for them volunteering in local charitable organizations.

Jeffrey’s

Austin, Texas

Year opened: 1975

Owners: Larry McGuire and Tom Moorman

Cuisine: French American

Sales: +$4 million

Average check: $100 to $125

Chef/owners Larry McGuire and Tom Moorman acquired Jeffrey’s in 2013, and that same year opened the more modestly priced Josephine House in the adjoining cottage.

L’Etoile

Madison, Wisconsin

Year opened: 1976

Owners: Chef Tory Miller and his sister, Traci Miller, and Krys Wachowiak

Cuisine: Global and Seasonal

Sales: $1 to $2 million

Average check: $150

An à la carte menu features multiple options and a seven-course prix fixe menu is priced $125, with wine pairings for $65.

Brennan Wesley
Poogan’s Porch is one of Charleston’s oldest independent restaurants.

Poogan’s Porch

Charleston, South Carolina

Year opened: 1976

Owner: The Ball Family

Cuisine: Contemporary Southern

The famous buttermilk biscuits come from a recipe that has been passed down for generations.

Chris Madrid’s

San Antonio, Texas

Year opened: 1977

Owner: The Madrid Family

Cuisine: Tacos and Burgers

Average check: $15 to $20 E

In 1988, Chris Madrid’s was selected to participate at the Kumamoto, Japan–San Antonio, Sister City Fair, which won the restaurant some Japanese fans.

The Inn at Little Washington

Washington, Virginia

Year opened: 1978

Owner: Patrick O’Connell

Cuisine: Classic French, with a modern twist

Average check: Tasting menu is $218

Awarded two Michelin stars, the restaurant has received five James Beard awards and a AAA rating of five diamonds. Proprietor Patrick O’Connell is a self-taught chef whose alliance with local farmers and artisanal producers began more than 30 years ago, before that was the norm.

Refectory

Columbus, Ohio

Year opened: 1980

Owner: Kamel Boulos

Cuisine: Classic French and Contemporary American

Sales: $3 million

Average check: $60

For its first 100 years the building served as a church, circa 1842. When it was sold in 1971, a clause in the deed said it could never again be a church. That was the beginning of its life as a restaurant, and in 1980 it became the Refectory.

Elizabeth on 37th has a staff of chefs who haven't been professionally trained.

Elizabeth on 37th

Savannah, Georgia

Year opened: 1981

Owners: Greg and Gary Butch

Cuisine: Coastal New Southern

Sales: $1 to $2 million

Average check: $75

No chef at the restaurant has ever been to culinary school or been professionally taught how to cook—including cofounder and James Beard Award winner Elizabeth Terry. Heritage Organic Farm in nearby Guyton grows produce solely for the restaurant, and its octogenarian proprietor Shirley Daughtry still works in the gardens.

Raintree Restaurant

St. Augustine, Florida

Year opened: 1981

Owner: Lorna MacDonald

Cuisine: Intercontinental

Average check: $40 to $60

Frustrated by high taxes, the MacDonald family boarded a 45-foot yacht, Intsholo III, and shipped off from England in March 1979. Tristan and Alex, along with their son, Gaere, and daughter, Lorna, sold everything—business, house, cars, and furniture—and headed for the U.S. Seventeen days and six hours later, they anchored at Bridgetown, Barbados. Next stop: St. Augustine, the nation’s oldest city. The family found the Raintree’s location in November 1980. They spent 10 months renovating and restoring the Victorian house at 102 San Marco Avenue. The kitchen’s three chefs (Matt Berg, Jeff Keane, and Lorna’s husband, Chris Cantabene), have more than 44 combined years of working at the Raintree.

Crook’s Corner

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Year opened: 1982

Owner: Gene Hamer

Cuisine: Southern

Average check: $25

A pioneering restaurant for elevated Southern cuisine thanks to founding chef Bill Neal and current chef Bill Smith. The menu includes iconic dishes like shrimp and grits, honeysuckle sorbet, green Tabasco chicken, and Southern steak frites with Jerusalem artichoke relish.

Highlands Bar and Grill

Birmingham, Alabama

Year opened: 1982

Owners: Frank and Pardis Stitt

Cuisine: French-inspired Southern

Sales: +$3 million

Average check: $65 to $75

Stitt Restaurant Group also owns Bottega Restaurant and Chez Fon Fon, and Chef Frank was inducted into the James Beard “Who’s Who of Food and Beverage” in 2011.


 

Madison’s Café
Madison's menu is continually revised and reflects seasonal availability.

Madison’s Café

Jefferson City, Missouri

Year opened: 1982

Owner: Rob Agee

Cuisine: Steaks, Seafood, and Italian

Average check: $20 to $30

The scratch-made biscotti is a family recipe passed down for over 100 years. Each year, the month of August features a “school daze” special where children 13 and under eat for free at lunch and dinner. Madison's menu is continually revised and reflects seasonal availability and the restaurant's long-established relationships with local growers and farmers, partnerships that have been nurtured in the past 34 years. The restaurant also grows and uses herbs from its own garden. Madison's has been voted Best Restaurant by the Jefferson City Magazine for the past six years, and Most Romantic Restaurant by the Jefferson City News Tribune's Readers' Choice Poll for more than a decade.