There’s more to being a foodie than simply showing up at every restaurant opening and sharing selfies on social media. Context is a go-to dish, for instance, as is an understanding of history.
You can explore both in “Ten Restaurants That Changed America” by Yale history professor and food authority Paul Freedman (Liveright, $35, 560 pages). He introduces us to legendary chefs and tours us through the dining rooms of restaurants whose innovations changed the dining world.
Of course, Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse in Berkeley is included, as are the French-Creole Antoine’s in New Orleans (with 14 dining rooms) and Delmonico’s in New York City, which opened in 1837 and pioneered the first printed menu. Also on the safari are the Mandarin in San Francisco (closed in 2006) and Howard Johnson’s, once America’s biggest restaurant chain. Its last outlet, in Lake George, N.Y., shuttered in 2016.