Bon Appetit best restaurants

11:30 a.m. Treating customers like kings may be a priority for Silverman, but the guy has serious cooking cred, too. He’s worked with two of the most influential chefs of the past decade: David Chang at Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York and Sean Brock at McCrady’s in Charleston, South Carolina. We stop for coffee on the way to Rose’s. Silverman orders a large with cream and lots and lots of sugar. He’s got a long day ahead of him.

11:45 a.m. Rose’s is already a hive of activity when we arrive. His mom, Jackie, is in the dining room arranging flowers. (Rose’s is a family affair: Mrs. Silverman and a friend painted the floor upstairs, while Silverman’s dad sealed it, and his uncle built some of the wood tables.) “Aaron called us one day and said he wanted to go to Harvard Business School, ” she recalls. “We said we’d do whatever we could to help him out. A week later he called back and said he was going to cooking school. I think he made the right decision.”

Noon Silverman meets with his two managers to go over menu changes: the crab claws with pickled-ramp-and-chive mayo are coming off; a peach salad with shiso, mint, and ricotta is going on. Reservations for the ten spots at the roof garden table—the only reservations Rose’s takes—are selling out three weeks in advance. And no wonder: The family-style meal includes off-menu items and a surprise goodie bag.

1 p.m. Silverman and his three sous-chefs discuss the ever-evolving menu. One of them wants to add crab cakes, but Silverman isn’t convinced. (“We won’t sell anything else, ” he worries.) Carrot top–walnut pesto is making its debut on fusilli tonight. The kitchen is excited—and that’s key. In two weeks, Silverman will close Rose’s for a staff retreat that includes grilling, drinking, and a Hall & Oates concert. “It’s not just about taking care of the guests, ” he explains. “It’s also about keeping the people I work with happy.” (Notice a theme?) After two months, any employee who does four or more shifts a week gets complete medical coverage. But it doesn’t stop there: Community is also important. Rose’s donates 25 cents per diner to the World Food Program USA. They’ve raised nearly $8, 000 to date.

1:30 p.m. Silverman’s roommate, Brooke Horn, and Kate Lee, a.k.a. “Farmer Kate, ” arrive bearing dill flowers and onion blossoms picked at a nearby community farm. They run upstairs to check on the rooftop herb garden.

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