Photo by Roberto Rodriguez

Cardwell's at the Plaza

Once again, Bill Cardwell finds himself ahead of the curve. The celebrated chef’s namesake restaurant at Plaza Frontenac has drawn crowds for 20 years now. (I still can’t land a table at lunch without a reservation.) A forerunner of what is now the default mode of upscale cuisine — seasonal, approachable — Cardwell might have lost some cachet as younger chefs opened more of-the-moment restaurants, but his place kept humming, and now that the pendulum has swung back to more casual, crowd-pleasing fare, Cardwell’s wood-fired pizzas, American bistro fare and, of course, Bill’s Burger Meister Burger seem like a model.