Esquire names Brooklyn’s Missy Robbins ‘Chef of the Year’

missy robbins

The team at Williamsburg’s Misi restaurant, with proprietor Missy Robbins leaning on counter (Photo courtesy of Misi, via Instagram)

Brooklyn’s renowned chef Missy Robbins has won another round of recognition. Esquire has named her “Chef of the Year” as well as ranking her new Williamsburg pasta palace Misi as one of the 20 best new restaurants in America.

At Misi, the sequel to the “pulsatingly popular Lilia,” writes Esquire, “You start with a series of vital vegetable dishes (slow-roasted tomatoes kissed with hot honey, soft grilled artichokes splashed with a minty salsa verde) and then the pastas. Linguine and fettuccine, pappardelle and stran­gozzi, corzetti and occhi: In Missy Robbins’s kitchen, these very words become a kind of cheese-and-pepper-dusted incantation.”

In naming her Chef of the Year, Esquire declared, “These are crazy times. We need comfort, we need sustenance, we need to get back to basics,” saying of Misi: “‘Keep it simple’ is its credo, and in her hands, serving you a perfect bowl of noodles with butter and cheese becomes a spiritual act, a secular serenity prayer amid the frothing, nerve-shredding lunacy of the news cycle.”

Former Manhattanite Robbins arrived in Brooklyn with a splash when she opened the upscale yet artisanal eatery Lilia, which soon received three stars from the New York Times. Last May, she won the James Beard Award for best chef in New York City. Her two restaurants epitomize a wave of new, inspired Italian cooking in the borough.