Juneau, Alaska: A food destination built on crab legs
The food revolution has finally reached Alaska’s humble capital, said Liza Weisstuch in The Washington Post. Ask a local today where to find a meal and the answer will no longer be “Seattle” but any of a cluster of cafés, restaurants, or crab shacks where ambitious chefs who learned their trade in the Lower 48 are elevating Alaskan food. “So what is Alaskan food?” Think foraged cloudberries, seafood from the wild, and whole fish smoked over indigenous alder. And think a culinary scene that “works like linked gears,” because in a town of 32,000, everyone knows everyone else.
Salt Chef Lionel Uddipa, winner of 2017’s Great American Seafood Cook-Off, takes a morning in the wilderness to collect the mountain strawberries, beach asparagus, or spruce tips he incorporates into his specials. In Salt’s “upscale yet casual” dining room, he’ll sear Alaskan halibut at your table and pair it with foraged mushrooms and broccolini confit. 200 Seward St., (907) 780-2221
Tracy’s King Crab Shack Tracy LaBarge’s waterfront crab shack launched Juneau’s culinary awakening, and most every talent in town owes her for an early boost. The current Tracy’s feels like an institution, but it still has an open-air vibe, and the buckets of steamed king crab legs still get ferried out of the open kitchen by the dozens. 432 S. Franklin St., (907) 723-1811
In Bocca al Lupo The pizzas are made in a wood-burning oven behind the bar at this two-year-old casual Italian spot, where James Beard Award semifinalist Beau Schooler shows his skills with simple pastas. The crown jewel is cavatelli with parsley, Alaskan scallops, garlic, chili flakes, and cauliflower. 120 2nd St., (907) 586-1409.
Steve Legato, Liza Weisstuch/The Washington Post ■