Melissa McCart

Editor, The Bittman Project on Substack

United States

Co-author with Rick Easton of Bread and Salt, "Bread and How To Eat It," Knopf, 2022

Freelancer: Eater National, Saveur, Bon Appetit, Taste Cooking, Washington Post, Washington City Paper, Washingtonian, and others.

Previous: Eater NY editor, Newsday restaurant columnist, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette restaurant columnist, Broward Palm-Beach New Times restaurant columnist


The Bittman Project and other recent work

Wirecutter: Reviews for the Real World
Melissa McCart

by Melissa McCart and Sabrina Imbler After brewing and drinking over 75 pots of coffee, we think the cleverly designed Espro P3 is the best French press for making a bold yet balanced brew.

Grub Street
Birria LES Is the Halal Mexican Spot Blowing Up TikTok

Stop me if you've heard this one before: A pair of Muslim Bangladeshis decide to open a Halal Mexican spot near where they grew up in the Lower East Side, with the help of a Mexican chef, whose birria promptly blows up on TikTok. Typical New York story, right?

Michael White Is Out at the Altamarea Restaurant Group

One of New York's most acclaimed chefs is moving on: Michael White has left his post as the top chef within the Altamarea Group, the hospitality company he co-founded, which runs prominent New York dining rooms such as Marea, Ai Fiori, and Osteria Morini.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Mapping Hunger

Forty-seven percent of Pittsburghers live in a food desert.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Nation is churning out new era of school lunch

The place where breakfasts and lunches are made for elementary and middle school students in Pittsburgh Public Schools bears no resemblance to a kitchen. It is a corrugated metal, 62,000-square-foot warehouse next to the railroad tracks on the South Side. As the building opens each day at 5 a.m., giant machines in the center of the main room whir awake.

Eater New York

Eater NY
Coffee Roasters Are Opening in New York Faster Than Ever

New York's coffee culture is ushering in the era of local roasting, with coffee brands landing high-dollar real estate around the city - in Brooklyn in particular - to house roasting equipment in-house. The most recent announcement is that Lofted coffee owners Tobin Polk and Lance Schnorenberg are rolling outSey Coffee , (yes spelled backwards), pouring a signature Nordic-style bright roast in Bushwick (18 Grattan Street).

The Problem With Cashless Restaurants

A strange scene plays out occasionally at the register at Daily Provisions, restaurateur Danny Meyer's first counter-service restaurant since Shake Shack: A diner will order - an egg sandwich, a cup of coffee, a glazed cruller - pull out their wallet, and slide out a $20 bill.

The Restaurant Bringing Glorious French Bistro Vibes to Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is buzzing: the biggest restaurant opening of the season has arrived. Poulet Bleu, a project by empire-building chef Richard DeShantz and his business partner Tolga Sevdik, opened its ground-floor dining room last week in what's poised to be a much bigger restaurant, with a second floor, a roof deck, and an expansive outdoors all on track to open by spring.

Eater NY
Lidia Bastianich 'Needs to Have her Hands Close to the Ground' - in Queens

Queens isn't known for its gardens but Lidia Bastianich has maintained her own in the borough - Douglaston, to be specific, her residence of 30-plus years. It's here that she's planted an heirloom garden, shaped by her growing up in Istria, formerly Italian, now Croatian, across the water from Italy-at-large.

Eater NY
The Biggest Restaurant Openings of the Season

Whether they're passion projects from indie operators, imports from around the U.S. and the world, or grand affairs from chefs who are shaping how New York dines, these restaurants are the short list of openings to watch from now through the spring. Read on for details.


Intimate eatery offers Persian dishes, polished experience

In 2013, Ali Motamedi bought Azerbaijan Grill in East Meadow from a family friend, updated the space, assembled an Eastern Mediterranean menu studded with Persian classics and named the place Sufiya's Grill for his newborn daughter. This past August, he opened the second location, just before the birth of his second child.

Natural wines are growing in popularity

Natural wines have gained cachet as more oenophiles seek out boutique brands and small-batch production. Even if you're unwilling to abandon your favorite big-name Pinot, trying more natural wines often increases the chance of discovering a really interesting one that's less expensive than those of comparable quality from a bigger brand.

LI spots serving crazy, delicious doughnuts

Among petite pastries dolled up with frostings, glazes, sprinkles and even bacon, doughnuts have become the darling of the bakery, especially when they're served hot. Classics, of course, never go out of style, from the jiggly fruit of a jelly doughnut or a dunkable ring sifted with cinnamon.

LI Peruvian spot features meat-focused menu

Long Island hosts more Peruvian restaurants than ever - something to celebrate, as that country's food earns recognition for a melting pot of influences, its rising star chefs and distinct ingredients from the jungle, the sea and the highlands.

New eatery offers eclectic menu, great people-watching

In 2006, tasting menus and cocktail pairings signified high-end restaurants, farm-to-table was the buzz and the march of small plates had begun. It was a year of peak foodie-ism when Donald and Anne Finley took over the closed Ground Round in Roslyn to transform their far-reaching plans into reality for a restaurant to be called Barto.

How to make an at-home clambake

A traditional clambake involves the romance of an open flame, plenty of drinks, fine weather for outdoor dining and a crowd with an appetite for a shellfish bounty.

Breakfast-for-dinner is the draw at LI cafe

Down a muscular stretch of Sunrise Highway in Rockville Centre, a bakery beckons with umbrella-shaded tables, daisies brimming from planters and the promise of sweet treats and a latte inside.

New Chinese spot opens on LI

Owner Yang Liu said the name is a reference to the LOL acronym "laughing out loud,'' the online game League of Legends and "a Chinese reference to eating food on skewers."

Eater National, Saveur and other freelance work

Better Bread Means Better Bread Crumbs

Better Bread Means Better Bread Crumbs Bread crumbs may seem like an end-of-days ingredient to horde in anticipation of the rich getting richer and the bottoming out of the middle class. At face value, they have a seduction quotient right up there with turnips and tuna fish. But they can actually be luxurious.

You Don't Need a Restaurant Empire to Be a Successful Chef

Restaurant sales are projected to hit $782.7 billion in 2016, according to the National Restaurant Association, with 47 percent of what we spend on food directed toward dining out. And while it might seem like chains or restaurant groups have an increasing edge in the industry, seven of 10 restaurants are stand-alones with one location, which suggests that mom-and-pop restaurants are alive and well.

Washington Post
A World of Bargains: Asian Markets Attract Chefs and Budget-Minded Shoppers

First opened under the name Han Ah Reum, which loosely translates to "warm heart," H Mart was founded by Il Yeon Kwon in Queens, N.Y., in 1982. The name eventually was shortened to H Mart, and the products in individual stores were diversified according to the demographics of the neighborhood. Each of the company's 32 stores nationwide covers 25,000 to 80,000 square feet and stocks nearly 25,000 products.

Washington Post
The Go-Betweens

To obtain a local product -- say, tomatoes -- without a middleman, chefs have three options. They can go to farmers markets themselves. They can build a relationship with a farmer who will deliver directly to the restaurant several times a week. Or they can pay more to an out of town guy who doesn't offer the freshness of or the cache of local.

Washington Post
It's the Year of the Noodle

Whether they're buckwheat-based soba, wheat-based udon, cellophane, rice or egg, Asian noodles are hitting their stride as one of the city's most versatile, inexpensive comfort foods.

Washington City Paper
The Right Stuff

Lunchtime at Restaurant Eve, and Dan Fisher is doing unspeakable things to a pig. Nearby, folks on the line stir, sautée, grill, and plate. Fisher? He's skinning a pork shoulder; behind him, a vat of water boils, a pig snout poking up from the rim.

Washington City Paper
Family Style

Hank's Oyster Bar is packed on a spring evening. Patrons quaff New Mexican bubbly and wait for a coveted seat on the patio; along the back wall, a server explains the difference between Hama Hama, Olde Salt, and Kumamoto bivalves to a two-top. Just beyond the bar, Chef Jamie Leeds oversees the scene.

Washington Post
Virginia on the Half Shell

TOPPING, Va. -- Where the Rappahannock River meets the Chesapeake Bay, the girth of the river is formidable. This is where cousins Ryan and Travis Croxton, founders of Rappahannock River Oysters, untie their Carolina Skiff from the dock and putter downstream to check on their oysters.

Washington Post
Drive Time for Dining Moguls

Restaurateur Ashok Bajaj might shake more than 100 hands as he makes the rounds of his six dining rooms every night, but his visits are not just for the meet-and-greet. He's also inspecting.

New Times

New Times
Mickey's Bar in Pompano Beach: A Home for Bikers

There are no flourishes in the warehouse district in Pompano, where the buildings are low and squat and a methadone clinic is one of the busier daytime establishments. On a rainy night, Andrews Avenue is lonely and gray.