I checked out Bon Appetit last winter right after their redesign (geared towards "young people"--presumably me) and wasn't terribly impressed.
They've got their shit together now, I believe. Particularly in the realm of photography. If you read Gastronobooks at all, you know I'm not a big fan of food photography--or at least not the type of glossy, boring, porny, repetitive bullshit photography the internets seem to burst with. No, this is photography that does its job. This is photography that picks up the slack where words fail us. The Molto Americano piece does such a job of setting the mood--no light, frivolous Giadarrific Italian for you, sir, oh no, this food has TEETH. As it should. And yeah, it's kind of tacky looking. But isn't there something refreshing about Salumi with Grape Mostarda and Whole Wheat Gnocchi Fritti being shot like a cheap gangster film that is deliciously refreshing?
And then there's the lady piece. (This lady piece, which I shouldn't have to explain pisses me off.) I cannot describe to you in words how amazing the choice of dirty plates is. It speaks to absolutely everything they talk about in the article--how "feminine food" isn't light and delicate, it's sensuous, it's simple. Boys cook fussy food and this, this you can bite into. Look, someone already did! Look at that pate plate. Genius. Genius coming ever so close to "Look how approachable this is, just like Mama used to make!" Sweeping towards offensive and condescending, but not quite making it because THE FOOD ITSELF CARRIES IT PAST THAT. Because it should and because it can. My god, Lady Piece. I think I'm in love.