Now’s the perfect time to sample what’s cooking at America's hottest new restaurants. Here, 8 spots we can't wait to check out.
In Situ, San Francisco
Most chefs open a restaurant to showcase their own dishes — but Corey Lee turns that concept on its head at In Situ, his new spot at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The man behind the acclaimed Benu tapped more than 80 top toques from around the world (Alice Waters, René Redzepi, Virgilio Martínez, to name a few) to create a recipe or dish, which will be served on a rotating basis.
Josephine Estelle, New Orleans
The trendsetting Ace Hotel has made its way to the Big Easy, transforming a historic building in the Warehouse District into a Roman and Williams-designed hipster magnet. Memphis chefs (and James Beard Award nominees) Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman are running the culinary show, and that includes the osteria Josephine Estelle. Among the highlights of the Southern-inspired Italian menu: house-made pastas like agnolotti with sweetbreads, chanterelles, black pepper, and parmesan. For dessert, don't miss the blood orange tart with pine nuts, rosemary and crème fraîche gelato.
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Duck Duck Goat, Chicago
It’s a common story these days: chef hosts a pop-up dinner, which proves to be so successful that chef decides to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant. And so it went for Chicago wunderkind Stephanie Izard, the James Beard Award winner behind Girl & the Goat and the Little Goat Diner. This time, she’s tackling Chinese food, with an expansive menu of dim sum, whole Peking duck, hand-pulled noodles, and of course, goat-based dishes like Sichuan eggplant with goat sausage and goat belly lo mein. (Also of note in Chi-town: Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas' new project, Roister, which opened in April.
Agern and Great Northern Food Hall, New York City
Danish chef Claus Meyer, the co-founder of Copenhagen’s world-renowned Noma, is taking the Big Apple by storm with two newsworthy openings — and his first projects in the U.S. The first is the seasonally driven Agern, where executive chef Gunnar Gíslason of Iceland's Dill will run the kitchen, creating simple, fresh dishes using local ingredients. The second venture is actually a 5,000-square-foot food hall in Grand Central Terminal's Vanderbilt Hall, complete with five dining areas serving everything from pressed juice to smørrebrød (traditional Danish open-faces sandwiches) plus a bar.
This hotly anticipated restaurant — named for Frederick Law Olmsted, co-creator of Prospect Park — is what you get when an uber-talented young chef like Greg Baxtrom (a vet of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Per Se, and Alinea) pairs up with a horticulturist like Ian Rothman, who created a subterranean, hydroponic garden for Tribeca's Atera. Seasonal, local ingredients are the name of the game here, including what's growing in the restaurant's own backyard garden.
Mabel’s BBQ, Cleveland
Cleveland native Michael Symon first put the Midwestern city on the country’s food map in 1997, with the opening of Lola Bistro. For his latest — named for his bullmastiff — Symon has invented a new regional style of barbecue that uses a mustard-based sauce and meat cooked low and slow over applewood. Communal picnic tables, industrial lighting, and exposed brick set the stage for ribs, burnt end sandwiches, and kielbasa with house-made kraut.
Pineapple and Pearls, Washington, D.C.
Aaron Silverman of DC’s Rose’s Luxury fame has launched a fine-dining spot on Barracks Row — one that uses an online ticketing system to book tables, charges $250 flat for a multi-course meal (including drink pairings, taxes, and tip), and is only open Tuesday through Friday. Diners can choose between the 22-seat dining room or eight-seat chef's counter. There's also a daytime coffee bar serving a select menu of to-go baked goods and sandwiches.
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Gwen, Los Angeles
Australian chef Curtis Stone is set to open this meat lover’s spot in Hollywood, in the former Mercantile space. Fire-centric cooking will be the focus at Gwen, which is named after Stone's maternal grandmother. (His first restaurant, the award-winning Maude in Beverly Hills, honors his paternal grandma.) There will also be an on-site butcher shop selling a large selection of charcuterie. Opening in July.