Restaurant Roundup

17 restaurants to add to your must-try list

New York City

The Pennsy: Outside of K-Town, food options near Penn Station have always been bleak (and seriously, no one wants to eat in an Amtrak train car). A new 8,000-square-foot food market counts stalls from Marc Forgione, meat master Pat LaFrieda, gluten-free advocate Franklin Becker and vegan wizard The Cinnamon Snail, plus there's a Mario Batali-and-Mary Giuliani spot. Food can be taken on the go or eaten at the market's communal tables. Find The Pennsy on DINE.

Seaborne: Last summer, the cocktail world lost Sasha Petraske, one of its most creative and significant leaders. At the time, the man behind Milk & Honey had a few projects in the works, including a Red Hook bar, which is now opening. Petraske disciple Lucinda Sterling has helped bring the vision to life and will turn out frozen drinks like a boozy apple cider, lemon and fennel snow cone-inspired version.

Syndicated: Outside of Netflix and Seamless, dinner and a movie couldn't really be simpler than Syndicated in Bushwick. The complex has a bar, restaurant and small movie theater that's screening indie flicks. Expect hot fried chicken, a requisite kale salad and Scotch eggs. Find Syndicated on DINE.

Los Angeles

Obicà: The Italian-based mozzarella-focused restaurant is now serving balls of the milky white stuff in Santa Monica. As with the restaurant's New York location, mozzarella made in Campania is flown in twice a week and given its own dedicated section on the menu. To fill out a meal, there's also pizza, pasta, salads and familiar Italian standbys. Find Obicà on DINE.

Nighthawk: Breakfast is all-day food if you ask us or Spago alum Greg Schroeppel. At this bar-meets-diner, he's cooking boozy breakfast fare, like drunken French toast, in the evenings. The meals come with coffee and a copy of the paper, and, of course, there's a menu of spiced cereal milk cocktails, because why wouldn't there be? Find Nighthawk on DINE.

San Francisco

Cafe Eugene: Peek through the window into the kitchen and watch as the chefs masterly prepare "Califoregon" food. This means coastal hybrid dishes like roasted cauliflower with Oregon cheddar Mornay and an affogato with dairy-free ice cream from nearby spot Mr. Dewie's. Clear your morning plans later this month for seven-days-a-week brunch service. Find Cafe Eugene on DINE.

The Bywater: Of his new Los Gatos spot, Manresa chef David Kinch says he wanted to create a place that he'd want to hang out at himself. We think he nailed it. With the New Orleans-inspired vibe and cuisine, it's a spot where you can sample oysters and caviar from the raw bar or spoon into hearty gumbo all under one roof. Find The Bywater on DINE.

Nachoria: The world needs more restaurants devoted solely to nachos, or, as the crew behind Nachoria call themselves, "purveyors of the triangle arts." You have eight options (spice it up with diablo shrimp or keep it vegetarian), and for those who prefer their Tex-Mex hand held, tacos and quesadillas are also on the menu. Find Nachoria on DINE.

Black Bark BBQ: Soulful Texas barbecue makes a strong return to the Fillmore District, thanks to the team behind 1300 on Fillmore. The dry-rubbed cuts are cooked low and slow to delicious, smoky results, and they make the perfect companion to down-home sides like bourbon mac and cheese. Find Black Bark BBQ on DINE.

Cadence: Its Facebook page says that it's "open and ready to get you drunk and happy," so grab a seat at one of the communal tables and meet someone new over black pepper ricotta dumplings and gravlax arancini. Also, add this new American spot to the list of tipping-included restaurants. Find Cadence on DINE.


Packed: Anticipation levels are high for this dumpling joint from Embeya chef Mike Sheerin. The menu will be switched up according to season, but go now to score butternut squash, sage and lady apples inside curry wrappers, and house-made pastrami with pickled green tomatoes and violet mustard. Find Packed on DINE.

Pork & Mindy's: No red jumpsuit-wearing aliens here. Just music and art from local artists, plus meaty goodness from Sandwich King's Jeff Mauro. After you devour a slow-smoked pulled pork sandwich and/or mulberry-smoked chicken on a waffle bun, score dessert nirvana with a mixer: a sweet-salty (and bacony) take on a milkshake. Find Pork & Mindy's on DINE.


Hula Girl Bar and Grill: The Hawaiian wave (that was once just a food truck) has hit Arlington in the form of Hula Girl. Here, the team is serving three types of poke (tuna, grilled octopus and salmon), the state's iconic loco moco, and Waialua root beer sticky ribs. The cheerful space might just help fight off the brutal winter blues. Find Hula Girl on DINE.

Nazca Mochica: Georgetown alums Robert Preston and Walter Lopez are teaming up with Peruvian chef Roberto Castre for this double-decker project. On the first floor, there's a pisco bar with tapas and ceviche. Upstairs in the full-service restaurant, Castre is cooking cilantro lamb short rib stew with yucca and aji amarillo chicken with Peruvian potatoes, olives and egg. The team is just getting started so expect a longer menu in the coming weeks. Find Nazca Mochica on DINE.


L'Estelle House: "The love child of a cowboy and a French philosopher, who was raised in Texas but summers in the South of France" is how the team describe their project. They're still settling in and developing the menu, but there's already truffled mac and cheese and brunchy sandwiches with ham, truffled fondue and a fried egg in the evenings. Pull up a seat in the restaurant's garden. Find L'Estelle House on DINE.

Bufalina Due: Steven Dilley's popular Bufalina now has a little sister, and a swank one at that. The pizza spot is all brushed concrete, wooden tables and Stefano Ferrara oven from which cooked pies are pulled. Meanwhile, over at the original, Brooklyn's legendary pizzeria, Roberta's, will be hosting a pop-up January 25 to 28. Find Bufalina Due on DINE.


JuiceLand: Houston residents now have the secret to a healthy New Year—bike to yoga, recover with a fresh juice, repeat. The Austin-born juice shop opened up next to Black Swan Yoga on the Heights Hike and Bike Trail this weekend, and after pulling out all the stops for its grand opening party, happy customers are sure to return for their daily Peachy Greens and Morning Sunshines.