Dining

16 Brand-New Restaurants to Try This Week

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The 16 Best New Restaurants to Try Around the Country
Photo: Liz Clayman

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New York:

Alta Calidad

Akhtar Nawab's newest venture is in Prospect Heights, and he's sticking with the flavors of Mexico with tacos, Coca-Cola lamb ribs, pumpkin blossom quesadillas and a hulking rib eye a la plancha for the table. And for days when only cheese will do, there are also queso fundidos, which come with plantain chips for the ultimate dipping experience.

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KazuNori

The sushi fanatics lined up outside of Sugarfish now have another spot to stalk. KazuNori, the Cali-based hand roll-focused restaurant's little sister, has opened just a few blocks away from the original. The concept is straightforward—hand rolls filled with salmon, crab, cucumber, lobster and a few other options are sold individually or in combo deals, like three for $13.

Villanelle

Nick Licata, the chef at this new veg-forward spot near Union Square, will, of course, be sourcing his ingredients from the nearby farmers' market, preparing a menu of sunchokes with crème fraîche and trout roe; Brussel sprouts with cheddar, rye and cashews; and an enticing dessert made from parsnips, white chocolate and sea salt.

Chouchou

Unless you happen to know someone skilled in cooking complex Moroccan fare, dishes from this western Mediterranean country are hard to come by in New York City. But Chouchou hopes to change that with four tagine options and six couscous dishes.

Los Angeles:

The Ponte

Scarpetta's Scott Conant is back with a new Italian restaurant. This one, located in the former Terrine space, keeps things pretty classic with a menu of ricotta ravioli and squid-ink pasta with clams, a handful of pizzas, and an osso buco for two.

SOCA

Settle into one of the long and luxurious tufted banquettes at this recently opened Sherman Oaks restaurant. Chef Aaron Robins starts things off with a few raw bar bites then moves on to heartier options like wild mushroom ragù tagliatelle. If you plan to order for the table, try the Butt, Belly & Bone, which includes char siu roasted pork butt, a bone-in chop, shishito peppers and crispy sunchokes.  

San Francisco:

Hitachino Beer & Wagyu

The name says it all here. The first U.S. outpost of this popular Japanese brewpub focuses on house-brewed craft beer and high-quality beef. For now, the two are teamed up in a kappo-style tasting menu (around $100) that changes on a daily basis, but as the team settles in, expect à la carte ordering to arrive this spring. In the meantime, a small menu of beer and snacks can be ordered at the bar.

China Live

 

FIELD TRIP | #chinalive #sanfrancisco

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Inside this massive sprawling space, diners can find several subspaces including Oolong Cafe, which highlights tea; the more casual Market Restaurant, serving dim sum, noodles, rice bowls and stir-fries; as well as a provisions shop. Later this spring, look out for Eight Tables, the complex's most elevated restaurant.

Chicago:

SafeHouse

Dinner comes with a side of mystery at this spy-inspired restaurant, which started in Milwaukee 50 years ago. Expect quirky menu item descriptions like "This South American dish is just as complex as the cartel," which describes The Colombian, a salad made with beef and smoked chicken. To add to the intrigue, diners also need to provide a password to get past the doorman.

Ella Elli

4 Star Restaurant Group's 11th spot has a swank deco-meets-disco vibe with velvet couches and chairs, and hanging light fixtures that look a bit like giant disco balls. The menu starts with charcuterie and prosciutto butter toast then marches on with a crispy grain salad with goat cheese and shaved vegetables, wood-oven octopus with potatoes and salsa verde, and a burger au poivre.  

Centennial Crafted Beer & Eatery

As the name might imply, there's no shortage of suds at this 56-tap River North beer bar. But that's not to say that the team has neglected the food program in favor of liquid lunches. Snacks like croquetas and charcuterie, as well as more substantial dishes like confit pork shank with roast Brussels sprouts and house-made smoked kielbasa with beer-braised cabbage, are on hand to soak up all that tasty booze.

Washington, D.C.:

Tiger Fork

 

Clams

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Blagden Alley's dining and drink scene continues to grow with the addition of Hong Kong-inspired Tiger Fork, located in the old Rogue 24 space. Cocktails are mixed with medicinal Chinese herbs and served alongside cold dan dan noodles, turnip cakes with pickled mushrooms, and crispy whole dorade with eggplant and Chinese celery.

Austin:

Mattie's

 

Welcome to Mattie's! We are thrilled to open this evening to all of you. (�: @anniegunn)

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After a 13-month refurbishment, Green Pastures is back with a restaurant named for one of the original owners, Martha "Mattie" Miner Faulk. Le Bernardin alum Joshua Thomas's standout items include fried chicken with potato purée and chipotle-yogurt dressing, as well as crispy cauliflower with spicy Thai bird chiles and a tangy tamarind barbecue sauce.

Houston:

Bosscat Kitchen & Libations

The team from Newport Beach's famed whiskey destination has hopped over to Houston to open their second location, this one stocked with more than 250 bottles of whiskey and decadent bar fare like pork belly poutine, Parm-crusted meat loaf and spicy fried frog's legs.

Miami:

Estefan Kitchen

Pop stars Gloria and Emilio Estefan are behind this recently opened Cuban Design District hot spot. So while you're making your way through a plate of palomilla, Cuban-style steak with white rice and black beans, or arroz con pollo with sweet plantains, keep in mind that a member of the staff may break out into song any minute.  

Detroit:

Dangerously Delicious Pies

This pop-up favorite has finally found a brick-and-mortar home for its savory and sweet treats. For lunch, opt for the BBQ pulled pork or ratatouille pies, or swing by for a slice of tart Key lime or chocolate peanut butter chess. The team likes to keeps things informal, so it's counter service only.

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