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Akashi: Yoichi Akashi, who worked as the sushi chef at Sushi Yasuda and as the chef de cuisine at Sushi Nakazawa, finally has his own restaurant. The menu is served as omakase kappo, meaning the chef will order and prepare dishes using four techniques: cut, boil, stew and fry. Though there are tables, the best seats are the 10 that line the bar.
Flora Bar: The Upper East Side has long struggled as a dining area, but as of this week, the neighborhood can count the talented pair behind Estela as part of their scene. Ignacio Mattos and Thomas Carter’s new project is set in the Met Breuer space and is open to both museum visitors and the general public. Expect dishes like kampachi crudo with plum and onion and an endive and blue cheese salad.
Ops: Joining the ranks of quality Bushwick restaurants is this newcomer from an Estela and a Buvette alum, plus the owner of Variety Coffee, which is just next door. The pizzas here come with sourdough crusts and in varieties like the Pops, made with tomato, mozzarella, pecorino, guanciale and onion. Expect the pie options to rotate regularly.
Manuela: Part of the Hauser Wirth & Schimmel gallery, this Arts District spot is simultaneously warm and industrial with exposed brick, cozy banquettes and a garden that includes a chicken coop (yes, really). Wes Whitsell, who grew up in North Texas, is running the kitchen, so expect small nods to the South.
Rambler: In the space that was long ago Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio, Rambler has sprouted in the Hotel Zeppelin. The menu has Italian touches in dishes like tagliatelle with lamb sausage, but there’s also charred Little Gem lettuces and broccoli with anchovy and Manchego dressing, and cod with manila clams, fennel and olives.
Willow RM: Marissa Janz, who worked as a line cook at Nico Osteria, is stepping into a chef’s role at Willow RM, where she’s serving charcuterie; mussels with chiles and shallots; and polenta cakes with goat cheese, hen-of-the-wood mushrooms and a poached egg.
Ambar: A taste of the Balkans has arrived in Arlington at the second D.C.-area outpost of this restaurant that features numerous spreads like ajvar made with roasted pepper eggplant and garlic, and tzatziki with roasted beets. There are also plenty of grilled meats, including skewers and a boar burger.
Relish Restaurant & Bar: The team behind Relish Fine Foods has finally sprouted its full-grown concept. The menu here is different, but a couple of old favorites transferred over, including the chicken salad. There’s also rotisserie chicken and trays of fried chicken with carrots.
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