Dining

12 Brand-New Restaurants That Belong on Your Radar

From NYC's obsession with Rome to Bill Chait's return to L.A., things are heating up
12 Brand-New Restaurants That Belong on Your Radar
Bird Bird Biscuit | Photo: Chelsea Francis

Looking for a new restaurant to try this weekend? Here are 12 options around the country to get you started.

New York

Leonelli Taberna

New York’s obsession with Rome doesn’t seem to be waning anytime soon. Jonathan Benno, who logged hours at Lincoln and Per Se, is behind this Roman restaurant in The Evelyn hotel, where he’s serving supplì (Rome's signature croquettes) and trippa alla Romana. Benno is also behind Leonelli Focacceria e Pasticceria, a casual Italian café concept also located in the hotel. There, he's serving simple bites like the focaccia stacked with tomato and mozzarella, plus a full range of Italian sweets including freshly piped cannoli and sfogliatelle.

Rosemary's Pizza

Neighborhood favorite Rosemary’s has a new sibling in the West Village, and it’s obsessed with pizza. There’s the classic Margherita, naturally, but also creative pies like the pepperoni with nduja, a sprouts and sausage number, and one with broccoli rabe paired with stracciatella and pine nuts.

Kopitiam

The beloved Malaysian restaurant has a new home in the former Lam Zhou space on East Broadway. The fast-casual resto begins breakfast early so diners can stop by for kaya butter toast or fish ball soup to start the day. In the afternoon, there’s nasi lemak (coconut rice with fried anchovies and peanuts), spicy sesame noodles and an oyster omelet.  

Los Angeles

Tesse

Legendary Angeleno restaurateur Bill Chait is back after a short stint away from the Sprout restaurant group. Located on Sunset, Chait's debut project is called Tesse, and he's partnered with Jordan Ogron, who was a part of the opening team of Besta, to help run the show. Menu highlights include bucatini with a side of bone marrow still in the bone, beef tartare and scallops topped with slices of black truffle, not to mention one of the most exciting wine programs to hit the city in recent memory.

 

bucatini with bone marrow

A post shared by Tesse Restaurant (@tesserestaurant) on

San Francisco

Soba Ichi

From the team who brought us Ipukku comes Soba Ichi, where the kitchen makes soba daily from scratch with wheat from Washington State. The soba comes hot in broth with green onions, mushrooms or duck, if you prefer; or cold, which is ideal for summer nights. Opt for an order that comes with freshly fried tempura.

 

those onions

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Chicago

Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods

There are 835 miles between Chicago and New Orleans, but the team behind this Wicker Park spot is aiminging to reduce the distance. The name of the game is po'boys, loaded with fried oysters or grilled shrimp. Fried chicken and gumbo also make appearances. And beignets doused with powdered sugar are served for dessert.

Washington, D.C.

San Lorenzo

There’s a new Italian addition to Shaw from chef-turned-restaurateur Massimo Fabbri, who you might recognize from Tosca. The restaurant, where All-Purpose alum Andy Clark runs the kitchen, is named after his son and the patron saint of chefs, and draws from Fabbri's upbringing in Tuscany. Expect dishes like pappardelle with Tuscan-style rabbit ragù and a Tuscan tomato and bread soup. The restaurant also opened just in time for squash blossom season, so be sure to spring for an order of the flowers, which are filled with goat cheese and fried to perfection.

Gravitas

Matt Baker’s new project in Ivy City is the tasting menu-only restaurant perfect for date nights. A welcome addition to the nabe, the space boasts a two-top chef’s counter, which serves 15 courses to those who can snag the seats, and an airy dining room where diners can choose their own adventures with features menus of varying lengths (four to seven courses).

Austin

Bird Bird Biscuit

Brian Batch’s long-awaited biscuit spot has landed. On first visit, you'd do well to order the namesake biscuit, with bacon, eggs over easy, cheddar cheese and a slather of chipotle bacon mayo. There’s also the Lush Life sandwich with fried eggplant, house-pickled onions, mozzarella and tomato garlic jam. And, naturally, there are biscuits with gravy. Note: The shop closes at 2 p.m., so plan to eat your biscuits in the morning or for lunch.

 

The Biscuit Has Landed. �� �: @loveofallofthethings #abiscuitandadream

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Houston

L&L Hawaiian Grill

Diners who have eaten around Hawaii may recognize the L&L sign, designed to look like a surfboard. The island chain just opened its first location in Houston, surfing into Katy with kalua pork with cabbage, the Aloha State’s beloved SPAM musubi and loco moco made with white rice and hamburgers topped with fried eggs.

Detroit

SheWolf Pastificio & Bar

As one of Detroit's most anticipated openings of the year, SheWolf is giving the city the modern Italian restuarant it deserves. Chef Anthony Lombardo is milling his own wheat in the Cass Corridor to offer 10 varities of pastas like the scarpinocc di patate, or dumplings filled with potato, the Detroit Free Press reports. There’s also the dish of the moment, cacio e pepe, and francobolli di salsiccia, or ricotta- and sausage-filled pasta.

Miami

Obra Kitchen Table

Carlos Garcia, a Venezuelan chef whose restaurant Alto in Caracas has ranked on the Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants list, just debuted his first U.S. project in Brickell. His menu isn’t strictly Venezuelan, but traditional touches like the fried arepas paired with grouper make appearances, alongside foie gras with snow peas and a pineapple ancho vinaigrette.

Devra Ferst is a food writer, editor and cooking teacher based in Brooklyn. She cares much more about babka than any one woman should. Follow her on Instagram at @dferst.

  • San Lorenzo, Washington, D.C.

    Photo: Rey Lopez

  • Leonelli Focacceria e Pasticceria, New York

    Photo: Evan Sung

  • Leonelli Taberna, New York

    Photo: Evan Sung

  • Bird Bird Biscuit, Austin

    Photo: Chelsea Francis

  • Tesse, L.A.

    Photo: Wonho Frank Lee

  • San Lorenzo, Washington, D.C.

    Photo: Rey Lopez

  • Ina Mae, Chicago

    Photo: Hilary Higgens

  • Ina Mae, Chicago

    Photo: Hilary Higgens

  • Rosemary's Pizza, New York

    Photo: Danielle Adams

  • Gravitas, Washington, D.C.

    Photo: Leading DC

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