18 New Restaurants You Need to Try
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Giant soup dumplings are now available in NYC (yes, straws are needed to slurp all of the goodness); Nomica, a modern take on a Japanese watering hole, has opened in the Bay Area; and Taiwanese street food bites are on the menu at Lao Tao Street Food in L.A. Here are the best brand-new spots to check out across the U.S.
Fish Cheeks: Brothers and chefs Chat and Ohm Suansilphong are bringing a taste of Thailand’s seafood to Noho. Dishes like coconut crab curry and goong aob woon senn (baked shrimp and pork belly with glass noodles and cilantro) are served family style, alongside rice and pakbon gai dan ai (watercress with spicy bird’s-eye chile and garlic).
Fish Cheeks' Crispy Garlic Branzino | Photo: Connie Zhou
Drunken Dumplings: It’s all about dumplings at this spot. The entire menu is just 11 items long, one of which is a giant xiao long bao, or soup dumpling served with a straw for safe drinking without any spillage. The owner comes from good stock: His mother, Qihui Guan, worked as a dumpling master at Chinatown legend Joe’s Shanghai.
Sweets by CHLOE.: Vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli’s first brick-and-mortar project, By Chloe, was an instant success, spawning multiple NYC locations and an outlet in 365 by Whole Foods in L.A., with plans for further expansion. Her first dedicated sweets shop is selling matcha babka, lemon bars, pecan pie and black-and-white cookies—all vegan, of course.
Harold's Meat and Three: Ex-Commerce chef Harold Moore is back in the kitchen at this spot on the west side of Downtown. Updating the concept of a classic Southern meat and three, Moore’s cooking beer-can chicken, whole roasted lobster and pork ribs over an open fire. As for those sides, there’s broccoli with burnt garlic, basil fried rice and twice-baked avocados.
Gingergrass: Silver Lake favorite Gingergrass is now also open in Little Tokyo, serving lunch specials like crispy tofu with bok choy and shiitake mushrooms, and pork chops with a garlic shallot sauce, each for just $10. There’s also banh mi to be had, shaking beef and four types of pho, including a seafood one with fish, shrimp, pineapple, tomato and tamarind broth.
Lao Tao Street Food: When you visit the Far East Plaza in Chinatown, be sure to look up. This new Taiwanese street food specialist is on the second floor serving beef ban mian, flat noodles that are coated with an eight-hour spicy bone marrow broth; a fried tofu skin roll stuffed with pork and fish paste and water chestnuts; and petite dumplings in a numbing chile oil.
P.Y.T.: Josef Centeno’s newest project focuses on vegetables, but don’t mistake it for a vegetarian restaurant. Think roasted kabocha squash with jujube and crème fraîche, and hand-torn pasta with mint and cilantro. Keep an eye out for the charming paintings of beets and greens that line the walls.
Nomica: One of SF’s most anticipated restaurant openings of the fall from the Sushi Ran team, Nomica is a Japanese drinking den, but elevated to a new level. The staff hails from Eleven Madison Park, Quince and Charlie Trotter’s, just to name a few, so expect dishes like tuna with braised beef cheeks, umeboshi and micro mirepoix, a beer waffle with matcha butter and truffled maple, and foie gras ice cream. Of course, there’s a lot of sake and cocktails to wash down all of that.
Mezcalito: Mescal is front and center here with a bar program from Guadalupe Jaques that includes drinks like the barrel-aged mescal Negroni. There are Oaxacan-inspired small plates like a grilled octopus tostada with peanuts and potato salad, hamachi crudo with orange and chile oil, and a Mexican chocolate tres leches cake with figs for dessert to pair with your mescal.
GT Prime: Imagine GT Fish & Oyster but focused on steak instead, and you will get the idea behind this modern steakhouse, which is complete with a cabin-meets-crystal chandelier. To eat, there’s Wagyu steak, venison, bison and lots of non-steak-but-still-meaty options like mortadella arancini and bigoli with veal Bolognese. For those who want fish, there’s a whole branzino on the menu as well.
Smoked & Stacked: Marjorie Meek-Bradley's third D.C. spot is all about pastrami. Here, smoked meat is placed in sandwiches like The New Yorker made with a fried egg, Comté and hot pepper jelly, or the Stacked, which is pastrami, milk bread, slaw and Dijon mustard. There’s also the option to build your own pastrami sandwich, so go nuts.
Aperto: Italian-born chef Luigi Diotaiuti is cooking burrata with grilled peaches; loads of pastas including now-ubiquitous cacio e pepe; and cacciucco, a spicy Tuscan seafood stew.
Salt Traders Coastal Cooking: Jack Gilmore’s second Austin spot is seafood driven with dishes like snapper collar, chowda fries, and shrimp and grits on the supper menu. There’s also a large raw bar. All of the seafood is sustainably sourced, and a portion of the proceeds is being donated to the Coastal Conservation Association.
Eloise Nichols: The siblings behind Adair Kitchen named this place after their grandmother who they describe as “a no-nonsense classic Texas beauty.” The goal is to be a solid neighborhood spot—that happens to serve a rather nice-looking toad-in-the-hole.
Phuc Yea: The Vietnamese and Cajun spot that kicked off the pop-up trend in Miami finally has a permanent space to call home. That home is a blend of industrial walls and stunning artwork. On the table for dinner, there’s Chinese broccoli with pineapple, chiles, hoisin and toasted coconut; salt ‘n peppa fried seafood; and lettuce cups with duck, Coca-Cola hoisin, roasted peanuts and pickles.
320 Gastrolounge: Peruvian chef Juan Aguero is cooking Latin-meets-Asian flavors at this Coral Gables newcomer including dishes like a bok choi sopa, short ribs with Manchego grits and blistered tomatoes, and chicken or beef skewers with ajί amarillo and lager-infused queso fresco.
Paulie Gee’s: Brooklyn pizza favorite Paulie Gee’s is now slinging pies in North Miami. Those pies have cheeky names like Ricotta Be Kiddin’ Me, topped with fresh mozzarella, Canadian bacon, Italian sausage and ricotta. There’s also the locally inspired Biscayne Brisket with brisket, pickled onions, mozzarella and BBQ sauce, and the Jewbano with Swiss, yellow mustard, pulled pork and dill pickles.
The Morrie: The long-anticipated roadhouse-style restaurant from the Bistro 82 folks has finally tapped its kegs and started serving massive provolone-stuffed meatballs, kung pao cauliflower, sweet potato tater tots, loads of salads and roadhouse ribs with a sweet-and-sour glaze. The space is 8,000 square feet, so there’s plenty of room for any of your party needs.
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