Now Open: Combina, Band of Bohemia, Pizzeria Vetri, Le Zoo and More
New York City
Combina: Israeli-born chef Einat Admony's latest project in Soho focuses on food from her two favorite cities: Barcelona and Tel Aviv. Molly Breidenthal, executive chef from Admony's hit Bar Bolonat, will also be in the kitchen here turning out halloumi topped with chimichurri, salt cod doughnuts with a Yemenite spice aioli, harissa-honey drumsticks and a merguez burger.
Le Garage: Mother and daughter duo Catherine and Rachel Allswang are bringing a touch of France (where Catherine worked in several restaurants) to Bushwick. Inside a converted car garage, the pair is serving a seasonal French menu of foie gras with winter radishes, carrot soup with orange peel and steak with béarnaise sauce.
Court Street Grocers: The sandwich magicians behind Brooklyn's ever popular spot are now operating a restaurant near NYU. For the first time, the team is offering beer to go with those sandwiches and some dinner options.
La Chine: The Waldorf Astoria's replacement for Oscar's Brasserie is an upscale Chinese restaurant. There's no particular regional focus; instead, dishes appear on the menu with the region that inspired them, like beef tongue with lemongrass and basil (Yunnan-Taizhou) and pork collar (Guangdong).
Llama Inn: Chef Erik Ramirez gives his Eleven Madison Park skills a new Brooklyn-shaped suit. The vibrant Peruvian food, convivial atmosphere and punch on draft are all overflowing, and the plates are meant to be shared, so order many.
Little Pine: Moby is bringing his message of vegan living to L.A. with his new, cozy Little Pine. This isn't his first foray into restaurants: He used to own the popular Teany on New York's Lower East Side.
Roku: L.A. restaurant group IDG has transformed their Rivabella into a large format Japanese restaurant complete with three Benihana-style teppanyaki grills, sushi offerings, like those from Sushi Roku and some steaks, like those from Boa.
Jinya Ramen Express: The Jinya family is expanding with this customizable ramen-ya. Choose your broth (tonkotsu, tonkotsu spicy miso, chicken spicy, chicken vegetable, vegan), noodle and toppings. There are also rice bowls for those who aren't down with noodles.
Band of Bohemia: Wine pairings are so last year. The Alinea alums behind the self-proclaimed "culinary brewhouse" bring their seasonal culinary beers and accompanying menu to Ravenswood, plus a killer coffee and tea program.
Dos Urban Cantina: Vegetables, meat and seafood all receive star treatment at this new Mexican spot in Logan Square. Don't miss upgraded classics, like street-style corn and pork carnitas, and desserts, like "The Best Chocolate Cake - Ever."
La Storia: This ode to the joys of simple, fresh Italian food is the latest venture from the team behind Blue Door Farm Stand and Chicago q. Pair seasonal acorn squash and ricotta ravioli or sage-specked gnudi with a pick from the lengthy wine list.
Firebrand (with Pal's Take Away): Owner Matt Kreutz has been perfecting the art of wood fire-oven-baked breads since he started Firebrand Artisan Breads in 2008. Now, he's running his first retail location, collaborating with Jeff Mason of Pal's Take Away on sandwiches for lunch. Expect breads, pretzels and new pastry options.
Barbarossa: Barbarossa channels its past. The bar space was once a prison, and Christina Cabrera (from The Progress) has named her house cocktails after after one time criminals and prostitutes. To soak it all up, there's a small food menu of oysters, charcuterie and other snacks from consulting chef Eddie Lau.
Hamlet: John Dampeer, co-owner of Noe Valley neighborhood favorite Caskhouse, has reopened Horner's Corner as Hamlet (a nod to the area's small town feel). Chef Pei Mew (of Urchin) is offering up dishes like red wine braised octopus, grilled pork chops and blistered Padrón peppers.
Del Popolo: The Neapolitan pizza truck has finally found a brick and mortar home, allowing chef Jeffrey Hayden to grow his menu from three pizzas to six pies, like one topped with black olives, ricotta salata, mozz and broccoli, plus a slew of small plates.
Pizzeria Vetri: Want a side of skinny jeans with your pizza? Philly-based restaurateur Marc Vetri's casual pizza spot is now operating inside Space 24, a "concept" (yes, it's 2015) from Urban Outfitters. Vetri is in the process of inking a deal that will sell his restaurant group to Urban, so there may be a whole lot more of these pizzerias down the line.
Secret Chopsticks: There are four nine-course menus at upscale Chinese newcomer Secret Chopsticks: vegetarian, homemade tofu, dim sum and meat/seafood. And all of them have a little bit of French flair, like mushroom consommé with tofu ribbons and endive with sweet soy sauce.
Chaia Taco: This "farm-to-taco" spot offers seasonal, vegetarian Mexican food, with options like Moroccan carrot with goat cheese and garlicky greens with smoky tomatillo salsa. End on a sweet note with the seven-spice chocolate bar.
Le Zoo: Mega restaurateur Stephen Starr is at it again with another big box French restaurant, this one just a few doors down from his Makoto Japanese in the Bal Harbour Shops. Expect French classics, like steak au poivre, trout almondine and other plates that will be familiar to anyone who's dined at his restaurant Parc in Philadelphia or Le Diplomate in D.C.
Pisco y Nazca: Miguel Fernandez, who worked at Gaston Acurio's La Mar in San Francisco, is serving a selection of ceviches in this deco space. For those who really can't get on board with fish, there's a burger too.
Fig & Wasp: Beirut is gone, but in its place, the team has installed modern Middle Eastern restaurant Fig where the kitchen is turning out fattoush salads, kofta, "Texas" shawarma and two hummuses. Meanwhile, Wasp is the team's cocktail den.
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