13 Hot, New Restaurants to Check Out Right Now
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Yes, Union Square Cafe's long-anticipated little sister is here. Breakfast highlights include gougères filled with eggs, spinach, cheese and ham, and at lunch, roast beef sandwiches and a vegetarian broccoli melt made with Manchego, lemon and chile top the list. You can also grab rotisserie chickens, house-baked bread and cups of Joe Coffee to go.
A taste of the Greek islands is a welcome addition to the Chelsea dining scene, especially when it arrives midwinter. Familiar small plates like Greek salad, calamari and spanakopita make appearances alongside heartier mains like rich moussaka and baby lamb shank with baked orzo and fresh tomato sauce.
Top Chef alumna Camille Becerra's mean breakfast and lunch program is in full effect at her new Nolita hot spot. Look out for photogenic breakfast bowls, endive and chicken salad, chile-turmeric bone broth and focaccia made with lemon, vanilla and black lava sea salt. Keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming expanded menu.
Esther Choi, the woman behind Chelsea Market's Mŏkbar, has recently opened a sit-down restaurant all her own. This Gowanus spot focuses on Korean home cooking, inspired by Choi's relationship with her grandmother. Expect dishes like bibimbap with eight seasonal vegetables and brown-butter rice cakes served with pork and dumplings. Pro tip: Start an evening here then wander over to nearby Insa for karaoke.
New York restaurant vet Charles Namba returns to his roots with this modern izakaya where he's serving chawanmushi (a steamed egg custard with Dungeness crab); kabocha squash croquettes with chestnut and sesame barbecue sauce; and gyoza, aka Japanese dumplings, with Riesling vinegar. What's more, dishes are paired with sakes selected by co-owner Courtney Kaplan.
Opened by a popular India-based restaurant group, Rooh dishes elevated cuisine that focuses on incorporating fresh Bay Area ingredients into traditional Indian fare. Standouts include the Chilean sea bass in agave-spiked Madras curry, and the fennel and honey-glazed duck breast with sweet prune korma. Cocktails incorporate similar spices and are served on a menu designed to resemble a color chart. In place of red and green, there are flavor profiles like sweet, sour and bitter to help you decide.
Nite Yun, who's been hosting pop-ups around the Bay for two years now, finally has a brick-and-mortar home (at least for the next six months). The Cambodian-born cook just launched a six-month residency at Public Market Emeryville, serving soups like kuy teav phnom penh, a pork and shrimp broth teeming with rice noodles and topped with crispy garlic. The enticing menu also lists a vegetarian soup flavored with mushrooms and leeks.
L.A. favorite Jinya Ramen has migrated to San Jose to establish its first Northern California location. Though there are a few bowls on offer, including chicken and vegetarian numbers, the Jinya Tonkotsu Black, with its thin noodles, fried onions and garlic, wood ear mushrooms, an egg, pork and exceptionally rich broth, is the house specialty.
There's something for everyone at this Mexican newcomer. The restaurant serves as a working space during the day, peddling casual lunch items like shrimp and pineapple tacos and mushroom tortas with salsa negra and peanuts. The dinner menu, however, is a bit more complex, featuring dishes like pork collar with pinto beans and Gem lettuce, and bone marrow with avocado and salsa macha. Head on downstairs to the mescal bar if you're looking for a boozy night.
Meat lovers, listen up. Just $36 gets you all the beef, sausage, chicken or lamb you can eat at this bustling Brazilian steakhouse. Plus, your meal includes access to a large salad bar, as well as your choice of traditional sides like farofa, a crispy toasted cassava; beans and rice; and pão de queijo, or cheesy rolls.
Pull up a seat at the elegant square bar or slip into the glassed-in patio at this new restaurant from the team behind Etoile Cuisine et Bar. The menu skews toward traditional French fare, with options like beef tartare and a foie gras torchon. There's also coq au vin for coldish weather (this is Texas, after all), as well as a Gulf snapper with saffron cream and fingerling potatoes. In a rush? Head over to the to-go window for a selection of sweet and savory crepes.
Chef Hugo Ortega's new Oaxacan outpost draws on memories from his childhood in Puebla, a neighboring Mexican region. There's suckling pig roasted in a wood oven, a shrimp and fish soup that's cooked tableside and a particularly delicious mole, which works its way into savory dishes as well as the ganache for a tamarind mole cake served with mandarin sorbet and candied ants.
With its shiny, new spot in South Beach's Plymouth hotel, Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill has officially joined the ever-growing pack of New York-based restaurants with locations in Miami (see Upland). In addition to the lengthy sushi menu, Sunshine State diners can also indulge in Blue Ribbon's iconic fried chicken.
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