New York City
Osaka Grub: The Essex Street Market’s newest resident is this Japanese snack spot, which specializes in okonomiyaki, Osaka’s savory pancakes. Dig into the classic one with shrimp, pork and bonito flakes, or a vegetarian one made with miso and shiitake mushrooms. For those craving burgers, try the slider made with pancakes instead of buns.
Baby Brasa: Guests at this rotisserie chicken restaurant will have to take their eyes off of its model and chef/owner Franco Noriega for a second to place their orders. The underwear model has ambitious plans for a mini empire of chicken restaurants in the city; meanwhile, grab some chicken, sweet potatoes and salad. This location is mostly for to-go orders, but there’s counter seating for those who want to linger.
Aska: Michelin-starred chef Fredrik Berselius’s new project in Williamsburg may sound familiar (the name is the same as his last venture), but this one is different. Dinner is centered around a 12-to-15-course Nordic-inspired tasting menu at $215 a head. Reservations are available on Tock for mid-July, but the restaurant is open.
Tentenyu: It’s all about chicken broth at this ramen-ya import from Kyoto. The classic is tori paitan, made with a 10-hour chicken stock, but there are also a couple of dipping ramen options.
Maré: Melrose’s Eric Greenspan has been spending some time out in Santa Monica these days at this new location, which houses one fine patio space. On the menu, there’s fried smelt, shellfish of your choice cooked in a broth of your choice and a skirt steak for those looking for something meatier.
Burma Bear: Burmese-born chef Hubert Lim brings a new location of his beloved pop-up-turned-restaurant to Oakland. There are staples from his birthplace, like tea leaf salad and traditional curry, plus grilled specialties, like kalua pulled pork and baby back ribs.
Giant: Take a hint from the Logan Square restaurant’s name. This one is a big deal. A quick look at the menu reveals the spunk from the award-winning team behind it, with “little biscuits,” “pici, with chew” and a “cinnamon churro thingy.”
Nonnina: Even if you don’t have your own Italian grandma, you’ll feel like you’ve found one at River North’s comforting new place. The pasta is excellent and made in-house, making every meal feel like Sunday supper. Don’t miss the classic desserts, like cannoli and chocolate budino.
Pizzeria Vetri: Philadelphia’s Marc Vetri is very busy these days spreading his wood-fired pizza gospel to other cities like D.C. and Austin. He’s bringing with him favorites like Rotolo, a pie with ricotta- and mortadella-filled dough and topped with pistachio pesto. Special to D.C. is the Granchio made with Maryland blue crab, mozzarella and peppers.
Timber Pizza Co.: In other pizza news, this one-time pop-up now has a brick-and-mortar home. In addition to classic pies, there are cheekily named new-school pizzas, like the Green Monster, made with pesto, kale, fresh mozzarella, feta and zucchini.
Jinya Ramen Bar: The broth is made exclusively with impurity-free water, and their motto is “No ramen, no life,” but the Domain Northside’s new noodle spot is anything but pretentious. Fill up on crispy shrimp, puffy buns and, of course, bowls of expertly made ramen, all while you peer into the open kitchen with awe.
Oreya: Après-beach is the new happy hour at the Capri hotel in Southampton, where you can sip a cocktail by the pool as you snack on tempura figs and ember-roasted beets. The Mediterranean cuisine and relaxing atmosphere make this the place to be every Summer Friday.
Pepe Z’s Pizza: New events venue El Club now has an in-house pizzeria where everything from the dough to the mozz is made in-house and baked in a hybrid wood-fired and gas oven to produce slightly chewy crusts. Pie offerings range from the normal Margherita to one called the Sausage Fest. Only a few can be ordered by the slice, so take your whole crew.
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