New York City
Faun: Chef Brian Leth spent four years working in the kitchen at the always-busy Vinegar Hill House. Here, he’s cooking a daily menu that may include a summer salad of watermelon, ricotta salata, pumpkin seeds and oregano, and pork ribs with nectarine and kohlrabi. On nice evenings, ask for a seat in the backyard garden.
Amami Bar & Restaurant: The owner of Ako Sushi’s new project has a bit of everything Japanese. There’s a lot of sushi, ramen and yakitori like pork belly and squid legs. There’s also brunch service that includes homemade azuki (red bean paste) whole-wheat waffles and okonomiyaki, or Japanese savory pancakes topped with tonkatsu sauce and bonito flakes.
Lost at Sea:The sea works its way one way or another into most of the dishes here, from sockeye salmon panzanella with basil pesto and tomatoes to crudités served with smoked albacore tonnato. Fittingly, the room is finished in blue tones.
Dongpo Kitchen: You already have your fair choice of options when strolling down Universal CityWalk, but this latest Chinese food addition will make food decisions a lot easier. Eat all the authentic egg rolls and pork buns you can handle, and don’t miss this world-renowned restaurant group’s signature duck.
Don Pistos Tequila Bar: Don Pistos has a new little sibling in the Marina. The menu’s shorter than the one at the original, but there’s still plenty to enjoy with all of those glasses of tequila, like Baja fish tacos, a Tijuana Caesar with tortilla chips, marinated fruit, and machaca beef and egg, which is a dish made with braised beef, guajillo chile broth and queso fresco.
The Loyalist: One of Chicago’s most anticipated openings is finally here. Husband-and-wife duo John Shields and Karen Urie Shields, who are Charlie Trotter alums, just debuted their more casual restaurant. But little is too casual here. The menu ranges from biscuits with nduja butter and ramp honey to grilled squid with yellow tomatoes and chile to a classic burger. The team’s tasting menu restaurant, Smyth, is slated to debut upstairs later this month.
TapaBar: Tapas aren’t the only things on the menu at this Bethesda newcomer, but they’re certainly the focus. Look out for house-made sausage, smoked octopus with cauliflower and mussels with white wine and chorizo. There’s also a deconstructed gazpacho and a few larger options like a Spanish take on risotto made with smoked mushrooms.
Bowl & Barrel: As in bowling ball and whiskey barrel. Go for something portable like the cornish hand pies or giant pretzels, so you can use one hand for snacking and the other for racking up the strikes.
Sophia’s: The abundance of plush sapphire chairs in the room makes this swank Italian supper club feel like the sequel of Blue Velvet. Except there are less mysteries to solve and more house-made tagliatelle, baked clams and limoncello tarts to eat.
Cafe Croissant: In a sea of bright-light Latin restaurants lies this French bistro and its buttery namesake delights. Enjoy your quiche Lorraine or croque-monsieur at the counter, or take it to go and create your own Parisian brunch in bed.
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