New York City
MáLà Project: Amelie Kang is bringing the heat of her grandmother's kitchen in China to the East Village. Her dry-pot cooking restaurant will feature meat and vegetable dishes laced with numbing Sichuan peppercorns. Find MáLà Project on DINE.
Ivory on Sunset: Former Top Chef contestant Brian Malarkey has turned the original L.A. location of Herringbone in the Mondrian into Ivory, a shared-plates California cuisine (hamachi crudo, flatbreads, loads of roasted fish, all accounted for) restaurant with a stunning tented outdoor space for wintertime alfresco dining. Find Ivory on Sunset on DINE.
Tempura Endo: Koichi Endo, who owns a number of high-end tempura restaurants in Kyoto, is offering Angelinos a taste of his superb tempura. Diners are served at a counter piece by piece by two chefs, one who operates the fryers and another who prepares the meats and fish, like scallops stuffed with truffles. Find Tempura Endo on DINE.
The Spanish Square: The tapas bar menu here rolls more than 25 deep, with classics like croquetas and tortilla Española. But perhaps the real showstopper is the Spanish Market, where you can stop in after your meal to create a goody bag of sorts, filled with spice blends, cured meats and Spanish rice to make authentic paella at home. Find The Spanish Square on DINE.
Cheesie's Pub & Grub: It's hard not to enjoy a sandwich at this comfortable (and cheesy) bar's new Wicker Park location with the happy grilled cheese logo smiling down at you. Try The Tenderizer, which has cheddar, mozzarella, hot sauce, bacon and chicken tenders between two thick slices of Texas toast. Find Cheesie's Pub and Grub on DINE.
The Sixth: The sign above this new Lincoln Square spot points to "quality spirits" inside, and the team behind Roots Handmade Pizza surely follows through on the claim. Find 1930s bourbon and inventive cocktails with unexpected garnishes (yes, that is a Swedish fish). Like all good bars should be, it's open late: Enjoy your Trix cereal-inspired cocktail until 3 a.m. on Saturdays.
Ramen Misoya: There are many types of ramen out there, but the miso-based versions here are not to be missed. Picking your bowl is a choose-your-own adventure, meaning you can keep coming back and never get bored—as long as you're willing to brave the line of ramen-goers that forms daily.
Cooper's Old Time Pit BBQ: Austin's 'cue options just expanded again, with this brick-laden downtown spot housing smoked brisket, pork loin, ribs and more. Check out the upstairs space, which has a laid-back lounge and a private event room (both of which look out on Congress), or relax on the patio below. Find Cooper's Old Time Pit BBQ on DINE.
Kinship: Eric Ziebold is back in the kitchen at the first of two restaurants to open in the former CityZen space. Kinship is the more casual of the pair, with a fireplace lounge area and dishes like corned beef cheeks and house stroganoff made with veal sweetbreads, herb spaetzle and mushroom cream. The more tasting menu-focused Métier will open later in the month. Find Kinship on DINE.
Little Sesame: The team behind hit new-wave deli DGS is now blending and scooping tahini-laced hummus in a restaurant space below DGS. Bowls come topped with a choice of additions like crispy cauliflower or the deli's pastrami. And, of course, there's fresh pita. Find Little Sesame on DINE.
Komodo: The space is nothing short of impressive. There are sky-high columns with glowy red decals and banquettes of all sizes. You can even peek into the open kitchen as the staff make your tuna porterhouse or Peking duck. They'll start a happy hour soon, and you'll definitely want to slide into a chair at the swanky bar the second it begins. Find Komodo on DINE.
Eight Row Flint: Grab your friends and head to this ice house-meets-taco bar from the team behind Revival Market and Coltivare. The owners have diligently sought out the best corn tortillas and bourbon to serve at their rustic neighborhood bar—which sounds like the perfect night to us. Find Eight Row Flint on DINE.