We’re always on the lookout for restaurant news here at Food Republic. And news we often receive — we’re constantly pitched on restaurants that have pledged to open their doors in the near future, only to eventually learn about inevitable roadblocks and delays that have us questioning whether we should cover a restaurant during our fall preview — one that we may have already mentioned in our spring preview, months before. Such is the unpredictable nature of the restaurant world.
We’ve worked diligently to assemble this short roundup of promising restaurants that we are certain have recently opened for business and of the newest announcements we’ve come across regarding restaurants certain to open in the near future. Well, fairly certain. Take a look and be sure to reserve your table today!
Chicago-based restaurant group Lettuce Entertain You’s longtime sushi chef, Naoki Nakashima, has opened a namesake sushi spot behind the restaurant Intro in the Belden-Stratford luxury apartment complex in Lincoln Park. The 50-seat space will feature a playful mix of contemporary Japanese cuisine and sushi presented in a casual setting tucked within the culinary lab of Intro. In addition to traditional nigiri, sashimi and temaki, the menu includes Japanese small plates like edamame “guac” dip and main dishes like miso-glazed sea bass with bok choy. The beverage program highlights sushi-friendly cocktails, beers, wines and sakes. 2300 N. Lincoln Park West, Chicago, IL 60614; naoki-sushi.com
TAG Burger Bar
TAG Burger Bar has opened its second location — in the Highland neighborhood — following the popularity of its original in Congress Park. The menu features crowd favorites such as pastrami nachos with house-cured pastrami, bacon-wrapped meatloaf and mac-n-cheese with Cheez-Its and Goldfish crackers, in addition to a large selection of imaginative burgers, rotating seasonal brews and boozy shakes and floats. The 3,000-square-foot, 134-seat full-service restaurant is offering a special “burger and pint” deal through the end of the month. Diners receive a complimentary pint of the “beer of the day” along with the purchase of any burger. 3759 Lipan St., Denver, CO 80211; tagburgerbar.com
Los Angeles, California
The thriving Larchmont Village community continues to establish itself as a newfangled dining hub within Hollywood with the opening of Kali, the passion project of chef Kevin Meehan and Drew Langley, formerly the wine director of Michelin-starred Providence. The modern yet comfortable 65-seat restaurant will showcase Meehan’s nuanced twist on contemporary California cuisine and ingredient-focused cocktails, accompanied by an accessible wine program curated by Langley (with an emphasis on Central Coast bottles, as well as a “collection” list spotlighting rare and small-production bottles sourced from private collectors). Guests can expect appetizers like rockfish crudo married with citrus, green olives, pink peppercorns and nasturtium, and escargot toast points. Larger dishes include squab with carrots, honey and lavender, and cavatelli with local peppercorns, crème fraîche and fried wild arugula. Meehan will also craft a dessert menu at the restaurant, which opened its doors last night. 5722 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038; kalirestaurant.com
Set to open this April in River North, libation locale Arbella hopes to set the scene as a sophisticated, social gathering place for cocktail enthusiasts reveling in the art of mixology. Drawing on the team’s extraordinarily diverse family backgrounds (including VBD Hospitality’s owners and team members of Chicago powerhouse Peruvian restaurant Tanta), a small-plates menu will take inspiration from Italy, Russia, Mexico, France, Switzerland, Spain, Ireland, Chile, Peru and Vietnam; many of the dishes will be created with the use of a wood-fire grill. Meanwhile, cocktails will use techniques and flavors from Europe, Asia, the Americas and the Caribbean, incorporating touches of modern molecular mixology, infused ice, large-format drinks and dessert libations. Custom artwork portrays concepts of mapping, wondering, itinerary and family memories, paying homage to the fantasy of historical travels. 112 W. Grand Ave., Chicago, IL 60654
Las Vegas, Nevada
When thinking of Las Vegas, parks are usually not what first comes to mind. MGM Resorts International is trying to change that with its dynamic park, dining and entertainment district coming to the Las Vegas Strip on April 4. The Park will feature an eclectic blend of restaurants, bars and entertainment connecting New York-New York and the Monte Carlo. Clusters of casual restaurants and bars with outdoor seating will open each resort to the Park, creating a colorful patio ambience and ranging from fast-casual to midlevel. Confirmed partners include Shake Shack, California Pizza Kitchen, Sake Rok, Bruxie and a beer garden. 3782 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89109; theparkvegas.com
New York, New York
Modern steakhouse American Cut will open its second location this March in midtown Manhattan. Chef and partner Marc Forgione will once again team up with LDV Hospitality to bring his innovative steakhouse fare (and iconic Art Deco glamor) uptown from his original TriBeCa location, which opened in 2013 to universal acclaim. Signature plates such as chili lobster, tableside-prepared Caesar salad and a 42-ounce Tomahawk rib eye will make the trip uptown, along with some lighter fare that will include large salads and a dedicated grilled fish section. Tucked behind the walls of the Lombardy Hotel, the 130-seat dining room will include private dining options and a 40-seat bar and lounge area. Pro tip: Order an impeccably peaty Plank-Smoked Old Fashioned (half price during happy hour) alongside one of the famous in-house burgers — only a small number are created each day. Follow the restaurant’s Twitter feed to stay in the loop. 111 E. 56th St., New York, NY 10022; americancutsteakhouse.com
Purchase, New York
Westchester County is fast becoming a dining destination. Executive chef Giuseppe Fanelli is taking his inventive Italian fare from Tre Dici/Tre Dici Steak (both open for a decade in NYC) up north. Diners can look forward to fresh, handmade pasta such as burrata ravioli with pumpkin and butternut squash crema, browned butter, sage, bruléed with smoked whiskey sugar; and Kobe ravioli with dark chocolate and Fontina. Hearty house specialties include wild boar, while a unique smoked dish section includes smoked Long Island duck with porcini and vanilla oil over pappardelle, as well as a variety of fine steaks hand-selected by Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors. Fresh seafood, including Fanelli’s signature angry lobster, is also available. The restaurant will feature an international wine list along with a large selection of beers and specialty cocktails. Kenneth Cole is responsible for the stylish front- and back-of-the-house attire — the restaurant consists of a first-floor dining room, a bar and and a second-floor intimate dining room. Look for a February opening. 578 Anderson Hill Rd., Purchase, NY 10577; tredicinorth.com