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!
Chef José Chesa’s second restaurant blends Catalonian tradition and modern techniques to create a menu of distinctive paellas and tapas. Drawing on the dinners his father cooked for him during childhood, the chef makes ample use of a modern Josper charcoal oven, as well as a carving station featuring a vast selection of carefully curated Spanish hams. Menu items include Ibérico pork rib with fennel-garbanzo salad; house Spanish boquerones with picatoste, Bosc pear and lime zest; and blood sausage with farm egg and Manchego cheese. A full-service traditional stand-up tapas bar graces one wall of the restaurant, offering a signature cocktail menu composed of a large Spanish sherry program, a variety of sangrias and a grand reserve wine list. The smartly designed dining room consists of a modern twist on rustic, old-world Spain, with a dining room flowing into an open kitchen. 2218 NE Broadway, Portland, OR 97232; chesapdx.com
New Orleans, Louisiana
Coastal American restaurant Cavan is now open in New Orleans, serving up classic dishes found along the nation’s coasts. Set in a historic New Orleans plantation home restored to highlight the beautiful deterioration of the 135-year-old home, the restaurant cultivates a decided feeling of hospitality. It represents the fourth project by New Orleans–based hospitality group LeBlanc + Smith, whose current portfolio includes Sylvain, Meauxbar and Barrel Proof. The menu featues the best of fish, farm and fowl. Expect snacks like Old Bay fries with malt aioli, crab deviled eggs and a selection of toasts topped with fried oysters, crab and butter beans or roasted tomatoes. Larger items range from BBQ jerk shrimp to grilled pork chops to a bone-in rib eye. Placing equal importance on drinks, the bar will offer seasonal wine and cocktail selections. The Victorian home, built in 1881, allows for two floors of dining, with a grand spiral staircase separating the two and additional seating available outdoors and under a covered porch. 3607 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70115; cavannola.com
Bloomfield, New Jersey
A new dining destination has arrived in northern New Jersey, with the opening of a stunning 200-seat community gastropub serving craft beer and food. Along with elevated comfort food, there will be a rotating list of no fewer than 40 craft beers (with 16 on tap) and a cocktail program revolving around notable New Jersey natives and artisanal wines. Small plates include shrimp and grits and duck meatball mac and cheese, while larger plates include fried chicken with black-eyed pea salad and corn bread, and a bone-in rib eye. Themed events (such as Friday buck-a-shuck oysters, trivia night and sharing cocktails on social media to benefit local causes) play a big role at the new community hangout, which is open for lunch and dinner and will soon open for breakfast. 90 Washington St., Bloomfield, NJ 07003; thejunctionusa.com
New York City, New York
The Garret East is a stylish cocktail bar with an expansive space and an inspired drinks program. Come Wednesday, it will also play host to a hidden new restaurant called dinnertable. Guests will be able to access the dining room by pressing a tiny doorbell located in the bar. The experience is akin to enjoying a meal in a private home’s kitchen, with just 20 seats at marble tabletops set with linen placemats; the offerings will be based on exceptional ingredients. The menu — assembled by husband-and-wife team Scott Tacinelli and Angie Rito (former chefs at Quality Italian) — will play off of a funky Italian theme, with dishes like smoked short rib tartare with horseradish and marble rye; cappellacci with braised veal, guanciale and black garlic; and baked mussels with pepperoni rice. 206 Ave. A, New York, NY 10009
San Carlo Osteria Piemonte
San Carlo Osteria Piemonte will open in SoHo a week from today, honoring the traditions of Northern Italy’s Piedmont region in an intimate, sleek setting. The menu is representative of traditional Piedmont cuisine, incorporating delicious meats (sourced only from grass-fed certified Piedmontese beef) and pastas, cream-based sauces and extravagant ingredients like truffle as well as Barolo and Barbaresco wines native to the region. Look for zucchini blossoms stuffed with fresh mozzarella; beef tartare with quail egg and Meyer lemon foam; pan-seared scallops with sunchoke puree, toasted hazelnuts and guanciale; house-made agnolotti filled with braised meat; and veal Milanese with arugula, cherry tomatoes and roasted potatoes. 90 Thompson St., New York, NY 10012; sancarlonyc.com
Michelin-starred chef John Fraser of Dovetail and Narcissa is opening his third restaurant on Monday in Union Square. Drawing on his personal passion for cooking with vegetables, the all-vegetarian spot will feature an array of affordable and seasonal dishes, largely sourced from the nearby Union Square Greenmarket. Though details are still scarce, diners can expect house-made naan with dips; “cacio e pepe” shiitake mushroom; and, knowing Fraser (creator of Carrots Wellington), some sort of carrot-based dish. Fraser will make use of both a wok and a tandoor oven in the kitchen, and a bar program will include an innovative list of cocktails and wines. The restaurant will open for dinner only, with the intention of adding lunch and brunch beginning in late spring. 72 University Pl., New York, NY 10003
Temerario + Café Bamba
Jorge Guzman Hospitality Group (the Black Ant, Ofrenda, Gardënia) is opening a two-fold project next week in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood. Temerario is a contemporary restaurant and bar featuring a casual menu of Mexican-style street food with a focus on greenmarket vegetables and salads, tacos and masa, and seafood and meats. Cocktails will highlight small-batch agave, house-made spirits and fruit juices. Expansive murals by Latin artists will grace the bright interiors of the corner space, while a DJ will spin tracks from a second-floor mezzanine. Next door to Temerario, Café Bamba will function as an all-day Latin/European-style café that will serve coffee, tea, sandwiches, pastries, small plates, wine, cocktails, beer and pressed juices. 198 8th Ave., New York, NY, 10011, temerarionyc.com; 265 W. 20th St., New York, NY 10011, cafebambanyc.com
Celebrated chef and restaurateur Cindy Hutson will open her highly anticipated contemporary restaurant Zest on Monday in downtown Miami’s Southeast Financial Center. A refresh of Hutson’s iconic “cuisine of the sun,” Zest will be open for lunch and dinner and will offer a modern interpretation of her ethnically diverse and seasonally driven island fare. The opening marks the first South Florida expansion for Huston and her business partner, Delius Shirley, since their esteemed Ortanique first opened in Coral Gables over 17 years ago. The duo has also opened restaurants throughout the Caribbean. Chef de cuisine Mike Fischetti (who has run the kitchen at several Ortanique locations) will showcase dishes such as surf ‘n’ turf ravioli with oxtail, lobster, cream corn velouté and truffle oxtail jus; root beer-braised heritage pork belly with cherry vanilla bourbon-scented boniato foam and microgreen salad; curried octopus with golden raisin pilau, tomatoes and east Indian curry sauce; and conch scampi with shallots, garlic, cherry tomatoes, red and yellow peppers and fresh-picked thyme tossed with linguine pasta. An indoor-outdoor, state-of-the-art bar and connecting lounge area will feature an innovative drink menu full of fresh juices, house-made syrups, infusions and fresh-picked garnishes, while a craft beer tap selection and curated wine list will accompany an on-site humidor that will house a variety of fine cigars. The 3,500-square-foot restaurant will highlight an open concept kitchen and large alfresco dining area. A neighboring Zest MRKT, offering “grab and go” gourmet breakfast and lunch items, will open in March. 200 S. Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33131; zestmiami.com