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!
Asheville, North Carolina
Chef Justin Burdett has spent the majority of an impressive culinary career in the kitchens of restaurants in North Carolina and Georgia (as well as on the set of an episode of Chopped, which he won in 2010). He has worked under the likes of Hugh Acheson and has always strived to explore local flavors and ingredients, most recently as executive chef of Ruka’s Table in Highlands, North Carolina. The dishes at the chef’s latest venture — now open in downtown Asheville — are largely inspired by the Southern comfort food he grew up eating with his family, and menus will change regularly to incorporate the best ingredients available. Diners can expect a balance of meat and vegetarian dishes; a recent menu included dirty radishes with sweet onions, sorghum pork belly over Sea Island red peas, kimchi and egg yolk and chicken fried steak served with red grits and spiced Coca Cola–braised greens. 77 Biltmore Ave., Asheville, NC 28801; localprovisionsasheville.com
Chef Steven Redzikowski is well versed in the world of fine dining, helming both the critically acclaimed Acorn in Denver and Oak at Fourteenth in Boulder. His third restaurant, which opened earlier this week, is a fast-casual rotisserie concept serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. House-made pastries are the highlight of the breakfast offerings, while lunch and dinner selections will consist of simple, rotisserie-cooked dishes straight from a state-of-the-art Rotisol oven imported from France. Signature dishes include rotisserie-roasted chicken bánh mì, rotisserie-roasted lamb leg and hearth-fired meatballs. The beverage program, run by Bryan Dayton (also from Acorn and Oak at Fourteenth) features 18 pull taps offering beer, cocktails, wine, house-made sodas, kombucha and nitro-tap coffee. The 81-seat restaurant includes floor-to-ceiling windows that open to additional seating on an outdoor patio. 1644 Platte St., Denver, CO 80202; denverbrider.com
New York City
Copper Kettle Kitchen
New York City’s Upper East Side has come a long way in the departments of quality food and drink in the past several years. The team behind specialized Italian cocktail bar the Gilroy and beloved, now-shuttered neighborhood Italian restaurant Spigolo is hoping to combine the two at Copper Kettle Kitchen (located in the former Spigolo space). A large, diverse menu is divided into sections, including dips and flats for the table, greens and grains, daily presses, comforts and features for two. Guests can also dine on Spigolo favorites such as meatless eggplant “meatballs,” homemade ricotta gnocchi with butternut squash, mushrooms, hazelnuts and parmigiano, and grilled octopus with al dente Corona beans in the confines of the homey establishment (think rustic wood and exposed brick. Mixologist Josh Mazza of the Gilroy has assembled an innovative cocktail menu composed of creative riffs on classic cocktails. 1471 Second Ave., New York, NY 10075; copperkettlekitchen.com
Ramen by MEW
NYC’s West Village is known for its collection of independently owned restaurants serving myriad cuisines from all over the world, but the neighborhood has long lacked quality ramen — rather curious, considering that the Japanese noodle boom hit the city a couple of years ago. Enter Ramen by MEW, a small shop that opened somewhat under the radar last week on Cornelia Street, just in time for this week’s frigid temperatures. There are seven ramen preparations on the menu, as well as a number of sides — from traditional Japanese to the more unconventional (such as French fries served with jalapeño mayo). There’s also a lunch special that features a choice of a bowl of ramen along with a small dish, salad and pickles. Our money is on the word getting out quickly. 7 Cornelia St., New York, NY 10014; ramenbymew.com
New York City
In today’s world of mass availability and social media, it’s difficult to introduce a novel cuisine to a city. Consider that the city is New York, and it’s a nearly impossible mission. Yet that’s exactly what founder Amelie Kang is trying to do with MáLà Project, an East Village restaurant opening tonight that will focus on MáLà dry pot, a dish beloved by millions of Chinese. A collection of ingredients (meats, poultry, seafood, vegetables and soy products) of diners’ choice is handpicked by the chefs from Chinatown each morning and wok-fried over high heat with 18 different spices, elevated with abundance of chili pepper and presented in a large bowl to be shared at the table. The restaurant evokes a suburban grandma bungalow in ’90s China, and a small selection of other specialty dishes will balance out the heat. 122 First Ave., New York, NY 10009; malaproject.nyc
Large-scale food courts are definitely having a moment in New York City, with multiple-vendor halls having recently opened or being set to soon open in Battery Park City (Brookfield Place), midtown (UrbanSpace Vanderbilt) and near Penn Station (the Pennsy), just to name a few. And let’s not forget Anthony Bourdain’s long-awaited, 155,000-square-foot mega-venue slowly beginning to take shape at Pier 57 on the Hudson River. On a markedly smaller scale, Turnstyle will be an underground marketplace at the 59th Street Columbus Circle concourse. A vibrant collection of 24 retail shops and 10 restaurants is set to occupy the area, including Ellary’s Greens, By Suzette Crepes, Just Falafel and Ignazio’s Pizza. Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019; turn-style.com
Coral Gables, Florida
50 Eggs, Inc. owns and operates some of Miami’s most popular restaurants, including the wildly successful Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, known for churning out some of the country’s best fried chicken. The group will soon open four locations of Spring Chicken, a fast-casual alternative to Yardbird, combining the heritage of fresh American home cooking with a casual, laid-back environment. And fear not — several Yardbird favorites (including the famed fried chicken) will be on the menu. Look for the first location on January 28 in Coral Gables, with openings in Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami International Airport to follow. 1514 S. Dixie Hwy, Coral Gables, FL 33146; eatspringchicken.com