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!
New York, New York
Chef Matthew Kenney has spent the past several years championing the benefits of plant-based foods, authoring a dozen books and founding a culinary academy functioning as a raw-food education center. He’s also opened a number of plant-based restaurants around the U.S. — the latest of which is 00+Co, a vegan pizza concept in the East Village. The emphasis is on pizza with an abundance of vegetables, pestos and other complementary condiments, all made in the restaurant’s original wood-burning oven. In addition to the pizzas, there are a variety of nut-based cheeses and a number of dishes showcasing Mediterranean flavors, such as crostini of roasted delicata squash with smoked almond ricotta; millet “polenta” with Brussels sprouts and chestnuts; and zucchini cacio e pepe with wild arugula and dehydrated olives. The space has an open, communal feel and a rustic charm, with the wood-burning oven acting as a centerpiece of the kitchen. In warmer months, there will be a grouping of sidewalk tables. 65 Second Ave., New York, NY 10003; matthewkenneycuisine.com
Restaurant and oyster-farm group Rappahannock Oyster Co. is opening its latest venture, Rapp Session, today. The restaurant-meets-market concept is first and foremost a revival of the traditional “oyster saloon,” where raw and cured food and cocktails take center stage. Upon entering, guests are greeted with a market-style space allowing access to fresh seafood, meats, sauces and other products from the restaurant’s purveyors. In addition to a true oyster bar with 10 to 12 worldly varieties, restaurant highlights include an oyster roll on brioche bun with slaw and green chile; steamed mussels with mozzarella and sherry broth; and smoked bluefish dip with sub rosa bread. The locally sourced bar program features Virginia-strong cocktails, such as Cowgirl in the Sand, with Cirrus vodka, Fernet, lime, cinnamon and chocolate mole bitters. 318 E. Grace St., Richmond, VA 23219; rroysters.com
New York, New York
Husband-and-wife team Ann Redding and Matt Danzer recently earned a Michelin star for their unique take on Thai food at NYC’s Uncle Boons. So it’s only natural that their next endeavor is a…meat-and-three? Set to open in Nolita on Monday, Mr. Donahue’s will pay homage to the many such establishments found in the South by focusing on hearty meat dishes, along with a constantly rotating selection of sides. With only nine total seats, there will be a strong emphasis on takeout and delivery, even though Redding spent time scouring antique shops (and eBay) for vintage fixtures and items to channel a grandpa-chic vibe. Opening dinner entrées will include rotisserie chicken, roast beef and Swedish meatballs, while crab Louie, egg drop soup and seasonal vegetable-stuffed shells will be on the sides portion of the menu. Beverages will highlight different types of house wine (red, white, sparkling), each poured from magnum bottles, while Stillwater Yacht beer will be available in cans. 203 Mott St., New York, NY 10012; mrdonahues.com
Richard Sandoval’s restaurant group owns and operates more than 40 venues around the globe. The renowned Mexican-born chef will open his first venue in the City of Brotherly love this May, located in the marble lobby of the iconic Ritz-Carlton. A wood-burning grill will be the centerpiece of the new 204-seat restaurant, and a small-plates menu will focus on sustainable seafood, steaks, ribs and poultry. Guests will be able to select hand-blended marinades to complement their grilled fish of choice — Atlantic halibut, wild salmon, golden tilefish, ahi tuna, wild-caught black bass and fluke. A whole-roasted snapper will be served “Mexican beach campfire style” with a rich tomato and chili adobo, avocado, warm tortillas, chayote slaw and limes, while an extensive raw bar will offer a combination of sushi, ceviche and shellfish. Refreshing, seasonal cocktails will balance the bold flavors of the menu. 10 Avenue of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA 19102; richardsandoval.com
Napa Valley, California
Two Birds One Stone
Two acclaimed chefs, one space…why not call it Two Birds One Stone? Sang Yoon (Lukshon, Father’s Office) and Douglas Keane (Cyrus) will debut Two Birds One Stone this summer in Napa Valley. Located inside the newly renovated Freemark Abbey Winery in St. Helena, the California-inspired yakitori restaurant will highlight locally sourced product and poultry-forward dishes from purveyors in wine country. In addition, it will feature an eclectic wine program led by master sommelier Kevin Reilly (Cyrus, Quince), as well as no corkage fees. 3022 St. Helena Hwy. North, St. Helena, CA 94574; twobirdsonestonenapa.com
Opening in South Woodford on March 1, the Woodford is the first restaurant from former Young National Chef of the Year Ben Murphy, protégé of the renowned Pierre Koffmann. Backed by restaurateur Steve Andrews, the 100-cover restaurant will span two floors, with a dedicated oyster and seafood bar on the first floor. The team will use British ingredients wherever possible in his refined and precise cuisine. Dishes include lamb with aubergine and toasted peanut; hay-smoked pigeon breast; and lobster with lemon, peach and fennel. A grill station will offer classic British steaks, chops, Creedy Carver duck and Norfork Black whole chicken, as well as a seven-course tasting menu. Along with a carefully curated wine list, craft beers and wine pairings will accompany the menu. The spacious dining room fuses traditional and contemporary design elements to create an intimate and welcoming atmosphere. 159 High Rd., South Woodford, London, E18 2PA; thewoodford.co.uk