Earlier this month, Eater published its picks for the most exciting restaurant openings nationwide, and the 19 featured restaurants shed light on some key dining trends and patterns. America has fully rekindled its romance with French cuisine. High-profile chefs are partnering to create new restaurants together. Southern cooking continues to be a way for chefs both in and outside of that region to explore their personal histories. And there’s also going to be *great* pizza in 2018.
But a list of 19 restaurants can’t capture everything. Here now, your guide to the most anticipated openings by region. Read on:
Northeast and Mid-Atlantic
It’s pretty quiet in New England. In Massachusetts, Alden & Harlow chef Michael Scelfo is working on his next Boston restaurant (Longfellow), while ex-Bar Tartine chef Cortney Burns is busy working on her Berkshires debut (Loom), which she thinks will land in the fall. D.C. is still bracing for two major openings, stragglers from 2017, happening at the new Line Hotel: Erik Bruner-Yang’s “restaurant speakeasy” Spoken English and Spike Gjerde’s hyper-local A Rake’s Progress. Over in small-town Mt. Sidney, Virginia, chef Ian Boden (the Shack) is launching a new guest chef dinner series; keep an eye out for this being the potential launching pad for a second restaurant (Catalpa Hill).
In New York City, pizza maestro Anthony Mangieri is bringing Una Pizza Napoletana to the Lower East Side with the help of the Contra-Wildair duo. Another power duo, Jody Williams and Rita Sodi, are trying their hand at the all-day dining trend with a tiny West Village cafe (Pisellino), and the team behind hit Korean restaurant Atoboy is pursuing a higher-end follow up (Atomix). Don’t forget, there’s also the massive food hall from the Adrià brothers and José Andrés on the horizon.
South and Southeast
In Atlanta, the Little Trouble team is opening a restaurant that promises to be an “unholy mix of Chili’s and southern comfort food” (Lloyd’s). Over in Athens, Georgia, star Southern bartender Jerry Slater and wife-partner Krista are planning a restaurant and cocktail bar (the Expat). Serial restaurateur Brooks Reitz is still planning a red-sauce-plus-pizza joint in Charleston (Melfi’s), while in that same city, Top Chef alum Emily Hahn is working on a restaurant and bar inspired by Cuban paladars (the Getaway).
In Nashville, the Butcher & Bee team is plotting a restaurant that will serve Texas-inspired fare like breakfast tacos and brisket (Red Headed Stranger). Ed Lee’s long-awaited Louisville whiskey bar with a social mission is planning to open soon (Whiskey Dry). In Memphis, the dynamic duo of Michael Hudman and Andy Ticer are opening their latest venture, which will feature on-trend wood-fire cooking (the Gray Canary). And New Orleans has two super-exciting openings on the national radar: Nina Compton’s Bywater American Bistro and Justin Devillier’s as-yet unnamed brasserie.
In a pretty surprising development, Thomas Keller is planting the flag in Miami, and he gave a weird Trump-y quote about it last year: “It’s going to be a tip of the hat to a time when America was the most optimistic, when the appeal in America, the pride in America, was at its peak,” he told the Miami Herald. “The glamour, the celebration, that’s the kind of restaurant this will be.” Never forget that plenty of people had it really bad during the mid-20th century, okay! Also this maybe sounds like Keller’s take on Major Food Group’s the Grill, a revamp of NYC’s Four Seasons? Will it get the same critical acclaim? Do you care???!
Loro, the collaboration from team Uchi and barbecue icon Aaron Franklin is a so-called “Asian smokehouse” and tbh it sounds pretty epic. Also in Austin, an original partner of Barley Swine and Odd Duck is going out on his own with a Mexican restaurant (Suerte); to note, it’s not Bryce Gilmore, who is expanding the Barley Swine empire with the long-awaited opening of his fast-casual concept (Sour Duck Market), whose bakery portion is already up and running. In Houston, Chris Shepherd is revamping his acclaimed restaurant Underbelly, transforming it into a steakhouse (Georgia James), as well as opening a new restaurant with a global flare (UB Preserv); both are expected this year. Also coming this spring: Bill Addison’s next regional 38, focusing on the Lone Star state.
Two Niche alums are heading out into the St. Louis suburbs to open what could be the most exciting local opening of the season (Elmwood), while in Minneapolis, Daniel del Prado’s Texas-inspired barbecue joint is headed towards a March opening (Diamond). In Detroit, the city awaits Eater Young Gun Garrett Lipar’s tasting menu restaurant, a shoebox-size 2017 straggler (Albena), plus there’s chef Max Hardy’s upcoming chicken-focused food-hall stall (Coop) and an ambitious flagship (Honey). A few other stragglers from the last guide promise to be conversation starters: Beholder in Indianapolis will be a follow-up to Jonathan Brooks’ smash-hit daytime joint Milktooth, and Larder in Cleveland will be a deceptively ambitious delicatessen.
As always, there are a lot of irons in the Chicago fire, whether it’s the upcoming Alinea team project (details have been scarce so far, but it looks like the restaurant will have a serious live music program) and a Japanese-inspired cocktail bar from the Oriole team (Kumiko).
A whole slew of California openings are on the horizon. In San Francisco, Atelier Crenn alum Chris Bleidorn hit some delays, but his solo debut is still in progress (Birdsong). Meanwhile, the doors swung open on the surprising collaboration from Daniel Patterson and Nigel Jones (Kaya), and Saison’s Joshua Skenes is cooking up a fish-focused casual spot (Angler). In San Diego, Top Chef alum Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins is creating a matriarchal, modern Mexican restaurant (El Jardín).
But really it’s Los Angeles that will dominate the openings conversation this year: Chris Bianco is partnering with the crew from Tartine to bring a multifaceted project to downtown LA (Tartine Manufactory LA), the crew that brought the city the still-essential Bestia comes a refined Middle Eastern restaurant (Bavel), and — !!!! — there’s Eater Young Gun Jessica Largey’s obsessively tracked solo debut (Simone). Some New York City imports are heading to Los Angeles, including Enrique Olvera’s Cosme and the Nomad — Daniel Humm and Will Guidara are also heading to Vegas, as is LA chef Roy Choi.
Denver is also buzzing this season, with a new pan-Latin concept from name-to-know Dana Rodriguez (Super Mega Bien) as well as a Japanese-meets-Italian restaurant from grain-and-fire expert Kelly Whitaker (the Wolf’s Tailor).
Up in the Pacific Northwest, Renee Erickson is working on a new Italian restaurant in a building owned by Amazon. Portland also has two big openings on the horizon, a casual wine bar from Le Pigeon’s Gabriel Rucker (Canard) and a two-in-one Southern project from Eater Young Gun Maya Lovelace (Yonder/Mae) — and Eater hall-of-famer Kachka is getting ready to make its long-awaited move to bigger digs. And way, way west (if you think about it) in Maui, and further out in the year, is a new restaurant from Top Chef alum Sheldon Simeon (Lineage) and a restaurant from the team responsible for Senia, the most buzzed about Hawaiʻi restaurant in years (Ondine).
And don’t forget, Eater now covers London! Here’s what’s happening there.