> Location: Portland, Oregon
This Haitian-inspired restaurant takes advantage of the bounty of Pacific Northwestern farms while giving Caribbean cuisine its well-deserved place at the table. Four years in the making, chef Gregory Gourdet’s wood-fired hearth restaurant became an instant sensation upon opening. Dishes include spicy collards in peanut cream, smoky charred beef rubbed in coffee and served with pickles, and roasted plantain salad with cashew dressing.
> Location: New York City, New York
Part of an influx of new boutique restaurants in Rockefeller Center, Le Rock is a French brasserie from the team behind Tribeca’s Frenchette. The spacious eatery offers raw bar fare and French favorites including chou farci (stuffed cabbage), duck confit with lentils, and merguez (lamb sausage) frites, in addition to weekly specials and a prix fixe option.
> Location: Los Angeles, California
Run by the visionary couple behind n/naka, this izakaya (a Japanese bar with a wide range of small dishes similar to Spanish tapas) features a colorful and elegant spread of skewers, nigiri, tempura, and more. The outdoor patio restaurant, which was conceived during the height of the pandemic, offers cocktails that lean savory, and clean, powerful flavors that change with the seasons.
> Location: East Nashville, Tennessee
This multistory restaurant by Appalachian native Sean Brock features a main floor dining room and bar centered around an open kitchen that churns out flavor-packed Southern fare and cocktails, as well as an intimate second floor experimental tasting lounge inspired by Japan’s multi-course kaiseki meals and Spanish avant-garde cuisine.
> Location: Bainbridge Island, Washington
The popular Bainbridge Island restaurant Hitchcock made many twists and turns during the pandemic, then closed and reopened as Seabird, a showcase for fresh, local seafood, foraged mushrooms, and vegetables prepared in rather ingenious ways. Savory custards served in mussel shells, tartares with egg yolk gel, and uni french toast soaked in dashi highlight the menu, which also features organic wines and herbal house cocktails.
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