> Location: Miami, Florida
This modern Israeli restaurant in Surfside takes its influence from the Levant as well as Spain and North Africa. The menu of non-kosher dishes features mezze, crudo, and shareable plates with ample seafood, wagyu beef, and lamb. The cocktail menu is just as inspired as the cuisine, with house-made herbal syrups and fruit purees, while the extensive wine list leans heavily toward France, Spain, and California.
> Location: Austin, Texas
Mexican coastal fare comes to Austin at this gardenside restaurant housed in the former East Side Cafe. Fresh produce is grown on site, with beehives, bird houses, and lush flowers adorning the garden. Charcoal-fired oysters, grilled shrimp, fried fish, and plenty of raw bar fare are served with colorful and piquant accents, while the happy hour offers deep discounts on oysters, wines by the bottle, and seafood towers.
> Location: Chicago, Illinois
A high end French bistro from the brothers behind Le Bouchon, Obélix steers modern French cuisine toward new horizons with outstanding results. The Asian-accented steak tartare is topped with green garlic aïoli, banh mi pickles, and seaweed, while the foie gras is served in a blue corn tortilla with concord grape jam and salsa macha. Never mind that it’s the most expensive taco in Chicago – try one and you’ll be tempted to order another.
> Location: Alhambra, California
This café in Alhambra specializes in Malaysian and Singaporean cuisine, utilizing recipes handed down through generations and spices imported from Malaysia. The pared-down menu features all the well-known hits, from tender, flaky roti canai to Hainan chicken rice, aromatic beef rendang, and char kway teow (stir-fried flat rice noodles).
Queen Trini Lisa
> Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
A native of Trinidad and Tobago, chef Lisa “Queen Trini” Nelson made a name for herself at local events long before she finally opened her first brick and mortar restaurant. Serving crowd-pleasers like Lisa’s award-winning jerk chicken, doubles (a beloved street food of two flatbreads sandwiched around curried chickpeas), and fried fish sandwiches on coco bread, Queen Trini Lisa delivers flavor packed meals, and offers many vegan dishes.
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