After eating and drinking their way through night markets across Taiwan, Hong Kong and China, chef Patrick Feury, along with partners Henry Chu, Kenny Huang and Michael Wei, decided to bring the unique flavors of these countries to Philadelphia. Danlu, which means “nectar” in Taiwanese, is a two-story, Taiwanese night-market-inspired gastropub with a kitchen run by Michael Cooperman, formerly executive chef of New York City’s The Red Cat, and featuring small and large plates, raw compositions, noodles, rice dishes and Chinese sandwiches. The eye-catching interior was designed by award-winning New York City firm Jeffrey Beers International, which utilized natural and textured materials and bold mural graphics throughout the space.
Named after her parents and not a famous Michael Jackson song, Billie Jean, Zoë Robinson’s intimate new restaurant in Clayton, Mo., offers nine tables and nine barstools inside a chic black-and-white setting. Contemporary American cuisine is accented by Asian and Mediterranean flavors on the menu by chef Ny Vongsaly. Highlights include duck spring rolls with sweet chili soy; grilled lobster tail with cilantro, Thai basil butter and scallion corn cake; and roasted quail with cornbread stuffing and baby root vegetables.
Bootlegger Jack’s Hidden Speakeasy
Only accessible through the unisex bathroom of Uncle Jack’s Meat House in Astoria, N.Y., there lies a secret hideaway, complete with a massive steel door, 50-seat Roaring ’20s speakeasy-style bar, oversized couches, Tiffany-style lamps and old-fashioned knick-knacks that harken back to Prohibition era. The menu includes sliced steaks, sliders, sharable appetizers, inventive craft cocktails and bottle service.
A 30-year veteran specializing in the creation and growth of innovative food- and beverage-service businesses, Harveen Khera recently debuted Hippie Kitchen in New Orleans, a restaurant that marries seasonal, farm-to-table ingredients with a heavy dose of community. Co-founder Wayne Greiner has worked alongside chefs such as Emeril Lagasse and Wolfgang Puck, while chef Charlotte Morton, with experience in kitchens such as Daniel Boulud’s DB Bistro and Shaun Hergatt's Michelin-starred Juni, leads the kitchen team. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, menu highlights include seasonal egg dishes, wraps, bowls, salads, sandwiches, pastas and fresh baked goods.
New York City
Black Rose Hospitality Group has opened a 1960s-inspired cocktail and pizza bar in the heart of New York City’s Meatpacking District. Inspired by fast-casual restaurant models, Black Rose owner James Morrissey and David Sitt envisioned a new type of bar and restaurant that blends quick service with superior quality. Authentic Salvador Dalí pieces from Sitt’s personal collection decorate the walls of the comfortably boho-chic space. Nino Coniglio, world-champion pizza maker and owner of Williamsburg Pizza, has been brought on as executive chef, showcasing a menu of Neapolitan pizzas inspired by women who impacted the Woodstock era.
The Benevolent King
James Beard Award-nominated Ben Poremba of Bengelina Hospitality Group has opened The Benevolent King, a conceptual ode to the reigning King of Morocco, in Maplewood. Inspired by Moroccan flavors, the abbreviated menu is nontraditional and features a daily rotating menu highlighting seven to nine small plates and five to six larger plates, with items such as lamb tartare; goat cheese with figs and fermented green mango; and eggplant three ways with egg, amba (a pickled mango condiment) and tahini. Cocktail pioneer Tony Saputo has devised a bar program comprised of 18 signature cocktails that combine a complex array of flavors and spirits.