Born & Raised
CH Projects’ two-story, $6.5 million Born & Raised steakhouse addresses every detail in its design and menu execution. Designers transformed a 1930s drug store and soda fountain, turning it into an indoor-outdoor space with panoramic views of San Diego. Award-winning executive chef and partner Jason McLeod is at the helm, inviting customers to partake in the restaurant’s private-label caviar collection; in-house butchery and dry aging room; tableside dining carts; housemade steak sauces; a vegan version of steak tartare; and one of the nation’s largest scotch collections.
Castellucci Hospitality Group has opened Bar Mercado, a tapas-style restaurant inside Atlanta’s historic Krog Street Market, offering dinner service, lunch on Saturdays and brunch on Sundays. The colorful and eclectic design is meant to evoke feelings of a market in Madrid, while the kitchen, run by chef John Castellucci, offers multi-regional tapas, meats, cheeses and traditional bar bites. Noteworthy items include empanadas stuffed with pork cheek and golden raisin; braised pork ribs with piquillo pepper relish; bizcocho de chocolate, a brownie with rose marshmallow and raspberry sauce; and bottomless sangria, mimosas and bloody Marys at brunch
New York City
Acclaimed chef and restaurateur John Fraser has opened a Manhattan brasserie inspired by his love of the American tavern. The interior has the appeal of a European bistro, while the menu leans toward comfort and simplicity. Bar snacks such as avocado smash with pappadam chips and serrano peppers, and grilled cheese with manchego and veal tongue, lead into dinner entrées like The Loyal’s lobster love letters, a pasta dish with uni butter, Meyer lemon and jalapeños. Salvatore Tafuri and Amy Racine continue to impress guests at the bar with creative cocktails and a 100-bottle wine list.
Husband and wife chef team Karen and Quinn Hatfield have added a third restaurant to their family with The Mighty, a casual eatery located inside downtown LA’s historic Higgins Building. Huge windows pour light into the airy black-and-white dining room with wood accents reminiscent of a Parisian café. Patrons choose from housemade pastas, rotisserie chicken, signature old-fashioned layer cakes and a plethora of comforting foods that focus on seasonal fare with straightforward and flavorful presentations. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner.
Six-time James Beard Award finalist and host of “Mind of a Chef” Edward Lee has opened Succotash DC in partnership with Knead Hospitality + Design. The 310-seat restaurant is housed inside the Equitable Bank Building, one of only 15 buildings in the District’s Penn Quarter with landmarked interior and exterior, so the team worked meticulously to restore the space to its former glory while also preserving its history. The menu at Succotash DC is influenced by Lee’s Korean roots, as well as his time living in Louisville, Ky. Menu standouts include the Delta Rice Bowl with BBQ leeks, roasted carrots, pickled peppers, daily vegetables and salted blueberries, and the Blackened Redfish with mushroom dirty rice, frog legs, Creole cream sauce and smoked soy.
Dylan + Jeni
Award-winning chef Michael Cimarusti returns to downtown LA with the opening of Best Girl, the signature restaurant for Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles, located inside the historic 1927 United Artists building. Partnering with Cimarusti at Best Girl are his wife, pastry chef Crisi Echiverri, and front-of-the-house personality Donato Poto. Open early and closing late, Best Girl’s menu has a meat and vegetable focus that’s influenced by Los Angeles, with menu favorites including Creekstone porterhouse for two with salsa costeno, corn tortillas, crema and grilled scallion; Jidori brick chicken with rajas, onion brûlée and roasted potatoes; and bourbon-scented sticky toffee pudding with crème fraiche ice cream and blueberry compote.
Inspired by some of their favorite flavors, longtime friends and colleagues Matthias Merges and Graham Elliot have opened Gideon Sweet in a refurbished art-centric warehouse in Chicago’s West Loop. The bar and restaurant, which opens for dinner and late-night dining, focuses on internationally inspired cocktails and cuisine served “naschen” style, derived from the German word for “nibble.” Guests can choose from a selection of small plates such as warm King crab or pancetta-wrapped veal sweetbreads, or dine on a rotating selection of specials and cocktails that are passed around the room for a more interactive dining experience.