Public Display of Affection — Brooklyn, N.Y.
In a “quiet opening,” Public Display of Affection (PDA) debuted between Gowanus and Park Slope, with a pizza-centric menu from Chef Robert Guimond, an alum of Jean Georges, Roberta’s and Speedy Romeo. Guimond is helming PDA with his sister Emi Guimond, an alum of Tom Colicchio’s Craft and former director of operations at Speedy Romeo. The building has been many restaurants throughout the years, including a seafood restaurant, taco place and pizzeria.
Wood-fired pizza oven at PDA
At PDA, pizzas start with a slow fermented sourdough that blisters to a thin crust and becomes pies like a classic pepperoni with red sauce, mozzarella and chili flake; white pizza with house ricotta, mozzarella, pecorino, parmesan and garlic; and vegan pizza with white sauce, garlic, shiitake, broccoli, brussels and lemon.
Breakfast burrito at PDA
Daily breakfast starts at 7 a.m., with breakfast burritos, chia pudding parfaits and coffee from Greenpoint’s Sweet Leaf Roasters.
Green pizza at PDA
Chef Robert French is doing a lot with seasonal veggies at PDA, running parallel with the pizzas and appearing on top. The “vegetables, starters and salad” section of the menu includes such complexity as shishitos with tarragon, umami and lemon; the PDA Salad with shiitake, gorgonzola, red onion, pumpkin seed and garlic; and wood-fired carrots l’orange with citrus and butter.
Cheesy bread at PDA
This cheesy bread is destined to go with PDA’s beverage selection that includes classics like the Old Fashioned, a new take on the Paloma, and trendy drink ingredients like gin and purple peaflower.
Interior of PDA
The 28-seat restaurant features a 20-seat patio with a small (4-seat) bar amidst indoor plants and an open kitchen, vintage bronze fixtures and big windows opening onto the patio.
Briny Swine — Edisto Island, S.C.
Just-opened Briny Swine Smokehouse & Oyster Bar is a 1,200 square-foot space with a minimalist-coastal look and an occasional soundtrack of live bluegrass music. The “briny” and the “swine” refer to the cuisine, an ode to two Southern celebrations: oyster roasts and pig pickings. The menu reflects that through artful oysters and barbecued pork dishes, along with some cool Southern favorites like fried green tomatoes with a blue crab remoulade, Buffalo blue cheese rinds (with Clemon Blue Cheese!) and fried catfish with jalapeno tartar sauce.
The team behind Briny Swine
Briny Swine debuts under the ownership of Executive Chef/Owner Brandon Rushing, Co-owner Katherine Rushing and Pitmaster Will Kalutz. The owners are known in the area for Ella & Ollie’s, a seafood-focused spot also on Edisto Island. “We wanted to do a casual meat and seafood option on Edisto for a long time now,” said Brandon Rushing. “Our diners at Ella & Ollie’s wanted more options are we are so excited to be able to meet that demand just in time for summer.”
Oysters at Briny Swine
The raw bar features a daily selection of oysters, barbecue-roasted oysters, peel-and-eat shrimp, pickled shrimp, smoked fish dip with fried saltines, and tuna poke tostada.
Will Kalutz at Briny Swine
Pitmaster Will Kalutz, using a Lang BBQ Smoker, smokes pork and also wings, brisket, chicken and ribs.
Kush — Coconut Grove, Fla.
The story of Kush, which opened June 17, is a rebirth of sorts. Owner/Operator Matthew Kuscher (the “Kush” in Kush Hospitality) closed his sea-centric restaurant Spillover due to the pandemic and used the time to revamp and reinvent the restaurant into Kush. “Spillover had an amazing run and certainly had its fans,” Kuscher said. “But looking at how the market is changing and what customers want in these crazy, stressful times it was evident to me that the spirit of Kush — fun, casual, not taking itself seriously — was what we needed now.”
1972 cocktail at Kush
The 1972 cocktail at Kush is part of a creative cocktail menu that also includes the Peanut Butter Old Fashioned served in a Smucker’s jar and Purple Drank (gin and crème de violette), served in a drink pouch.
Fortune teller at Kush
Maybe this guy could tell us the future of the restaurant industry?
Gator strips at Kush
The Kush menu centers on burgers and sandwiches like the Farm Style Chicken Sandwich, Grouper Reuben and Hobo Frito Pie. Also featured are snapper scraps, tortilla soup, prawn toast, gator strips (pictured) and vegan versions of a burger, jambalaya and crab cake sandwich.
Impasta — Los Angeles
Impasta is a ghost kitchen that creates zero- to low-carb pasta and pizzas with a digital-media expert at the helm. This delivery-only restaurant is a virtual brand for now (available through Postmates, ChowNow, UberEats, DoorDash, GrubHub and Caviar), but there are plans to expand to brick-and-mortar locations in the future, and potentially build out kitchen or window pick-up locations depending on the long-lasting effects of the pandemic.
Spaghetti Squashed It at Impasta
Impasta Founder Harrison Litvack, a native Angelino, said he finds satisfaction in a mission-oriented business concept based on the customer’s standpoint. “In order to reach our customer base, I knew Impasta had to be 100% genuine, from the guilt-free-yet-tasty pasta comfort dishes (like Spaghetti Squashed It, pictured here) to the carbon-neutral packaging,” he said.
White truffle pizza at Impasta
Pizzas have cauliflower crusts to cut carbs, and the whole menu accommodates vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, keto and Whole 30 diet preferences. Pizzas can be topped with real burrata or substitute a vegan cheese. Pasta dishes lean on cauliflower as well to keep the comfort but lose the carbs.
Strings of Life (S.O.L.) — West Hollywood, Calif.
Australian power chef couple Monty and Jaci Koludrovic, with Botanical Hospitality Group, opened Strings of Life (S.O.L.) on Melrose Avenue in mid-June. It’s a community-focused, Cali-Aussie showcase of elevated eats, outdoor space and coffee culture open daily from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. “We have gone to great lengths to design S.O.L. to be beautiful and functional — much like you would a large-format restaurant — and the plating and flavors will showcase that,” said Co-owner Grant Smillie.
Salad at S.O.L.
Executive Chef Monty Koludrovic is blending California and Australian cuisines into intriguing mashups like vegemite and caviar. Playful dishes include “everything bagel” crispy potato cake with smoked salmon and cream cheese; a cheese and vegemite croissant; and a basil fowlty with basil-steamed chicken, sweet potato, pickled onion, arugula and aioli.
Pick-up window at S.O.L.
For safety, seating is at 60% capacity, capped at 36 seats (24 outdoor and 12 indoor) for the foreseeable future, but there’s always the takeout window, making it even easier to keep a distance while grabbing a coffee.
The coffee is from fellow Aussie brand Common Room Roasters. Drinks include the flat white, long and short black, Australian Matcha and turmeric lattes.