Chef Brad Kilgore has been teasing us with info about Ember, his wood-fired American bistro from Kilgore Culinary, from the food to the plates and we’ve gotten word that the Art Deco space is set to open in April in Miami’s Design District.
Steak at Ember
“Ember will be a throwback to classic Americana with elements of steakhouses similar to the ones I grew up working at and going to in Kansas City,” Kilgore said in a statement. “Guests will be welcomed by the smell of a wood-burning grill, a comfortable dining room and a piece of my heritage on the menu.”
Fish at Ember
New dishes to expect include lots of charred seafood, grilled lasagna, fire-roasted stone crabs in garlic sauce, baked ‘nduja ravioli and of course the steaks, offered “classic’” or “embered” with a secret spice blend.
Jackie Lee Young
There’s an all-day neighborhood rhythm at Lou’s Bodega: coffee and pastries for the early risers; at 11 a.m. in-house rotisserie gets added to all-day offerings, including porchetta, beef, chicken or cauliflower, served by the plate or family-style with dips.
Patio at Lou’s Bodega
Jackie Lee Young
The afternoon brings the “backyard hang” portion of the day, on a big back patio with a ping pong table and a cocktail menu with horchata and agua fresca selections.
Breakfast at Lou’s Bodega
Jackie Lee Young
Part of McGuire Moorman Hospitality and hotelier Liz Lambert’s Bunkhouse Group, Lou’s Bodega isn’t just a “bodega” in name; smokes, snacks, candy, magazines and newspapers are for sale alongside the Intelligentsia Coffee and pastries from local bakery Swedish Hill.
Chicken at Lou’s Bodega
The vibrant housemade dipping sauces give each bite of rotisserie chicken major personality, and you can also take it to go.
Modernist plant-based Farm Spirit is open for dinner with owner Aaron Adams as head chef at a new location, a 30-seat restaurant with a bar, expanded from a previous chef’s counter-only former space. There’s a set multi-course menu focused on veggie cookery within the Cascadia region.
Seeded cracker, cultured filbert and smoked beet at Farm Spirit
The culinary team at Farm Spirit is making use of a new freeze dryer, pasta extruder, centrifuge, dehydrators and temperature-controlled fermentation cabinets.
Carrot jerky at Farm Spirit
Adams says he doesn’t want this to be a serious vegan restaurant, and when the first version of Farm Spirit opened in 2015, he encouraged guests to lick the plates. He also sent out butter in a terrarium cloche with smoke pouring out and served squash fritters in mini skillets.
The newest project from Chef Ricardo Zarate is his first non-Peruvian concept, the departure marked on the menu by chicken tonkatsu sandwiches, shakshuka, quinoa hot pot and Carabineros prawns (the flashy, ruby-red shellfish stars of Mediterranean fine dining).
Pikoh carrot salad
Zarate collaborated with longtime protégé Chef de Cuisine James Jung for the international-yet-very-melting pot Los Angeles influenced Pikoh. The Latin/Asian-inspired menu continues all day, starting at 7 a.m. with options like a breakfast bowl with activated charcoal.
New Orleans’ Warehouse District is the site for this Italian-kitchen collab between NOLA restaurateur Billy Blatty and Denver’s Culinary Creative Group. The name is an (albeit misspelled) tribute to iconic actress Sophia Loren, who once said, “Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.” Sofia the restaurant owes much to the city itself, with sourcing from local farms and fisheries, plus that famous hospitality.
Ricotta Gnocchi at Sofia
Antipasti includes Gulf squid given the upscale Latin/gumbo treatment with sofrito, beans, garlic and fennel pollen vinaigrette; carne crudo from a local pasture with anchovy dressing and a charred brassica dish with brown butter. The heart of the menu is pasta, though, in combinations with blue crab, housemade sausage, Grana Padano and more.
Easton Porter Group’s new chef’s counter/tasting menu concept is in Charleston’s Cannonborough-Elliotborough downtown neighborhood, with views of a courtyard outside and an open kitchen inside. An intimate, eight-seat chef’s counter allows diners to discover dishes created by Chef Orlando Pagan, like these scallops with pickled strawberries puffed tapioca and chickweed. For an extra $45 per tasting menu, guests can get wine pairings for each course.
“Beastly” Cocktail at Wild Common
Wild Common is named for a poem by D.H. Lawrence, The Wild Common, in which the ahead-of-his-time poet ruminates on “all that is right, all that is good.” The cocktail menu is very literary, too, with drinks like “How Beastly the Bourgeois Is,” with vodka, passion fruit, chili syrup and lime.
Gary Adcock/Studio 37
Virtue, the hot new “soigné soul food” spot in Hyde Park, was created by Chef Erick Williams as a restaurant anchored in respect, dignity and kindness. “Guests are very excited and hugely supportive of the culture we are building,” Williams said.
Art at Virtue
“In just a few months, we are attracting regulars that are wowed by both the classics and contemporary takes on their native meals,” Williams said.
Mac & cheese at Virtue
Much of Virtue’s menu shows Southern food’s sophisticated side. “Braised collard greens with smoked turkey are at the heart of southern cooking,” Williams said. “Greens are as complex and satisfying as the most carefully prepared dish of risotto or foie gras torchon.”
Chef Dave Park and Jen Tran started in a food court, with Hanbun, a chef-driven spot that earned Park a James Beard semifinalist nomination. Now, they’re in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood with Jeong, a more refined take on what they’ve been doing with Korean cuisine using modern technique.
King crab on housemade silken tofu at Jeong
Jeong has a double meaning for the couple. It’s Park’s grandmother’s maiden name but it also means a soulful kind of love and connection that bonds people. A seven-course tasting menu for $87 as well as a la carte options includes lots of housemade tofu and kimchi, schmaltz-roasted, chili glazed rice cakes; and a lot of traditional ingredients like dweniang (fermented soybean paste, used in caramel in a chestnut financier on the dessert menu).
New York City
Cedric Vongerichten, his wife Ochi and their friend Ezra Williams team up for Wayan, a French Indonesian restaurant in Nolita. Vongerichten is the son of famed chef Jean-George Vongerichten. Designer Shawn Sullivan of the Rockwell Group imagined Wayan as “downtown tropics,” using lush greenery, rustic teak paneling and carved wood pieces from Indonesia for a bright, airy vibe amidst New York’s concrete jungle.
Satay at Wayan
Open for dinner with all-day service on the way, Wayan’s menu focuses on Indonesian classics reimagined, like satay skewers, avocado gado gado, lemongrass coconut chicken curry and nasi goreng (Indonesian fried rice) served family style.
The Daily Memphian called the $20 million makeover of the old Greyhound station into the new Hilton Garden Inn a transformation of “a dog-eared piece of real estate into a Best in Show contender.” For 55 years, the station was a hub of transportation in the mid-South, closing in 2011. Now, the iconic dog lives on in the name of the new hotel gin bar (and its signature cocktail), overseen by bar manager Kendrick Cook.
New York City
You mean the ‘90s weren’t just ten years ago? Making some of us feel old, this distinctive decade is now ripe for nostalgia. Hip Hop, sports and pizza are the memories that guided founder Noam Grossman and pizza consultant Anthony Falco to dream up this 330-square-foot pizza shop.
‘90s branding at Upside Pizza
Fresh from a Montague Hearth Bake brick oven (rarely found in New York pizzerias), the pies here are made with naturally leavened dough from a sourdough starter. Pizza varieties include the Upside Don (thick Sicilian square slices with mozzarella and red sauce), the Falcowitz with white wine-lemon cream sauce, and the meaty Pepperoni Papi.