Fall's colder tempertatures get people craving comfort food, and lucky for them, many of this season's most exciting restaurant openings cater to that rising trend. Across the board, we've noticed another trend: Chefs known for their upscale restaurants are focusing their energy on opening more casual eateries. And the results should be incredible.
In Philadelphia, Jose Garces is checking off two trends by launching a taco truck as well as a beer and sausage shop. In Chicago, Grant Achatz is making his first move from Alinea with a new, more casual eatery called Next. This concept also represents the next generation of reservation systems. Diners will buy tickets to eat at the restaurant as if it was a show, and the ticket prices will be pro-rated based on desirability. (8 p.m. will cost more than 10 p.m., etc.) It's for sure the fall’s most exciting new project.
However, some major action in New York cannot be overlooked. Michael White is opening his new Emilia-Romagnan concept Osteria Morini, and Jonathan Benno (the longtime chef at Per Se) has struck out on his own at Lincoln where he aims to serve Eggplant Parmesan and Tuscan Steaks in a new $20 million dollar home. Sounds good to me. Other excitement can be found.