Kelly Bylsma, provided by Wagstaff Worldwide
2019 turned out to be a pretty great year for restaurants, with the best restaurants of the year running the gamut from casual burger and pizza spots to fine-dining gems focusing on sustainable, seasonal produce. But it’s time to take a look ahead at the most anticipated restaurants of 2020.
In order to compile our list, we reached out to publicists and industry folks who have their finger on the pulse of what’s on the horizon, and they provided us with all the details on more than 40 anticipated restaurants that are slated to open in the next 12 months. Plenty of exciting new concepts are coming, from food halls and tasting counters to Neapolitan pizzerias, ramen shops and touristy spots from super-famous chefs, but they all have a couple things in common: They are expected to open in 2020, and we can’t wait for any of them.
Restaurateur Michael Stillman and his restaurant group, Quality Branded, run popular New York restaurants Quality Meats, Quality Italian and Quality Eats. They’ll be adding even more quality with Quality Bistro, projected to open in February in Midtown Manhattan. The 200-seat restaurant will be a “brasserie-style French steakhouse,” with dishes including crab cake paillard, green garlic escargots, Manila clams marinières, long-bone short rib chasseur with Thai basil salad and a porterhouse au poivre for two. The design will be reminiscent of France's Belle Époque era.
Chef Stephanie Izard’s Girl & The Goat remains one of the hottest (and best) restaurants in Chicago 10 years after its opening. Now, a second location will debut in LA’s Arts District. The menu will resemble what’s offered in Chicago (family-style, boldly flavored dishes with global influences) but there will be plenty of new dishes for the LA crowd using fresh California produce.
Restaurateurs Eddy Buckingham and Jeff Lam (of hotspot Chinese Tuxedo) will open a 3,000-square-foot casual Southeast Asian all-day restaurant on Howard Street at the SoHo/Chinatown border. The menu from chef Paul Donnelly (who spent time cooking in Southeast Asia) will include Vietnamese-style yellow curry with butternut squash, whole grilled squid with green nahm jim and sour mango, and a chicken and shrimp relish with coconut and crispy betel leaves.
Sawmill Market claims it will be New Mexico’s first artisanal food hall. Located in a former lumber warehouse in Albuquerque’s Sawmill District, it’s slated to open in February with vendors including Blue Door Patisserie, XO Waffle, Paxton’s Tap Room, Flora Mexican Restaurant, Botanic Bar, Eldora Chocolate, HAWT Pizza Co. and Tulipani Pasta.
The team behind popular ramen shop Ramen Tatsu-Ya’s newest concept will be a Tiki bar with Japanese sensibilities and Tiki-inspired cuisine. They’ve brought on Aaron Reed, previously of Volstead/Hotel Vegas and Cory Starr, who recently placed second in the 11th Annual Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai Festival in Hawaii, to assist. The idea is to make it “a paradise of escapism in the heart of South Austin.”
“Austin's first true artisan food retail marketplace,” the 40,000-square-foot St. Elmo Public Market will be opening on South Congress Avenue in fall 2020. Tenants will include a bakery/modern diner called Mignette, a butcher shop and local product store, Texas Hill Country Olive Company, Family Business Beer Co. and an ice cream shop.
Chef Gordon Ramsay hasn’t shared many details on his sixth Las Vegas restaurant, but it’s tentatively named Lucky Cat and will reportedly be “something super cool (and) Asian influenced.” No word on how closely it will resemble Ramsay’s Lucky Cat in London.
Chef Michael Toscano helmed the kitchen at New York’s Perla and his wife Caitlin worked front of house at restaurants including Per Se and Del Posto (one of America’s best Italian restaurants). Together, the couple will open da Toscano in Greenwich Village in the same space that once housed Perla. The full-service Italian restaurant will serve lunch and dinner with a large seafood selection and an extensive housemade pasta program.
Legendary San Francisco Vietnamese restaurant The Slanted Door will open its first location outside of California at The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. Menu items include lemongrass rib-eye steak, organic clay pot chicken, caramelized shrimp and tofu and its famous Shaking Beef, one of America’s most iconic dishes. The restaurant is eyeing a winter 2020 opening.
The teams behind Sunday in Brooklyn, Yuji Ramen and Okonomi are joining forces to open Rule of Thirds in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood. This all-day Japanese restaurant will include seasonal bento boxes and super trendy Japanese souffle pancakes during the day and izakaya-style and large-format dishes meant to be shared (including hot pots) for dinner. Sake, natural wines and cocktails that “feature a range of American classics that draw on Japanese influence for techniques and flavor” will be offered.
Florida-born chef Kenny Gilbert will serve wood-fired Southern food at Cut & Gather, which is slated to open in Raleigh in February. Barbecue, seafood and other meats will be cooked in smokers, on grills and on custom-made wood-burning ovens, and the menu — which is inspired by Gilbert’s mother’s cooking — will change seasonally.
The third location of the MINA Group’s PABU is set to open in early 2020 inside the JW Marriott in downtown Nashville. Like at the other locations (in San Francisco and Boston), PABU will feature a variety of Japanese dining options including a sushi bar, a robata grill and an izakaya with fish flown in from Japan. Because it’s on the ground level, there will also be an outdoor terrace.
Chef Roberto Santibañez will open a 200-seat, 5,400-square-foot upscale American bar and grill in Washington’s District Wharf. The Grill will feature an open kitchen serving a menu of wood-fired steaks and seafood as well as lighter, California-inspired fare. There will be plenty of California wines on offer as well as a gin-centric cocktail program. The Grill is set to have stunning views, with an indoor-outdoor bar and a patio facing the water.
Coming to LA’s Original Farmers Market in early 2020, Market Tavern will be a hybrid between a British pub and classic Californian restaurant with “a heavy rock ‘n roll influence.” There will be Premier League football on the TV and offerings will include a curated beer list, a full cocktail bar, “hip Brit cuisine,” Sunday roast and a full English breakfast.
Din Tai Fung, which has more than 170 locations in 13 countries (and is among America’s best Chinese restaurants), will open its first Vegas location inside the ARIA Resort & Casino. This chain is best known for its noodles and Shanghai-style soup dumplings.
The Olympic Hotel’s famed dining room, which has been home to a restaurant for nearly 100 years, will re-open with a new look and new name in summer 2020. The revitalized space “will be punctuated by bold shapes, surprising contours and a new approach to lighting.”
The three-floor, 300-seat Gatsby is set to open up the street from Nationals Park in early 2020. It will serve lunch and dinner menus with a focus on simple, locally sourced new American food and will also include the second location of Umber Ahmad’s popular New York City bakery Mah-Ze-Dahr.
Chef Edward Lee is one of Louisville’s most renowned chefs and restaurateurs, best known for 610 Magnolia and MilkWood. Along with 610 Magnolia’s executive chef, Kevin Ashworth, he’s opening an as-yet-unnamed restaurant inside Cincinnati’s Kinley Hotel in the spring. The restaurant will “incorporate as many local ingredients as possible and serve inventive takes on local classics,” including homemade pasta with a Cincinnati chili-inspired ragu.
Chef Shaun Hergatt hasn’t run a public restaurant in the city since 2016. But the man who ran the kitchens at New York’s acclaimed SHO and Juni is coming back with The Vestry. The 80-seat dinner-only restaurant and bar inside the Dominick Hotel will be seasonally driven and American with Japanese influences. The menu will focus primarily on seafood and vegetables, with dishes like grilled maitake mushrooms with surf clams and daikon sprouts, and tilefish with edamame, pickled daikon radish and cilantro.
Located inside the Graduate Nashville Hotel, Miss Bessie’s will be an all-pink rooftop bar and restaurant from the duo of Marc Rose and Med Abrous. It will feature an outdoor poolside lounge (with fuschia daybeds), an indoor "rosy onyx" bar and a boho-inspired private room to rent out.
Opening in early 2020 in Hollywood’s La Brea Corridor, Gigi’s will be a casual French bistro that showcases local produce and classic French cooking technique. The chef, Matt Bollinger, has previously worked at kitchens including Jean-Georges and Trois Familia.
Chef Brandon Rice helped San Francisco’s Rich Table earn a Michelin star during his time as chef de cuisine, and now he’s venturing out on his own at Ernest. Named after his grandfather, this Mission District restaurant will draw on global flavors with a large raw bar, open-fire cooking, large format proteins, family-style meals and bar bites.
Dauphine’s, which will be opening in winter 2020, will anchor Washington’s Midtown Center, one of the largest construction projects the capital has seen in years. This new concept is the result of a partnership between the teams behind Washington’s The Salt Line and New Orleans cocktail bar Cure, one of the best bars in America. Dauphine’s is inspired by NOLA’s “grande dame” restaurants and will serve Big Easy-inspired cuisine and cocktails.
The Mayfair, an old-school supper club, will arrive inside the Bellagio on New Year’s Eve. It will offer a traditional “dinner-and-a-show” format, with a menu of contemporary American cuisine and a patio overlooking the Fountains of Bellagio.
Chefs Peter Chang and Pichet Ong are teaming up to open the 140-seat, multi-level Nihao in Baltimore in January. The menu will feature small bites, hot pots, meats, vegetables and rice and noodle dishes, as well as char siu-stuffed croissants, Yunnan cheese and chicken skin dumplings.
This 28-seat Japanese restaurant from chef Shuji Hiyakawa and restaurateur and art dealer Alvaro Perez Miranda opens in Wynwood in January and will feature seasonal ingredients and dishes including agemono (deep-fried dishes), yakimono (grilled or pan-fried), shirumono (soups), zensai (appetizers), and sushi along with sake, beer and wine. It will also offer a $100 omakase.
Sanpoutei will be a 50-seat ramen joint imported from Japan’s Niigata Prefecture, and will be coming to the East Village in mid-January. Its signature ramen is made with a niboshi dashi (dried baby sardines). Other dishes will include handmade gyoza, edamame with Sichuan peppercorn, dake drunken chicken and mapo ramen. Sake from Niigata will also be on offer.
Opening in early 2020 in Denver’s LoHi neighborhood, Northside Eatery + Market will be a sprawling, 3,300-square-foot space. Inside, you’ll find an all-day cafe focused on seasonal and sustainable ingredients, a counter-service restaurant and bar with a full menu and a “Denver bodega” with fresh produce, pantry staples, coffee from Loyal Coffee, pastries, juices and sandwiches.
Pizzeria Virtù, a spinoff of Scottsdale’s Virtù Honest Craft, will open right down the street in January. Chef Gio Osso will serve Neapolitan-style pizzas along with salads and appetizers, including an octopus of the day.
Chef Marc Murphy closed his Landmark in New York’s Time Warner Center in July 2019. However, the “Chopped” judge will get back into the game with Grisini, a Mediterranean-inspired food hall with 24 concepts inside the massive American Dream Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Highlights include handmade pastas, pizza, sandwiches, sushi, salads, a raw bar, a bakery, a coffee lab, soups, antipasti, a juice bar, a creperie and gelato.
Chef Mario LaPosta, formerly the executive chef for B&B Hospitality Group in Boston, is opening an artisanal pizzeria in Boston’s Fort Point neighborhood in spring 2020. The menu will also include local cheese and salumi, handmade pasta and artisanal gelato.
James Beard Award-winning chef Christopher Gross will open a 26-seat tasting-menu restaurant at Phoenix’s historic Wrigley Mansion. The menu will be “hearth-driven,” elegant and whimsical.
Legendary chef David Kinch runs the Michelin three-starred Manresa in Los Gatos, California, and his next project is the casual Mentone, which will be located just south of Santa Cruz. Inspired by the cuisine of southern France and the Italian Riviera, Mentone will serve pizzas with house-milled flour and a 48-hour fermented sourdough crust, focaccia and pastas such as mandelli di seta tossed with mortar-and-pestle pesto and pansotti with greens and walnut white pesto.
Chef Andres Padilla’s Ámbar will be located inside the Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park with a menu that will “embody the parallel cultures, histories and spirits” of twin cities El Paso and Cuidad Juarez. There will be an open kitchen with fare including handmade tortillas, churrasco-grilled meats and regional delicacies like chapulines (grasshoppers) and escamoles (ant eggs). A lobby-level bar with a menu of fine sipping tequilas and rare Mexican libations like pulque and komil completes the concept.
Chef Anthony LePape’s Fuego Y Mar will be the signature restaurant at the newly renovated Ritz-Carlton South Beach. This Latin fusion “social dining” concept will serve dishes including guava waffles pastelito and 12-hour ropa vieja-style braised short rib. It will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Chef John Paidas of New York’s Charlie Bird and La Pecora Bianca will bring his talents to the Hudson Valley, opening Apropos inside the new Abbey Inn & Spa in Peekskill, New York. Using local ingredients, Paidas will serve a menu of fresh pastas, shareable plates and fresh seafood, with baked clams and hand-pulled stracciatella. There will also be more than 200 wines on offer, as well as a chef’s table in the cellar.
Chef Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group will open its first fine-dining concept in Washington, D.C. in January. A “coastal sister” to his Maialino in New York, the Roman-influenced Maialino Mare, located inside the Thompson Washington D.C., will emphasize whole grilled fish, seafood and pasta. Chef Rose Noel will head up the kitchen. There will also be a rooftop bar called Anchovy Social that will serve classic Italian cocktails with seasonal twists.
Chef John Tesar runs Dallas’ acclaimed Knife, and for his next project he’s opening Knife & Spoon inside the Ritz-Carlton at Grande Lakes in Orlando. The restaurant, which is set to debut in the spring, will focus on steak and seafood. We have a good feeling about this one — Knife is one of the 50 best steakhouses in America.
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