Restaurant Openings Report: Week of August 31, 2014

Every week, we take a look at some of the restaurants that have opened or will soon open across the country and around the world

New Belgian Beer Café NoMad in New York is now open and serving authentic Belgian brews and bites.

One of the most renowned steakhouses in America and abroad, BLT Steak and ESquared Hospitality have grown from one flagship restaurant which opened in New York City in 2004, to more than 10 brands and 28 restaurants worldwide, including 14 BLT Steak and BLT Prime locations. BLT Steak Tokyo, opening later this month, will be ESquared Hospitality’s sixth outpost in Asia, joining BLT Steak restaurants in Hong Kong and Seoul, and BLT Burger locations in Hong Kong and Taiwan. The Tokyo outpost is a bi-level restaurant offering the perfect setting for a variety of dining occasions, from business entertaining, to private family and social events. At six meters (19.7 feet), the main floor’s high ceilings create an open airy feeling for the spacious bar and dining room, which can accommodate 111 guests. At the back are four private dining rooms that can seat six to eight guests in each, or be combined to host up to 20 guests. The mezzanine level has seating for 40, and an outdoor terrace is adorned with greenery and colorful artwork to create an elegant resort atmosphere.

New York
A new pop-up restaurant series, Project Sāra, will make its debut on the Lower East Side at Studio Kitchen Café on Sunday, September 7. The brainchild of Culinary Institute of America alum Viraj Borkar and wine connoisseur Mangesh Elag, Project Sāra (the name is derived from the Sanskrit word meaning “essence”) will focus on exposing the core flavor of each ingredient in dishes offered to 36 diners during three seatings in its inaugural debut. Each seating will feature a five-course meal from Viraj Borkar, Mangesh Elag, and guest chef Samuel Diaz.

Belgian Beer Café NoMad is now open. This bar and restaurant boasts a large variety of authentic old world and up-and-coming craft Belgian beers, both on draft and in bottles. There is also an extensive menu of Belgian-inspired cuisine which includes house made country pâté and Hoegaarden mussels, and is spearheaded by corporate executive chef Bill Peet. In addition to the brews and fare, Belgian Beer Café NoMad’s retail corner is selling growlers to go, so patrons can take the taste of Belgium home with them.

ZUMA will launch in late fall and will mark the iconic restaurant's ninth location in its international collection. ZUMA New York will feature a main dining room, a bar and lounge area, and private rooms, all of which will be situated across two levels. Designed by Noriyoshi Muramatsu of Tokyo-based Studio Glitt, the space will capture the style and elegance of ZUMA worldwide, yet will embrace elements exclusive to New York. The menu will offer signature dishes including “Suzuki No Sashimi,” sea bass sashimi with yuzu and salmon roe; “Tori No Tebasaki,” sake-glazed chicken wings with sea salt and lime; “Ebi No Sumibiyaki Yuzu Kosho Fuumi,” jumbo tiger prawn with yuzu pepper; and a U.S. Prime bone-in 24-ounce ribeye.

Hoboken, NJ
Bareburger is pleased to announce it has expanded yet again, this time by opening a second location in Hoboken. Serving everything from wild boar and bison, to sweet potato veggie burgers and buttermilk fried chicken, the growing micro-chain of organic burger restaurants has the mission of changing the way people eat for the better. Bareburger’s Hoboken restaurant is the first location to unveil a brand-new menu debuting burgers like the “Grindhouse” made of elk, manchego, country bacon, piquante relish, and paprika mayo on a brioche bun; sandwiches like the “Duck Duck Gouda,” with duck bacon, Gouda, fried egg, and tomato fig jam on a brioche bun, and salads such as the vegan and gluten-free “Sprouts & Roots” comprised of crispy Brussels sprouts, smoked tempeh, wasabi carrot slaw, wild mushrooms, crispy lotus root and sesame ginger dressing.

Irvine, CA
Eureka!, a growing family of restaurants that serves American cuisine, is expanding in Orange County with the addition of its second location. The restaurant offers guests 40 American craft beers on tap, small-batch whiskeys, and an onsite farm-to-table herb and citrus garden within its latest location in Irvine opening on October 6, 2014. The newest and only full service-dining restaurant in the University Center will feature a menu that includes a bone marrow burger, a slow-roasted beet salad, and Osso Buco riblets.

San Francisco
Les Clos, a new wine bar/café/retail shop located in the SOMA district, is gearing up for its grand opening on Saturday, September 20. Fresh from receiving a 2014 Grand Award from the Wine Spectator for his wine program at Saison, owner Mark Bright has tapped two of its veterans, chef Shawn Gawle and cellar master/sommelier Cara Patricia Higgins, to lead the kitchen and helm the dining room and wine program. With opening hours from 8:00 a.m. to midnight on weekdays and 10:00 a.m. to midnight on Saturdays and Sundays, Bright envisions a bar that constantly morphs to reflect the demands of those who live and work in the area throughout the day, starting with coffee and French omelets in the morning, to a convenient location for lunchtime sandwiches or a spot for a leisurely midday meal, to a place to enjoy happy hour on the way home or a locale to have a satisfying dinner or late night drink with friends. In addition, Bright will also be offering and teaching intensive wine classes with visiting international winemakers coming in to pour their special collections.

A.G. Ferrari, a specialty Italian food importer and purveyor, is poised to unveil a fresh look.  The changes include updated store designs, an entirely new menu, an enhanced wine program, and the introduction of an in-house chef and new leadership team. The 95-year old brand will leverage its heritage to combine the best of a traditional Italian alimentari, with the modern sensibilities of San Francisco’s food culture, focusing on craveable foods, imported and specialty products, and excellent service. A.G. Ferrari’s three San Francisco locations will temporarily close on September 8 to finalize in-store renovations in anticipation of the grand re-opening slated for later this month. The menu will be brought to life by new corporate chef Ira Meyer, and will include items such as a turkey and fig sandwich with jam and ricotta; roasted eggplant caponata with red and yellow bell peppers, toasted pine nuts, golden raisins, roasted garlic, and fresh basil, and ricotta and beef Polpette with sugo di Pomodoro.


Kate Kolenda is the Restaurant/City Guide Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @BeefWerky and @theconversant.