Restaurant Openings Report: Week of June 29, 2014

A look into this week’s restaurant openings

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Chef Mario Batali's new Boston pizzeria will open this winter, and there are whispers among those in the know that he is looking to bring Eataly to Bean Town as well.

Every week, we take a look at some of the restaurants that have opened or will soon open across the country. Here’s this week’s roundup:

Mario Batali is finally coming to bean town with Babbo Pizzeria. The restaurant is to be located in an 8,700-square-foot space at Boston's Eleven Fan Pier, which is intended to meet high sustainability standards. Scheduled to open this winter, the eatery’s menu showcases Batali’s famously traditional style, and will be comprised of wood-fired pizzas, pasta, and gelato, and there will be three bars (drinks, antipasti, pizza) with lots of outdoor dining for warmer weather.

Meanwhile, rumors circulate that Batali would also like to bring his renowned market and restaurant, Eataly, to the northeastern metropolis, so stay tuned!

New York
The Torrisi Team's Gallic-influenced restaurant Dirty French’s opening is still weeks away, but the bar team is already in place, so cocktail impresario Thomas Waugh elected to host a soft opening of the Lobby Bar at the Ludlow Hotel on Tuesday night. The bar has the feel of a Colorado ski lodge, and there is access to an outside patio through glass pane doors that allow light into the bar and give the space an airy quality. The Lobby Bar cocktail menu was created by Waugh with the assistance of his capable bar team, and it is populated by drinks that are inventive yet still familiar. There is also a wine list featuring only vintages from France, as well as Belgian beer on tap.

The Il Mulino New York 30-year legacy continues to evolve with the opening of Il Mulino Prime in Soho. Changing the traditional direction slightly, it will differ from its sister locations with a menu of prime-cut steaks and hearty sides. Additionally, the boutique steakhouse will continue to embrace its Abruzzese roots, serving the highest-quality seafood and Italian specialties.

Restaurant and bar, Confessional, has opened in the heart of Manhattan’s East Village. It offers seasonal cocktails from award-winning mixologist Nelson Lemus, and delectable Latin-inspired sharing plates, created by chef Ricardo Cardona. Drinks include The Last Supper (Aylesbury Duck vodka, St. Germain, homemade strawberry puree, fresh lemon juice, and simple syrup) and Bad Conscience (Rittenhouse rye, Martini & Rossi sweet vermouth, spiced pomegranate tea, fresh lemon juice, and simple syrup). Some of the dishes served are include crispy shrimp chicharrón with sweet and spicy sauce), and crispy beer-battered fish taquitos with chipotle aioli and coleslaw.

Famed chef Charlie Palmer will open his first-ever Manhattan iteration of Charlie Palmer Steak in September. The forthcoming Charlie Palmer Steak offers 3,500 square feet of space that includes 154 dining seats, 26 seats at the bar and lounge, and a small outdoor dining patio. The food menu will be comprised of Charlie Palmer Steak classics, of course. Master sommelier and Charlie Palmer Group director of operations, Steven Geddes, will spearhead the wine program, which will include a 350-bottle wine list featuring extensive international and domestic selections with great depths in Bordeaux and domestic cabernets as well as Palmer favorites, pinot noirs and Burgundies.

Now open in the Financial District, RAMEN.Co is the very first brick-and-mortar restaurant for Chef Keizo Shimamoto, ramen expert and creator of the ramen burger, which was met with unprecedented crowds after it was launched at Brooklyn's Smorgasburg last summer. Not only has the world-famous burger found a home after a year of international fascination, RAMEN.Co is also Shimamoto’s first chance to share his true passion — authentic Japanese ramen — with New Yorkers. “I can finally share the dishes close to my heart and my heritage that I’ve spent years perfecting,” said the chef. Besides the prized ramen burger, the menu will include a variety of ramen dishes and bento boxes with some vegetarian-friendly options.

Las Vegas
Mercadito Hospitality opened Mercadito at Red Rock Resort, introducing Las Vegas to its popular casual, creative Mexican cuisine. Mercadito, named one of "America's Hottest Mexican Restaurants" by Zagat in 2013 and recognized by USA Today for serving one of the "country's ten best margaritas," is modeled after traditional Mexican markets.  The menu features tacos made with handmade corn masa tortillas, five different guacamoles, three choices of ceviche, and classic dishes like enchiladas and chile rellenos. Under executive chef Antonio Nuñez management, Mercadito Red Rock will highlight new items created especially for the Las Vegas location including nachos, ensalada verde, and Mercadito mac & cheese. 

Los Angeles
L.A. Creamery began their first hotel partnership this week with the pop-up at luxury beachside resort Viceroy Santa Monica, launching this week in celebration of National Ice Cream Month. The menu includes two exclusive flavors: the Viceroy Manhattan, made with brown butter toffee and Bullet rye ice cream and topped with maraschino cherries, and Viceroy Absinthe Green, featuring absinthe and fresh-squeezed lime ice cream. Additionally, Viceroy Santa Monica will offer virgin options including honeycomb infused with pure golden honey and delicate honeycomb candy; salted caramel; and hazelnut chocolate truffle. The ice cream will be available for guests to enjoy poolside in the cabanas and public spaces, as well as at CAST Restaurant and Cameo Bar, in five-ounce containers priced at $8 each.  

If you’re searching for more ways to celebrate the month dedicated to the creamy sweet treat, Sweet Rose Creamery, the small-batch ice cream shop with locations in Santa Monica, Brentwood, and Mid-City, makes its first Downtown L.A. appearance as a pop-up at Woo Souvenir Shop in the burgeoning Arts District. Commencing Saturday, July 5 and continuing every Saturday and Sunday in July from 3 to 9 p.m., co-owner and executive chef Shiho Yoshikawa will bring her menu of handcrafted, market-driven ice creams and frozen desserts to the Downtown boutique. Saturdays will be dedicated to frozen treat novelties like classic ice cream sandwiches, seasonal fruit pops, Valrhona fudge pops, and more.  On Sundays, Angelinos can enjoy scoops of Sweet Rose Creamery’s classic ice cream flavors like salted caramel, old fashioned vanilla, and fresh mint with homemade chocolate chips, as well as a rotation of seasonal flavors such as blueberry muffin, peaches and cream, and Old Rasputin stout.

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