Monday, June 11, 2018

TOP 10 WORLD'S BEST RESTAURANT OPENINGS – JUNE


10. CRACCO
EXQUISITE DINING, DRINKING AT ULTRA-LUXE MILAN EATERY

Michelin-starred Carlo Cracco debuts his latest Milan endeavor
Michelin-starred chef Carlo Cracco debuts his latest endeavor, a dining & entertainment concept that includes a café, patisserie, wine bar, private lounge, chocolaterie and, of course, a fine-dining restaurant. The entire operation is housed within Milan's historic Galleria Vittorio, the world's oldest operating shopping mall and a marvel of classical architecture. The whole is a winning combination of design, cuisine and cultural experience.

THE FOOD
The menu is comprised of traditional dishes from Milan and throughout Italy, each with contemporary influences that bring intriguing contrasts of textures, flavors and colors. Cracco has earned a Michelin star for its commitment to, “top quality ingredients, used in dishes with distinct flavors and prepared to a consistently high standard.” An ample selection of pasta dishes that blend the traditional with the modern: spaghetti with sea urchin, ravioli with calamari and broccoli, roasted scampi with leek fondente. The meat dishes are highlighted by several veal options, each one with a different flavor profile and concept.

LAST WORD
Cracco is a collection of dining & entertainment elements - café, patisserie, wine bar, private lounge, chocolaterie, gourmet restaurant " that creates a Michelin-starred fine dining experience that's also a feast for the eyes.

9. MAJORDOMO
A HIPSTER HAUNT OF SAVORY INFLUENCES AT DAVID CHANG''S LA DEBUT.
Expect Spicey Diversity at David Chang''s 1st LA Eatery.

Majordomo is the latest (and first LA restaurant) from accomplished chef-entrepreneur David Chang, of Momofuku Noodle Bar and Netflix's Ugly Delicious fame. This north-of-Chinatown instant classic caters to a sophisticated and buzzy crowd of dedicated foodies and fine dining enthusiasts. The interior vibe is upscale, busy and urban. The former warehouse sports a high ceiling and tall industrial windows that create an illusion of extravagant space, while the rough concrete walls are softened by wood partitions and gorgeously colored fine art canvasses. A pleasant courtyard patio beneath strung lights offers outdoor dining and entertaining.

THE FOOD
The menu is a tantalizing blend of influences too complex to precisely pin down: Korean, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, French, Southern-American and more flavors and techniques. A signature dish is gochu jeon, Korean green chiles packed with smoky sock sausage and pan fried. Spicy lamb bing, crispy pork belly and succulent and tangy short rib raclette hint at the wide range of possibilities in store for adventurous diners.

LAST WORD
Bartenders are highly trained and experienced, with a full range of ingredients for artisanal cocktail experimentation at their fingertips. A select wine and beer list is also available. Reservations are available 30 days in advance and often book in seconds; bar seating is available for those not afraid to wait.

8. ONCE
PERUVIAN NIKKEI FUSION IN VEGAS FROM LA''S RICARDO ZARATE.
Peruvian staples, Japanese influence at The Venetian.

Once (pronounced “on-seh”) means eleven in Spanish and denotes acclaimed chef Ricardo Zarate's position among his 13 siblings. Zarate has earned four James Beard nominations and a “Best New Chef” award from Food & Wine, which speaks to the level of quality and creativity you can expect at his latest restaurant. The space, formerly home to Emeril Lagasse's Table 10, blends Vegas glamour with an appealing rustic style. Highlights include floor-to-ceiling living plant “walls,” dramatic tribal statuary and a large greenery-surrounded patio with communal tables. Dim pendant lighting adds an element of romance. Each table is different and unique, with colorful handmade tile accents.

THE FOOD
The menu is described as Peruvian Nikkei, which only hints at the bold flavors and inspiring technique combinations diners are in for. Once features 11 a la carte shared plates that rotate weekly according to the season. Recent selections include a grilled octopus charcuterie plate, scallop & shrimp dumplings and a truffled Big Eye Tuna sashimi ceviche. Entrees offer succulent classics with twists from Zarate, like the Peruvian chaufa rice with lobster, snow crab, sausage and pancetta.

LAST WORD
Staying true to the theme, the drinks menu includes 11 signature cocktails, as well as a full selection of wines and beers. Service is attentive and excellent

7. LEGACY RECORDS
KEN FULK PENS PLAYFUL MED EATERY AT NY’S HUDSON YARDS
Med restaurant from owners of Charlie Bird, Pasquale Jones

One of the hottest openings to date in NYC's Hudson Yards neighborhood, Legacy Records is an experimental 85-seat restaurant, café and experiential kitchen that lures foodies and design lovers. In a palette of emerald greens, brassy gold and gentlemanly woods, SF-designer Ken Fulk draws of retro 60s and 70s vibes for a comfortably formal and playful space ideal for mid-day coffee to late-night dining.

THE FOOD
Chef Ryan Hardy's menu features his fresh, flavorful cuisine, inspired by Italy’s northern coasts. Arvid Rosengren, the reigning ‘Best Sommelier in the World’ leads the hospitality and wine team while master mixologist Jeff Bell from P.D.T. (Please Don’t Tell) curates the cocktail program. Look for signature dishes like crudo tastings of sea urchin, Diver scallops and razor clams followed by hand-pulled mozzarella, crispy sunchokes or grilled pigeon. Pastas are more of a lighter entrée options with cuttlefish spaghetti and lamb cavatelli followed by main course of roasted black bass, duck for 2 or dry-aged rib-eye with chanterelles.

LAST WORD
Owners of Charlie Bird, Pasquale Jones create Hudson Yards eatery with SF-designer Ken Fulk.

 6. BLEU BLANC
STARRY LA CHEF DAVID MYERS POPS-UP IN DUBAI.
French farmhouse cuisine is change of pace in glamorous Dubai.

The “Gypsy Chef” David Myers finally gets a piece of the action in Dubai, with the debut of Bleu Blanc in the Renaissance Downtown. It's a warm and inviting space, with an open plan that allows diners to watch the action in the kitchen. The inspiration is a French farmhouse, rendered attractively here in whitewashed walls, wooden beams, candlelit tables and two large, blue doors at the entry. An immense wood fired grill serves as the beating heart of the impressive kitchen. Dubai is typically known for glitz and glamour, Bleu Blanc is an appealing variation that delivers rustic Continental charm.

THE FOOD
The menu is relatively simple and split into categories for bread, raw food, starters, wood fired recipes, main dishes and vegetables. Breads and raw dishes are designed to be shared tapas-style: sturia caviar flatbread and Maine lobster roll served in a charcoal bread are highlights. Comfort foods from the wood fired menu are suitably savory, including a Wagyu cheeseburger, lamb kebabs with tomato & onion, and caper-smothered King Crab legs. Main courses favor hearty meats, like Black Angus butcher cuts and a bone-in rib eye. Vegetables are French favorites like truffled mashed potatoes, forest mushrooms with sugar snap peas, and raddichio in a tangy balsamic.

LAST WORD
Celebrity “Gypsy Chef” David Myers adds his stamp to Dubai's vibrant restaurant scene with Bleu Blanc, a charming slice of French country life nestled in the glittering Renaissance Downtown.

5. CAPRICE DES DEUX
MEMORABLE PROVENCAL COOKING WITH A TWIST OF SAINT-TROPEZ.
Hearty, Homey Provencal cooking in St. Tropez Port.

Located snug in the heart of St. Tropez's Old Quarter for most of a generation, Caprice des Deux is a loving and delicious celebration of authentic Provençal cuisine, updated with a few welcome contemporary accents. Brother and sister owners-chefs Sonia & Stéphane Avelin have staked their reputation to a cooking formula that includes only fresh, locally sourced products and a commitment to quality. The view looks out into the famous Place des Lices and the Citadel, invoking in the surroundings a cozy aura of romance and tradition. Outdoor tables trade intimacy for the bustle of the cobbled street and entertainment of people watching. Inside, the lighting is warm and the style is contemporary, clean and un-fussy. The soothing design allows for the focus to remain on dining and conversation.

THE FOOD
Caprice des Deux is the epitome of robust French country cooking, with dishes mostly from the Provençal traditional, as well as Gascony and Aquitaine. Foie gras is a house specialty, as are various local seafood meals: big fillets of sea bass, freshwater crayfish, crab cannelloni and more. The bar is small but well stocked with suitable pairing wines and high quality spirits.

LAST WORD
Caprice des Deux is open every evening in July and August, Thursday-Saturday evenings only during winter, and every evening except Tuesdays at other times. Call ahead to confirm hours.

4. PASTAIO
TOM DIXON-DESIGNED PASTA EMPORIUM IN LONDON''S SOHO
Rotating pasta menu emphasizes homemade creations in London.

Handmade pasta that's delectably fresh and conveniently affordable is the calling card of restaurateur Stevie Parle's newest sensation Pastaio, located in central Soho. The restaurant is designed in a simple canteen-style layout, with terrazzo-patterned tables and stylish pendant lighting. It's subtle, elegant and modern, but with call outs to a more traditional Italian cuisine experience. Pastaio does not take reservations but when full they use a virtual queuing system: scamper off somewhere else for a drink and they'll text you when your table is ready.

THE FOOD
Pastaio changes up its menu frequently, however some recent selections give you an idea what to expect: think tonarelli cacio e pepe; potato and gravy ravioli; caserecce, pesto, green beans and potato; grouse, rabbit and pork agnoli; and long fusilli, crab courgette, yellow tomato & marjoram. Handmade pasta speaks to the freshness, but this is more than just big, bountiful Italian cooking. There's a determined attention to simple but high quality ingredients and savory flavor combinations.

LAST WORD
The all-Italian wine list is short (5 each of whites and reds) but punchy and carefully chosen. Ask for the prosecco slushie if you're feeling adventurous, additional Apertivo cocktails are also available. Save room for dessert and choose from a handful of Italian sweets classics: tiramisu, chocolate cannoli, olive oil and amaretto ice cream.

3. GRACE
Multi Michelin-starred Grace is a top culinary experience in Chicago

One of the finest dining experience in Chicago, Grace is a destination eatery that holds a 3-star Michelin rating by Chef Curtis Duffy. Eating at Grace is a culinary privilege. Inside, the restaurant itself is stylish and comfortable and offers dinner 5-nights a week with meals a prix-fixe menu offering between eight and 12 courses, depending on the season. Inside, elegant modern club-style chairs settle in at large tables cast soft and neutral color tones for elegant dinner in the West Loop.

THE FOOD
Two, seasonal menus feature between eight and 12 courses. The first menu is called Flora and focuses mainly on vegetables. Examples from this menu includes English pea ricotta with olive oil and lavender, Australian black truffle with sweet corn, pecorino, and parsley and tomato osetra caviar with brioche and mizuna. The second menu is called Fauna and focuses mainly on seafood and meat dishes. Examples from this menu include Alaskan king crab served with sudachi, cucumber, and lemon mint, Pork with gnudi, porcini, and spinach or Miyazaki beef with grains, hon shimeji, and kaffir lime.

LAST WORD
Grace is a Michelin-starred restaurant serving two well-known multi-course micro-seasonal menus in a beautiful and comfortable dining room in Chicago

THE EXCHANGE
Ecclectic hotel eatery serves-up LA in stylsih lounge setting

The Exchange is a bright and airy restaurant in the Freehand Hotel in Los Angeles. It has a unique style with wood panelled walls, wood railings, a wood bar top, wood tables, wood booths, wood shelving, wood cabinets, and wood chairs. Indeed, there is a lot of wood. The amount of wood would be overbearing in most restaurants but in The Exchange it works, not least because the towering ceiling creates an impression of significant space. Food is designed to reflect the Los Angeles setting of the restaurant. That means it is an eclectic mix of different styles and a combination of many different cultures.

THE FOOD
The Exchange is a bright and airy restaurant in the Freehand Hotel in Los Angeles. It has a unique style with wood panelled walls, wood railings, a wood bar top, wood tables, wood booths, wood shelving, wood cabinets, and wood chairs. Indeed, there is a lot of wood. The amount of wood would be overbearing in most restaurants but in The Exchange it works, not least because the towering ceiling creates an impression of significant space. Food is designed to reflect the Los Angeles setting of the restaurant. That means it is an eclectic mix of different styles and a combination of many different cultures.

LAST WORD
The Exchange is a unique Los Angeles restaurant serving an eclectic mix of food that is a combination of LA cultures.

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