Dining in D.C. and Hot-New Restaurants
From acclaimed chefs opening their first venues to the biggest openings of 2019.
Acclaimed chef Christopher Kostow (The Restaurant at Meadowood, Napa) unveils Ensue, his first restaurant in China (Shenzhen). Five- or nine-course tasting menus could include eel smoked over green tea leaves, dry-aged Wagyu beef with wild Yunnan mushrooms, or quickly smoked caviar with fermented potato custard and peas (above). He calls his cuisine “melding Cali with southern China.” ensue-sz.com
Nordstrom has finally opened a massive 320,000-square-foot flagship in New York City. Located at 57th and Broadway, it features an entire floor dedicated to shoes, and seven food and beverage offerings, including Wolf, the first East Coast venture from Chef Ethan Stowell (he owns more than 15 Seattle eateries, including the award-winning How to Cook a Wolf) in collaboration with Nordstrom. On the Italian-inspired menu infused with flavors from the Pacific Northwest is the must-try king salmon crudo; spaghetti with uni butter; and yeasted polenta fritters with ricotta, sage, and chestnut honey. shop.nordstrom.com
Tucked inside Los Angeles’ historic Toluca Lake Tennis & Fitness Club, Santuari delivers sunny California cuisine with Mediterranean accents. Dinner entrées (such as perfectly grilled lamb with Greek yogurt) are renowned. For dessert: crème fraîche cheesecake with baklava crust. Weekend brunch on the patio overlooking the tennis courts is popular with locals. santuarirestaurant.com
The Manzoni, designer Tom Dixon’s outpost in Milan, sells table settings, linens, chandeliers, and furniture. But there’s also the pure, unfussy Italian food—traditional Milanese saffron risotto, duck ravioli topped with shavings of white truffles. themanzoni.com
One of the biggest openings of 2019: Star chef Daniel Humm (NYC’s Eleven Madison Park) launches his first European restaurant, Davies and Brook, in London’s legendary Claridge’s hotel. The à la carte menu (ingredients sourced in British farms and fields) includes short ribs, winter squab with bitter greens, and radishes with triple crème (above). And yes, the famed lavender-and-honey-glazed roasted duck from Eleven Madison Park will cross the pond. claridges.co.uk
The doorway to Frevo, a pint-size, 24-seat French restaurant serving a five-course tasting menu, is concealed behind a large painting in a tiny art gallery in NYC’s Greenwich Village. A recent dinner started with a welcome pour of Chartogne-Taillet Saint Anne Champagne followed by a parade of small, sublime dishes (halibut with braised fennel) by talented young chef Franco Sampogna. frevonyc.com
After a series of popular pop-ups, Masala y Maiz finally has a real home in Mexico City’s arty-but-still-gritty-around-the-edges Colonia Juarez. Chef-owners Norma Listman and Saqib Keval are bringing together Mexican, Indian, and East African cuisines in a bold new way. Order the fried chicken with cardamom-sweet-potato puree. masalaymaiz.com
Substance, a contemporary bistro in a quiet corner of Paris’ affluent 16th Arrondissement, shows off the talents of twentysomething chef Matthias Marc. Come here for the fluffy squid’s ink gnocchi and the light-as-air Sao Tome chocolate soufflé. substance.paris
The restaurant scene in Washington, D.C., is hot and getting hotter. Emilie’s (emiliesdc.com), the newest from Chef Kevin Tien, serves family-style platters of dishes like fried chicken and roasted whole branzino. To start, order a fresh-baked loaf of focaccia with house-made butter. Call Your Mother (callyourmotherdeli.com) if you’re hungry for a brawny pastrami sandwich or the best bagels (above) this side of New York. Amity & Commerce (inside the Mandarin Oriental, mandarinoriental.com) serves snapping fresh seafood and perfectly cooked lamb. For dessert, the frosted carrot cake is almost too pretty to eat. Expect a nice list of Virginia wines.
The menu at Virtue in Chicago is based on Chef Erick Williams’ grandmother’s Southern cooking. You’ll eat spicy, andouille-studded gumbo and blackened catfish with tangy-sweet barbecued carrots. To drink, try the mescal Chiapas Old Fashioned or choose from a list of well-priced wines. virtuerestaurant.com
The Alinea Group’s St. Clair Supper Club in Chicago’s Fulton Market offers a hearty, Midwestern-style menu: roast pork, fried fish, and four cuts of prime rib, served with creamed spinach, cocktail mushrooms, and endearingly lumpy mashed potatoes. stclairsupperclub.com
Just announced: Chef Joshua Skenes (the Michelin-starred angler) hosts an ongoing series of intimate dinners (eight guests) in his Hollywood Hills home. Expect a 12-course, beverage-paired menu of mostly “wild things” foraged or hunted by Skenes. $800/person. A portion of the proceeds goes to ending childhood hunger and supporting victims of the California wildfires. skenesplace.com