America's Hottest New Restaurants

From double proofed steamed buns in Miami to the world’s most fabulous tiki bar in New York City, The Daily Beast grilled America’s dining experts to determine the season’s best new places to eat. VIEW OUR GALLERY.

Lakeside Grill, Las Vegas

Chef/Owner: David Walzog
Cuisine: American

The Buzz: The paint’s barely dry on Executive Chef David Walzog’s latest Vegas creation, which opened November 4 in the Wynn Las Vegas casino resort, but the food is already poised. Taking over the space formerly occupied by the Daniel Boulud Brasserie, Lakeside Grill “serves up a menu of updated American classics ranging from a prime rib that competes with the best of his beef offerings next door at SW Steakhouse, to a dessert ‘dim sum’ cart divided into nutty, creamy, chocolate, and fruit categories,” said John Curtas, of Eating Las Vegas and Nevada Public Radio. In addition to the mouth-watering food, the restaurant boasts a 17th-century mosaic-tiled floor, a breathtaking view of the Wynn Hotel’s Lake of Dreams beyond its windows, and, according to Curtas, is “a nice, casual counterpoint to the Wynn’s more formal assortment of top-shelf eateries.”

Evan Sung

Eataly, New York City

Owners: Mario Batali, Oscar Farinetti, Joe Bastianich, and Lidia Matticchio Bastianich
Chefs: Mario Batali, Nancy Silverton, Dave Pasternak
Cuisine: Italian

The Buzz: Step inside Eataly, the largest artisanal Italian food and wine marketplace in the world, and be whisked away to food heaven. This 50,000 square-foot space in New York City’s bustling Flatiron District—a U.S. spin on the original Eataly mega-market in Turin, Italy—has been transformed by celebrity chef Mario Batali and restaurant investors Joe and Lidia Bastianich into an orgy of Italian delicacies, including a market for imported Italian food and wine, a culinary educational, center, and, last but not least, a diverse array of boutique Italian restaurants. There’s Neapolitan-style pizza courtesy of Rossopomodoro at Pizza & Pasta, offering 16 different pizzas, from a $9 marinara pie to the $20 frutti di mare special pizza, adorned with mussels, clams, calamari, shrimp, garlic, cherry tomatoes, and ligurian olive oil; fresh fish from fish guru Dave Pasternack at Il Pesce; top quality Salumi & Formaggi at the marble-decorated enoteca La Piazza. Be warned: Most of the restaurants don’t take reservations, and the waits are daunting (giving patrons time and an excuse to shop the market).

Geoffrey Smith

Staple & Fancy Mercantile, Seattle

Owners: Ethan and Angela Stowell
Chef: Ethan Stowell
Cuisine: Modern Italian

The Buzz: Chef/entrepreneur Ethan Stowell, author of the recently published cookbook, Ethan Stowell's New Italian Kitchen, has already won over critics with his arsenal of Italian-inspired restaurants, including the now-closed Union, Tavolata, How to Cook a Wolf, and Anchovies & Olives, but his latest, Staple & Fancy Mercantile, is “the most coherent expression of Stowell’s vision yet,” said Providence Cicero, restaurant critic at The Seattle Times. The yeoman-like setting, with its metal-bound wood tables, plank floor, and brick walls, compliments the rustic Italian cuisine including, “gnocchi luxuriantly sautéed with sweetbreads, baby turnips and bacon; chanterelles and baby zucchini resplendent under a fried duck egg and shingles of parmigiano reggiano; or shell-less mussels and firm controne beans in an exhilarating brodo bright with tomato and green chilies,” according to Cicero. Although the smart ones will opt for the $45 per person four-course, family-style supper that offers an “ad hoc experience” that will “feed you like Italian grandmothers.”

Michael McElroy

Gigi, Miami

Owner: Amir Ben-Zion
Chef: Jeff McInnis
Cuisine: Asian Fusion

The Buzz: With the combined talent of restaurateur Amir Ben-Zion, who co-created Townhouse Hotel, Bond Street Sushi Lounge, Bardot, Buck 15, Sra Martinez, and Miss Yip Chinese café, and Executive Chef Jeff McInnis, of Top Chef and Ritz-Carlton South Beach fame, this Asian-inspired eatery boasts dishes that start at just $2. It’s part of “a wave of budget hot spots where classically trained chefs are turning out bistro fare in edgy neighborhoods,” according to Miami Herald Restaurant Critic Victoria Pesce Elliott, with funky Asian noodle bars leading the wave. The double proofed steamed buns stuffed with braised pork and wild mushrooms are a must, along with a dazzling array of fine noodles and slow braised meats. Adjacent to hot midtown nightclub Bardot, Gigi, which is open ‘til 5 a.m. on weekends, gives off a “trendy dinery vibe” where lines of club kids “often form out the door even at 2 in the morning for a seat at the long blond wood kitchen bar beneath pendant lighting.”

Davanti Enoteca, Chicago

Chef/Owner: Scott Harris
Cuisine: Italian

The Buzz: After dining at the hot new Italian eatery Devanti Enoteca, Chicago magazine’s Penny Pollack was so elated that she sent out a celebratory tweet. The second in a dazzling trio of Scott Harris (of the Mia Francesca empire) restaurants along the Taylor Street strip in Chicago’s Little Italy, this homey corner spot offers a unique take on traditional Italian fare complemented by an extensive wine collection. “Ligurian style foccacia oozes melted crescenza cheese stuffed between two layers of just-baked flaky crust, and I'm still dreaming about the egg brioche!” said Pollack, adding it “capitalizes on the small-plate craze without pretension.” But perhaps best of all: You can buy your own wine there at wine store prices, and pay just a $7 corkage fee at the table.

Sarah Dorio

Empire State South, Atlanta

Owner: Hugh Acheson and Steve Grubbs
Chefs: Hugh Acheson and Ryan Smith
Cuisine: Southern

The Buzz: “As soon as you step through the doors,” said food critic Besha Rodell of Creative Loafing, “the rustic dark wood and deep blue walls transport you to the country home of a vintage/modern design junkie.” Yes, although Empire State South may occupy the ground floor of an office tower, Acheson, the award-winning owner of Athens-based restaurants the National and Five and Ten, has managed to transport his laid-back Athens vibe to hectic downtown Atlanta, taking the Southern farm-to-table trend to the next level. The restaurant may boast the best wine list in the city, and the snacks—or “snackies,” as they call them—are to die for, including pickled eggs, a rich chicken liver pâté, and delicious lamb rillettes. Additionally, according to Rodell, the “fish and meat are beautifully handled,” and the sides, paired for you by the kitchen, “remain as captivating as ever” making Empire State South “by far the best restaurant to open in recent memory in Atlanta.”

Brett Hufziger

1500°, Miami

Chef/Owner: Paula DaSilva
Cuisine: American (New)

The Buzz: As part of the famed Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach’s $220 million renovation, the luxury hotel unveiled a stylish new farm-to-table restaurant, 1500°. Executive Chef Paula DaSilva, formerly of Fort Lauderdale's acclaimed 3030 Ocean and a finalist on Fox TV's Hell's Kitchen, “won’t get bogged down in the pedigree of every carrot she serves, but she will source as many ingredients as she can locally,” according to South Florida Sun-Sentinel Food Editor John Tanasychuk. Boasting an ornately designed 160-seat dining room by outlandish architect Morris Lapidus, the restaurant has delicious small plate offerings like jumbo lump crab cakes with cilantro slaw and Old Bay aioli, to eight selections of succulent steaks, including the imposing 34 ounce prime porterhouse “center cut,” which is meant to be shared. Although “The Fontainebleau brought in New Yorkers to open restaurants—Scott Conant at Scarpett and Alfred Portale at Gotham Steak,” said Tanasychuk, “I’m cheering on our homegrown DaSilva.”

Brownstone, Fort Worth

Chef/Owner: Casey Thompson
Cuisine: Southern, American

The Buzz: After decamping to California for several years, Top Chef finalist Casey Thompson returns to her roots with a new restaurant that combines traditional family-style recipes with a resplendent selection of specialty cocktails. Brownstone is another entry in the ever-popular farm-to-table trend and a stylish spot in Fort Worth's arts district. Although Thompson’s “cheesy grits rock and she cooks up some smokin' ribs,” said Dallas Morning News food critic Leslie Brenner, “it's her way with that great produce that positively dazzles,” including the “velvety, deep fuchsia dip of chickpeas and smoked beets with the most beautiful crudités.” In addition to first-rate produce, Thompson is also a master of pork. Her rillettes-like potted pork is “stunningly good,” according to Brenner, and comes with a delicious side of tangy, garden-fresh house-made pickles.

Jackson Solway

Commonwealth, San Francisco

Owners: Anthony Myint and Jason Fox
Chef: Jason Fox
Cuisine: American (New)

The Buzz: “For the past decade, San Francisco chefs have rightly been accused of playing it safe, but that era is over,” said SF Weekly food critic Jonathan Kauffman. Commonwealth, a collectively owned restaurant housed in a former taqueria, combines cutting-edge, avant-garde culinary techniques with a collection of local, seasonal food in a mouth-watering mélange. The hip, Mission Street crowd makes for a festive atmosphere, and the food doesn’t disappoint either. Whether it’s a chilled soup of summer squash accompanied by tempura squash blossom, steamed corn custard peppered with chorizo chunks, red jalapeño, and sea urchin, or cured foie gras with pickled plums and nori toast, Fox, according to Kauffman, “produces complicated pleasures unlike anything else in town, and for a half to a third of the price of anything similar.”

Anthony Tahlier

Girl & the Goat, Chicago

Owners: Stephanie Izard, Rob Katz, Kevin Boehm
Chef: Stephanie Izard
Cuisine: Gastropub

The Buzz: Two years after emerging as champion during the fourth season of Top Chef, Stephanie Izard has partnered with Rob Katz and Kevin Boehm of Boka Restaurant Group (Boka, Landmark, Perennial) to create a Mediterranean-influenced shared-plates hot spot in her hometown of Chicago. “The second you spin through its revolving doors you're blasted with a besotting roasty meatgust issuing from the wood oven at the back of the room,” said Mike Sula, food critic at the Chicago Reader. "It's as if you've stepped onto the scene of a smoldering barn fire where the former inhabitants are being put to the best possible use.” Right there in the back of the restaurant, lording over the open kitchen, is Izard herself, crafting unorthodox yet delicious dishes like smoked goat pizza with sour cherries or grilled lamb and avocado with tart pistachio sauce, pausing only to take the occasional photograph with fans. “This is my favorite new opening this year,” said Sula, “only in small part because it's one of those rare instances where the hoopla is entirely justified.”

michael weber

The Hurricane Club, New York

Owners: Michael Stillman, Craig Koketsu
Chef: Craig Koketsu
Cuisine: Polynesian

The Buzz: Decades after the pinnacle of Trader Vic’s, the tiki bar is back and more fabulous than ever at The Hurricane Club, a 350-seat palace of slick Polynesian schtick. Far past bamboo and torches, the vast, sumptuous space boasts themed rooms decked out in butternut, corral and red lacquer, like the inside of grand colonial hideaway. The creative cocktails, heavy on rum and bourbon concoctions, also double as art, arriving in hollowed out coconuts, watermelons and red peppers. What makes it all work is the food, which reinforces that this isn’t an adult theme park (although the boisterous, beach vacation vibe is escapable) but a serious eatery. Executive chef Craig Koketsu has succeeded in everything he’s touched lately (Quality Meats, Park Avenue) and hits again here. From the PuPu platter reimagined, sans fire, with the likes of minced shrimp fried in shaved coconuts and Samoan deviled eggs, to a suckling pig served Peking duck style, the offerings are ambitious and fun, like the Hurricane Club itself.

Tony’s Coal-Fired Pizza and Slice House, San Francisco

Chef/Owner: Tony Gemignani
Cuisine: Pizza

The Buzz: For a town that gave the world the DiMaggios of baseball fame and the Ghirardellis of chocolate fame, San Francisco’s decades-long collective failure to offer even a moderately good slice of pizza rates as an culinary epic fail. No longer. Nine-time world pizza champion Tony Gemignani last year opened what is surely the best pizza restaurant west of the Mississippi, and has now added a “Slice House” that allows universal access to anyone jonesing to taste his magic. Gemignani, who treats pizza with the reverence Shakespeare had for Olde English, utilizes six different kinds ovens (wood, electric, coal, etc.), each designed for a particular pizza style, from New York to New Haven to Naples, and he succeeds universally, as the overflow crowds attest.