Fall's Hot New Restaurants

From Indian-Spanish fusion in Dallas to upscale Southern in Atlanta, we grilled restaurant critics on the season’s best new places to eat. VIEW OUR GALLERY.

Powers and Crewe Photography

Powers and Crewe Photography

Bibiana, Washington, DC

Owner: Ashok Bajaj
Chef: Nicholas Stefanelli
Cuisine: Italian

The Buzz: What do you get when you mix one of GQ's 50 most powerful people in DC, restaurateur Ashok Bajaj, with rising star chef Nicholas Stefanelli? A transcendent Italian restaurant, according to The Washington Post's Tom Sietsema. The elegant dining room sports chrome lights and black-and-white photographs, but it's Stefanelli, who has cooked at some top Italian restaurants, including New York's now-shuttered Fiamma, who puts the shine on dishes like roasted turbot with squid ink vinaigrette. Bibiana’s cured meats, including house-made lardo, are available as appetizers, or on an especially decadent pizza.

Ginger Park, Boston

Owners: Mark Raab and Hemant Chowdhry
Chef: Patricia Yeo
Cuisine: Modern Asian

The Buzz: The first thing you notice when you walk into Ginger Park is its spectacular, undulating-wood ceiling. The restaurant used to be called Banq, but re-opened at the end of September after a few renovations and with a new chef, Bobby Flay protégé Patricia Yeo, who left Manhattan after some big hits (AZ) and flops (Monkey Bar). Ginger Park seems the former: intriguing, reasonably priced small plates meant for sharing and inspired by Yeo's recent two-year stint in Asia where, as she put it, she did "stages" with street vendors in Thailand, Malaysia, and China. By all accounts, the silver pin-noddles are one of the stars of the menu and present a garlicky mixture of textures, from the smooth slippery noodles to the spongy tofu, firm mushrooms, and crunchy bean sprouts.

Terri Glanger Photography

Samar, Dallas

Owners: Stephan Pyles, George Majdalani and Michael Welch
Chef: Vijay Sadhu
Cuisine: Spanish-Indian-Eastern Mediterranean fusion

The Buzz: While there are a few cuisines that haven’t been crossed in recent years, veteran restaurateur Stephan Pyles might have a first with Samar: Spanish-Indian-Eastern Mediterranean fusion. “People who are really into food have their eye on it,” says Leslie Brenner, restaurant critic and dining editor for the Dallas Morning News. “Besides being so perfect for the moment, it’s a fusion that sounds crazy, and it works.” An outdoor terrace boasts views of the Dallas Arts District, while a fire pit, pillows, and other décor from Lebanon mix with wafts of hookah smoke.

Abe and Arthur’s, New York

Owners: EMM Group
Chef: Franklin Becker
Cuisine: American Bistro

The Buzz: After helming a half-dozen Manhattan restaurants, most of which have been successful, anything Franklin Becker does will be taken seriously. And indeed, his muscular food at Abe and Arthur’s—tuna tartare tacos, meaty crabcakes, foie gras-slathered roasted sea scallops—holds to previous form. But the real buzz around this place is, well, the buzz. Located in the club-heavy Meatpacking District and owned by a group behind several A-list velvet rope spots, including Tenjune, a meal at Abe and Arthur’s feels like a night out: dark and sumptuous, with plenty of celebrity spotting (hey, there’s Harvey Keitel!).

Miller Union, Atlanta

Owners: Steven Satterfield and Neal McCarthy
Chef: Steven Satterfield
Cuisine: Sustainable Southern, with a sustainable focus

The Buzz: Miller Union is the latest Atlanta restaurant to focus on farm-to-table fare. Led by chef Steven Satterfield, formerly the executive sous chef of acclaimed Atlanta eatery Watershed, Miller Union boasts an upscale Southern menu (beer-braised pork shoulder) built around local produce and a wine list of biodynamic, organic wines. Its atmosphere is meant to feel homey, with leather stools, antique furniture and exposed beams. The favorite appetizer: Farm egg baked in celery cream.

Xoco, Chicago

Owners: Rick and Deann Bayless
Chef: Rick Bayless
Cuisine: Sophisticated Mexican street food

The Buzz: Since Xoco opened in September, the line hasn’t subsided. “Remember when the iPhone was released? That’s what it’s like,” says Penny Pollack, Chicago Magazine dining editor. Such is the result when the famed Rick Bayless (Frontera Grill, Topolobampo) does food for the masses. An open kitchen keeps customers entertained while waiting for churros and empanadas. Another attraction: Cacao beans are ground in-house for Xoco’s Mexican hot chocolate. “It’s a really vibrant, crowded, exciting sort of place to be,” says Mike Sula, Chicago Reader restaurant critic.

Flour + Water, San Francisco

Owners: David Steele, David White and Thomas McNaughton
Chef: Thomas McNaughton
Cuisine: Italian

The Buzz: Many of San Francisco’s great restaurants have come from unassuming spots in the Mission District (paging Slanted Door). Flour + Water, as the name suggests, focuses on all things dough: fresh pasta and authentic Neapolitan pizza. The half-open kitchen stocks a wood-burning oven and chef Thomas McNaughton, former sous chef at Quince and Gary Danko. Co-owner David White put together the wine list and, with partner David Steele, constructed much of the restaurant, which features exposed beams, walnut tables, and clear views of the neighborhood.

SRA. MARTINEZ, Miami

Owners: Michele Bernstein, David Martinez
Chef: Michele Bernstein
Cuisine: Latin-influenced Spanish tapas

The Buzz: Michelle Bernstein—the Senora, and a James Beard winner—is the current chef-darling of Miami. Her new Design District tapas palace occupies a former 1920s post office with dimly lit interiors in black, white, and red. The site was originally intended to be Michy’s (her other restaurant, in more humble digs, 25 blocks north). Simple, fresh ingredients, some grown in their private garden, are divided into “Cold and Crisp” and “Warm and Lush” small innovative plates, and more substantial Platos Grandes, which include T-bone steak and whole boneless chicken and fish. Upstairs, a sexy bar next to a tiny balcony offers signature cocktails such The Matador and Sour Thyme Julep, and carefully chosen Spanish wines.

Motorino, New York

Owner: Mathieu Palombino
Chef: Mathieu Palombino
Cuisine: Pizza

The Buzz: The capital of pizza is officially in the middle of a pizza renaissance, as new ovens and gourmet ingredients raise the humble pie to high art. Motorino is the latest of the greatest. After blossoming in Brooklyn, Chef Mathieu Palombino moved to Manhattan, taking over the East Village oven left behind by the similarly excellent but insufferably pretentious Una Pizza Napoletana. The charred, chewy crust comes topped solely with mozzarella di bufala and the likes of pancetta and spicy sopressata.