New York

1. Fausto

Joe Campanale and Erin Shambura are serving Italian fare in what was once home to beloved Brooklyn institution Franny's. Shambura's menu includes a salad of shredded chicory; buckwheat rigatoni with Brussels sprouts, potatoes, and fontina; and salted caramel panna cotta with cookie crumbs and hazelnuts for dessert. It all pairs with an extensive but reasonably priced wine list.

2. DaDong

There's a lengthy menu at this Beijing-based restaurant's first branch outside of China, but the thing to get is the duck. It can be ordered by the half or whole bird, and is served with pancakes and sauces.

3. Scampi

Chef PJ Calapa named this project after the first high-end restaurant he ate at in Texas as a kid. He's serving sardines with raisins and anchovies, braised pork-filled ravioli, a whole head of roast cauliflower, and, naturally, a rendition of shrimp scampi.

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4. Ha's Chinese Bar & Eatery

Ben Sandler and Jennifer Lim, who closed their restaurant The Queens Kickshaw last summer, are back with something new. This one is focused on vegetarian Chinese cuisine that leans Sichuan with American Chinese inclinations thrown in. They're serving panfried milk bao with char siumustard greens, lo mein with wood ear mushrooms, and "duck" fried rice.

San Francisco

5. dosa by Dosa

Across the bay in Oakland, the Dosa team is serving variations of their namesake dish, including a breakfast version with eggs and cheese. The setting is more casual than the other two locations of Dosa, so plan to order your meal at the counter.

6. Barvale

Adriano Paganini, who's behind a number of other Bay Area restaurants, is nodding to Spain at his newest spot. The menu is tapas-focused and broken into cold options like eggplant escabeche and hot dishes like salt cod buñuelos. There's also a seafood-strewn paella.

Washington, D.C.

7. Isabella Eatery

Yes, this multi-concept project is from Mike Isabella, and, yes, it's in a mall. On the top floor of Tysons Galleria, to be precise. It's a welcome dining option for those who are holiday shopping, with Nonfiction Coffee, a location of Graffiato that's serving focaccia-style pizza, a Prohibition-inspired bar and more.

8. Seylou Bakery & Mill

Those who stalk the Instagram feeds of serious food lovers in the District have undoubtedly seen shots of loaves from Jonathan Bethony's new bakery. Those loaves are made with flour he's milling in-house, and that's also worked into whole-wheat croissants and whole-grain scones.

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9. Hankook Kwan

Jang Yul Woo, who moved to Houston from Seoul, has taken over Hankook Kwan in Chinatown. The restaurant's now serving Korean barbecue likekalbi (short ribs) and pork belly. There's also haemul pajeon, or seafood pancake, and lots of banchan. The spot's been open only for a short while, but Eater Houston is already saying it "could be Houston's best new Korean restaurant."

10. Emmaline

After a short delay, Emmaline is open and serving a menu with influences from around the Mediterranean, like Tunisian tuna crudo with apple, buttermilk, pomegranate, and pistachio; salmon puttanesca; and a few pizzas thrown in for good measure.


11. Amelia's 1931

Eileen Andrade named this restaurant for her grandmother, who was known for her "counter service and delicious cafecitos," she says on the restaurant's website. There's a necessary Cuban sandwich on the menu, but there are also dishes like gochujang chicken thighs and General Tsao's alligator fried rice.

12. Key West by Nikki Beach

Almost everything here is inspired by the sea. The space screams "beach house chic," with lots of blue glass and white walls. On the tables, there are spicy hamachi tacos, chargrilled oysters, and banana leaf-wrapped red snapper.


13. Bolero Latin Cuisine

It's hard to miss the intimate tango painting on the wall of this restaurant run by Vicente Vazquez and chef Roberto Caceres. The dishes — like papas a la huancaina, a Peruvian favorite of potatoes dressed with yellow peppers, cheese, black olives, and hard-boiled egg — keep with the South American theme.

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