Photograph by Mackenzie Smith Kelley
There’s a lot to be excited about in the restaurant world right now. This fall some of our favorite chefs are expanding to new cities, transitioning pop-ups into permanent spaces, and reviving restaurants their fans were sad to see go. In Chicago a decorated chef will pay tribute to his roots at a new spot serving both traditional and reimagined Ukrainian dishes. And chef Sam Fore, the self-described “Sri Lankan snack queen,” will launch the long-awaited brick-and-mortar location of Tuk Tuk Snack Shop, her pop-up restaurant in Lexington, KY. The menu will highlight the commonalities between Sri Lankan cuisine and the flavors of the American South.
From Chinese BBQ in Charleston to a family-style Filipino feast in New York, these are the 10 fall restaurant openings we can’t wait for.
This list is organized alphabetically by city. The opening dates below are subject to change, so check restaurant websites and Instagram accounts for the latest updates.
Simone Tong is known in New York for the Sichuan and Cantonese cooking on display at her restaurants Silver Apricot and Little Tong Noodle Shop. Now Texas diners will also be able to get a taste. Tong is moving to Austin with her husband and culinary partner Matt Hyland of Pizza Loves Emily to open their first joint venture, Zoé Tong. The restaurant will serve what Tong describes as “modern Austin Chinese.” There will be roast duck with flaky scallion tortillas in the style of fajitas and an onsite smoker turning out Chinese sticky ribs. The menu will include nods to Tong’s original Little Tong Noodle Shop, like dan dan and sesame noodles. The space will also feature a retail area for diners to take home pantry items made in-house.
Shuai Wang hopes King BBQ will transport diners to New York’s Chinatowns, where roasted and glazed meats hang like ornaments in store windows. Wang was born in Beijing, grew up in Queens, and moved to Charleston with his partner Corrie in 2014. In 2019 they opened a food truck that would eventually become Jackrabbit Filly, a family-style Chinese American restaurant in North Charleston. Last summer the pair launched King BBQ as a roving pop-up with their chef de cuisine, Brandon Olson. Olson combines his North Carolina-style barbecue roots with Wang’s Chinese flavors and techniques, resulting in dishes like scallion-ginger kielbasa and shrimp toast sliders. When King BBQ opens its brick-and-mortar this month in North Charleston, diners can expect these favorites from the pop-up days, as well as new dishes like smoked pork shoulder with a Sichuan peppercorn dip or clay pot rice topped with barbecue meats and a scallion ginger relish. You won’t be able to miss the entrance, where two stone lions stand guard.
3rd & Fernwood
Greg and Subrina Collier are practically restaurant royalty in Charlotte, NC. They run Southern restaurant Leah & Louise and breakfast spot Uptown Yolk, and now the husband-wife team is opening the hotly anticipated 3rd & Fernwood. Their newest project will dive into the cuisines of the African diaspora and the American South. The Colliers have turned to chef Cleophus Hethington to run the kitchen. Hethington, a South Florida native, has garnered James Beard recognition for his cooking at the buzzy Appalachian restaurant Benne on Eagle in Asheville, NC, and was most recently the chef de cuisine at legendary Miami bakery Zak the Baker. At 3rd & Fernwood, Hethington will offer his take on meat and three meals with mains like a fried chicken sandwich and grilled catfish with roasted okra gravy, and sides such as creamed collard greens, braised turnips, and hambone grits. The restaurant will also house an 18-seat speakeasy, which will debut soon after 3rd & Fernwood opens.
After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Johnny Clark, whose grandmother Anelya is Ukrainian, wanted to get involved. So last Fall, the chef of Chicago’s beloved Korean American restaurant Parachute, along with his business partner and wife Beverly Kim, started hosting Ukrainian pop-up dinners with all proceeds donated to aid initiatives. These 12-seat weekend dinners featured five dishes that changed weekly and went beyond classics like borscht to highlight the country’s regional specialties. Clark and Kim will soon open Anelya as a permanent restaurant in the space that housed their recently shuttered prix fixe spot Wherewithall. The à la carte menu will feature dishes like varenyky (dumplings stuffed with potato and sweetened cheeses), holubtsi (baked cabbage rolled with rice and fish or meat), and honey cake, as well as Ukrainian wines and cocktails. To learn more about the history of the dishes he’s serving, Clark worked with a recent refugee from Ukraine to develop the menu.
Tuk Tuk Snack Shop
Chef Sam Fore’s pop-up restaurant Tuk Tuk Sri Lankan Bites has developed quite a following since launching in 2016. Now her roving restaurant will finally have a permanent location in her hometown of Lexington. Fore is known for melding Sri Lankan and Southern flavors, resulting in dishes like curried deviled eggs, spiced shrimp and coconut milk-simmered grits, and okra curry. Tuk Tuk Snack Shop will bring these same sorts of dishes to a counter-style restaurant. The menu, shaped by nostalgia and comfort food, will include vadai corndogs coated in fried lentil batter, milk tea ice cream, and butter cake. There will also be sandwiches featuring fried chicken dusted with Fore’s signature Fried Chicken Spice, barbecue-style jackfruit, and grilled cheese with tamarind caramelized onions.
Suá Kitchen & Superette
At this point pretty much any well-stocked home pantry for the heat-inclined includes Fly by Jing’s chili crisp and the brand’s roster of other Sichuan condiments. Now loyal fans are in luck because this fall founder Jing Gao will open Súa Kitchen & Superette in Los Angeles’ Larchmont Village. Gao and business partner Stephanie Liu Hjelmeseth want to offer Sichuan flavors in a convenient and fun space, hence the name “Súa,” the Sichuan word meaning “to play and have fun.” Súa will be a grab-and-go marketplace with pre-packaged meals like Sichuan shredded chicken salad, vegan mapo tofu, and cold sesame noodles; a coffee bar; and pantry items like vinegars and sauces sourced largely from AAPI producers.
Some diners in Miami might remember when in 2019 chef Niven Patel launched Erba. While Patel planned to transition the Italian restaurant into its own permanent space, the short-lived pop-up shut down in March 2020 as the pandemic picked up steam. Three years later, Patel is bringing back his beloved Italian restaurant. It will join his other South Miami spots Ghee Indian Kitchen, Orno, and Mamey, which have earned him James Beard Award nominations and Michelin nods. The menu at Erba will reflect Patel’s time cooking in Florence, with a focus on ingredients from his own farm, Rancho Patel. He’ll turn out housemade pastas like chitarra with Everglade tomatoes and basil, as well as large plates like an Ibérico porchetta chop with mango agrodolce and charred radicchio. For dessert, get ready for classics including tiramisu and chestnut budino, along with a Florida strawberry crostata with fior di latte gelato, inspired by the restaurant’s lush surroundings.
New York City
When Unapologetic Foods, the team behind wildly popular Indian restaurants Dhamaka and Semma (one of BA’s Best New Restaurants of 2022), announce that they’re opening a new restaurant, we listen with undivided attention. While the restaurant group is known for spotlighting the regional cuisines of India, Naks will be different. The focus here will be on Filipino cooking from Eric Valdez, the longtime chef de cuisine at Dhamaka. The restaurant is set to open just a stone's throw from the group’s fast-casual fried chicken joint Rowdy Rooster on First Avenue in the East Village, and diners will choose from two menu options. There will be a tasting menu, consisting of a Filipino family-style feast served on banana leaves and intended to be eaten by hand, and an à la carte menu with dishes like kapis (scallops grilled tableside with margarine and Eden cheese) and lechon liempo (crisp pork belly with calamansi-soy and pork liver dipping sauces). Like the other restaurants in the Unapologetic Foods roster, Naks promises uncompromising versions of regional dishes not often found at restaurants in the US.
New York City
Chef April Bloomfield is opening a new restaurant called Sailor. The opening marks Bloomfield’s return to New York’s restaurant scene after being enveloped in one of the biggest #MeToo restaurant scandals at her West Village restaurant Spotted Pig, which she operated alongside Ken Friedman. In 2021, Bloomfield, known for her meat-centric pub fare, left New York restaurants. Then in February, Bloomfield and restaurateur Gabriel Stulman took to Instagram with similarly vague announcements: “We’re opening a restaurant in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. That’s all we have to say about it for now and can’t wait to share more when we have more to share!” Sure enough, the duo is marching ahead with full force and style—Stulman has hired Alfredo Paredes, the creative director of Ralph Lauren, to spearhead the nautical design. Bloomfield plans to serve dishes like herb-roasted chicken, pork shoulder with vinegar, and pâté en croûte. Time will tell how New Yorkers receive Bloomfield’s second act.
When Hiraya debuted in a DC food hall as a weekend dinner pop-up in early 2022, chef Paolo Dungca’s eight-course Filipino tasting menu was an immediate hit. During its nine-month run as a pop-up, Hiraya operated as a weekend-only tasting room, turning out dishes like kinilaw and bibingka (a sweet baked rice cake). This Fall, fans will reunite with Hiraya in its brick-and-mortar location on H Street. The restaurant will initially open as an all-day café with Filipino pastries, breakfast sandwiches, and coffee from Sun & Stars Filipina Coffee. Dungca, who is partnering with Juan and Jeremy Canlas, the father-son team behind local chains Supreme Barbeque and Auntea Boba, plans to open the upstairs dining room later this fall. Just like at the pop-up dinners, there will be a tasting menu with a focus on recipes from Dungca’s childhood in the Philippines, as well as an à la carte menu.
Originally Appeared on Bon Appétit
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