The Lists

the cool new restaurants you need to know

The new year brings new restaurants to New York City and other tony destinations. Our Food Editor Nicole Douillet shares four cool new restaurants you need to know about right now. And one notable closing in Paris. 

2019 looks set to bring some fun new restaurants to New York City and elsewhere (in addition to some gems that opened toward the end of 2018). Here are a few that I’m especially excited about:

the cool new restaurants you need to know about

1. Benno, New York

Benno, a new restaurant by Jonathan Benno, opened in the Evelyn Hotel on 27th Street in Manhattan at the beginning of November.

Chef Benno has cooked at Michael Mina’s Aqua, Daniel, The French Laundry, Auberge du Vieux Puits in the south of France, Gramercy Tavern, and Craft, to a name a few spots. He then took the helm at Thomas Keller’s Per Se which earned four stars from the New York Times, and three Michelin stars under him.

Chef Benno seems to be drawing from his past experience, cooking elegant French and Italian dishes that rebuff the most recent dining trends (don’t expect small share plates, or any sort of fusion, or showmanship). So far, the critics are loving it. Pete Wells at the New York Times just awarded Benno three stars, and named it a “Critic’s Pick”. 

Benno New York City

2. Intersect by Lexus, New York

Intersect by Lexus opened on a bustling street in the Meatpacking District at the end of 2018. This is the third Intersect by Lexus to open, the first two being in Tokyo and Dubai.

The 16,500 square foot space is home to a cafe, restaurant, and cocktail bar and lounge, plus a gallery which will host various cultural events. Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group is overseeing the cafe, restaurant and cocktail bar.

However, in an interesting twist, they will be featuring a rotating Global Chefs-in-Residence program.  The first menu has been devised by Gregory Marchand, of the Frenchie restaurants in Paris. Every four to six months, a new chef and menu will introduced.

The overall concept is Lexus’ attempt to create a warm, fuzzy feeling with potential buyers. A plate of warm grains with grilled baby leeks and a Parmesan sabayon followed by a near perfect tarte tatin, or a warm bacon scone and a cortado conjures warmer feelings than a bare car showroom. At least that’s the idea. To be fair, they had me at bacon scone.

3. Davies & Brook at Claridge’s, London

Looking ahead, one of the hottest restaurant announcements for 2019 has to be that from Will Guidara and Daniel Humm, owners of Eleven Madison Park and The NoMad.

The duo will be crossing the pond, and opening a new restaurant in iconic Mayfair hotel, Claridges in London. Guidara and Humm have been long been fans of Claridges and the style of service at the hotel. Now, they will be opening a fine dining establishment to be called Davies & Brook.

This marks their first international restaurant opening, and Chef Humm’s return to Europe, where he cooked for many years before decamping to the US. Do not expect EMP in London, the duo warns. Davies & Brook will not offer the EMP style tasting menus, but will instead feature a three or four course tasting menu. Expect an opening in late 2019.

Davies & Brook Claridge’s Hotel, London

4. New project from Chef Sean Brock

When you hear the name Sean Brock, you probably think of Charleston, SC, or one of his famous restaurants located there, Husk, or perhaps McCrady’s Tavern.

But, the chef hails from a region of Virginia that borders Kentucky and Tennessee, in Appalachia, and now calls Nashville home. So, now it will make sense when I tell you that Sean Brock has announced that his next opening will be a 10,000 square foot Appalachian-focused restaurant, cocktail bar, and cultural center. It will be housed in a converted industrial building in East Nashville.

The open kitchen will serve reasonably priced menu items that draw from the Cherokee and German influences on Appalachian cuisine. Diners can expect to be welcomed with small bites on a screened in porch before moving to a dining room with an open kitchen and finishing their meal in a comfortable living room lounge. Brock expects to have the compound open by late 2019 or early 2020.

Husk Restaurant

And one closing of note

While I tend to be somewhat sentimental, usually lamenting the closing of popular restaurants, there is one closing that I don’t feel sad about. In fact, I’m mostly just in shock that this restaurant actually existed, and lasted two years. Paris restaurant O’naturel, apparently the world’s first nude restaurant (you read that right), announced recently that it would be shuttering in February. I can’t quite imagine who would want to dine nude in a public restaurant, and it seems I’m not the only one. If you, however, are of a different mindset, you have a few more weeks to get to Paris before it closes. Just no Instagrams, please.

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Nicole Douillet is Dandelion Chandelier’s Food Editor. In addition to sharing her love of all things food with our readers, Nicole is a finance executive who has spent nearly 18 years on Wall Street in a variety of roles. 

She began her career as the first woman hired as a trader on the block trading desk at UBS.  For over 13 years, Nicole was a quantitative trader and portfolio manager on the proprietary trading desk at Credit Suisse. She then served as Head of Product Innovation and LGBT Strategy for Wealth Management Private Banking New Markets at Credit Suisse. 

Most recently, Nicole co-founded Reboot Investing, Inc. where she served as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Compliance Officer. A recognized leader in socially responsible investing, Nicole created the ground-breaking Credit Suisse LGBT Equality Index ® and co-authored “What’s the Effect of Pro-LGBT Policy on Stock Price?” for the Harvard Business Review in 2014.  

Nicole currently serves on the Advisory Council for Action Against Hunger | ACF International. She is a former junior Olympic skier, food and drink aficionado, serial restaurant regular, and chili cook-off champion. She and her wife live in Brooklyn with their son, whose favorite restaurant is Lilia. Nicole is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame.

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