The 19 Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings in the US for 2022 – Robb Report
Despite the rise of Omicron, the restaurant industry is hoping to rebound in 2022, with a series of banner openings across the country leading the way. There will be leaders who expand their respective footprints, others who make triumphant returns and some who go out on their own for the first time. From Haitian cuisine in Portland, Oregon, to yakitori omakase in New York, to Greek cuisine in the nation’s capital, and a handful of other concepts in between, here are the restaurants we’re most excited to see open. This year.
El Alto, Los Altos, CA.
Traci Des Jardins and Robert Hurtado are teaming up for a Californian Mexican restaurant in Silicon Valley. Inspired by Hurtado’s Mexican roots and Des Jardins’ maternal grandparents (who emigrated from Mexico). They will offer variations on Mexican cuisine, using Californian produce and wood-fired cooking, with dishes like apricot mole made with almonds and served with duck confit.
Kann, Portland, Oregon.
Since we had the opportunity to “preview” Gregory Gourdet’s Haitian concept Kann when he cooked it on The best chefs Episode “Restaurant Wars” a few seasons ago, we couldn’t wait for the full version. Last winter, Gourdet offered a more substantial version to Oregonians with a pop-up restaurant inside the yurts. The restaurant draws inspiration from what he ate growing up and his travels to Haiti to eat and learn from the people there. “It’s a lot of Caribbean and African ingredients – lots of root vegetables, lots of seafood, plantains, yucca, yarrow, rice, beans, spicy peppers, coconut milk and all those tropical fruits,” Gourdet said. Robb Report. “I really want to make traditional Haitian food. I don’t want to ruin everything. I don’t want to modernize it.
Regular, Los Angeles
The former executive chef of Sweden’s only three-star Michelin restaurant, Frantzen, is heading to warmer climes to open Habitual in Los Angeles. Marcus Jernmark has teamed up with wine director Max Coane and chef Robert Sandberg for the new venture. Coane tells Robb Report they’re keeping the details close to the vest for now, but the pedigree of those involved is enough to pique our interest.
The Select, Chicago
It’s a homecoming, in a way, for Daniel Rose. The chef who cut his teeth in Paris with à la carte spring tastings and then brought his old-school French to New York with Le Coucou, grew up in suburban Chicago. He is partnering with the Boka Restaurant group to open a French restaurant in the Windy City this year. Menu details have not been released, but expect a lively brasserie from the Michelin-starred Francophile chef.
Birch and Rye, San Francisco
Prepare for elevated borscht and stroganoff in San Francisco’s Noe Valley. Moscow chef Anya El-Wattar prepares her modern Russian restaurant Birch & Rye. As you’d expect from a restaurant in the Bay Area, it takes those cultural touchpoints that El-Wattar is so familiar with and looks at them through the lens of California produce.
Family tradition from Brochu, Savannah, Ga.
Andrew Brochu intended to open his own restaurant in Chicago after leaving his position as head of Grant Achatz’s Roister. The pandemic had other plans. After a failed space and further delays, he and his wife left town for Savannah, where they plan to open the rowdy restaurant there. Expect fried chicken and seafood with high levels of execution but little fuss.
Kono, New York
An intimate 14-seat tasting counter will transport New York diners to Tokyo with kappo-style yakitori omakase. Chef Atsushi Kono opens his eponymous restaurant off the Bowery after stints in Japan and at the helm of starred restaurant Yakitori Torishin in New York.
Bar Spero, Washington, D.C.
DC’s Reverie chef Johnny Spero cooked in kitchens renowned in his day, including Jose Andres’ Minibar and Rene Redzepi’s Noma. Her new spot will be inspired by her time cooking at Mugaritz in Spain. There he experienced Basque nightlife, and with Bar Spero he wants to recreate the ambiance inside his seafood-focused bar and restaurant, which will include open-fire grills and freshly shucked oysters.
At his One Fifth pop-up experience, Chris Shepherd creates a new restaurant every year in the same space, which has included steak and Mediterranean concepts in the past. He makes a permanent home for the successful Italian red sauce menu, establishing the Pastore (Italian for Shepherd) restaurant where he will serve family-style feasts that feature giant slabs of lasagna and more. The perpetually busy chef-restaurateur will also open Wild Oats inside the Houston Farmers Market, serving his version of Texas cuisine with the use of high heat via a grill designed by barbecue legend Aaron Franklin.
N/Soto, Los Angeles
From culinary power couple Niki Nakayama and Carol Iida-Nakayama, the duo behind two-Michelin-starred N/Naka comes N/Soto. The restaurant started out during the pandemic shutdowns as a place offering take-out bentos. When it transforms into a full-fledged restaurant this year, it will be an izakaya powered by Californian produce and cuisine.
Mena, New York
After a brief but triumphant turn at the helm of Gotham Bar and Grill, Victoria Blamey will now open her own restaurant for the first time with Mena. Since leaving Gotham Bar and Grill at the start of the pandemic, Blamey has begun to develop her new concept with residencies at Blue Hill at Stone Bars and Fulgurances. Mena, located in Tribeca, will channel the flavors the Santiago, Chile-born chef picked up on her travels around the world.
Marigold Club, Houston
After opening the tasting menu in March last year, the team at Goodnight Hospitality (Summit Master June Rodil, Chef Felipe Riccio and Owners Pete and Bailey McCarthy) are creating another new concept. Their latest fine dining effort, Marigold Club, will be in an art deco space and serve continental cuisine.
Little Saint, Healdsburg
Three-star Michelin Kyle and Katina Connaughton of SingleThread are getting a little more laid back with their new restaurant Sonoma. Little Saint will serve a meatless a la carte menu in a space designed by Ken Fulk. As with SingleThread, they will be inspired by local produce supplied by their own farm. The Connaughton’s restaurant, cafe and wine shop will be the anchor of the 10,000 square foot space, while the building will also host concerts, film screenings and community events.
Chef Fermín Núñez filled up with customers at his famous restaurant Suerte in Austin. He hopes to repeat the feat in his new Este restaurant. Scheduled to open in the spring of this year, it will serve coastal Mexican cuisine that uses a charcoal grill. The recipes will be inspired by Núñez’s time spent in Guadalajara, Ensenada and Puerto Escondido.
My Friends, Los Angeles
He’s back, folks. But really, Lincoln Carson didn’t spend much time away from Los Angeles. After the pandemic-induced closure of his famous Arts District restaurant Bon Temps, the pastry chef, who turned to savory, ventured north to the Santa Barbara wine country to open the delicious Vaquero Bar and Coast Tidy up with his friends in Solvang. Now he’s opening a restaurant in Hollywood (right next door to Evan Funke’s brand new Roman-inspired Mother Wolf), where he’ll use local ingredients to put a California spin on French classics.
Gavin Kaysen at the RBC Gateway Tower, Minneapolis
The two-time James Beard Award winner is once again in expansion mode in his hometown. The chef behind Spoon and Stable, Bellecour Bakery and Demi will launch an all-day Mediterranean-inspired cafe in the lobby of the new RBC Gateway tower downtown. And when the Four Seasons inside the building opens, Kaysen and his team will also run the full-service bar and restaurant there.
Philotimo, Washington D.C.
The starred chef behind Masseria and Officina, Nicholas Stefanelli, will draw on his Greek heritage to open Philotimo. The pandemic has caused construction delays, pushing the restaurant well past its original opening date of August 2020. But when it does arrive in October, the chef known for his Italian cuisine wants to show people in the nation’s capital a side of Greek cuisine beyond feta, with dishes from different parts of the country.
Audrey’s Upstairs, Nashville
When Sean Brock opened his five-course tasting menu restaurant dedicated to Appalachian cuisine last fall, he wasn’t done. The chef who created Husk, one of the most influential restaurants of his generation, plans to open a more in-depth tasting menu in a space above Audrey early this year.
Kato 2.0, Los Angeles
Young chef Jon Yao managed to earn a Michelin star for his Taiwanese-American tasting menu, despite the restaurant being located in a West LA strip mall and not having a liquor license. Now, Yao plans to spread his wings and his weapon for more stars by opening downtown, taking the space once occupied by Mr. Georgina.