As summer ends, it’s time to put our beach bodies away and add the necessary insulation to help us endure yet another winter. Fortunately, some of America’s finest chefs are here to help. Autumn is a time in the culinary world when many new great eateries open. We’ve surveyed the landscape to discover an exciting assortment of new restaurants awaiting us in the coming months. From a Top Chef winner creating her debut restaurant in LA to a seasoned pro opening his third restaurant this year in New York, these are the most anticipated new dining destinations this fall.
Georgia James, Houston
James Beard Award–winning chef Chris Shepherd set out to open and close five restaurants in five years at his ambitious project One Fifth. The first iteration, his take on steak, became a sensation in the brief time it was open because it took a different approach to a well-worn genre. “Steak houses use broilers and put them in these nine-million-degree fire boxes, but I cooked things like how I wanted to eat them,” Shepherd says. “I cooked steaks in cast iron as I would at home so it would develop that delicious crust like when I’m making them for friends.” When he closed One Fifth Steak to make room for One Fifth Romance Languages, he didn’t throw out his concept altogether. Instead he planned to take one of his existing restaurants, Underbelly, and convert the space to a new steak-focused spot called Georgia James.
Nightshade, Los Angeles
Top Chef winner Mei Lin has stayed busy since taking the crown a few years ago. She’s hosted pop-ups, cooked for Oprah, and even written a travel column for us. But now it’s time to put her globe-trotting on hold so she can open her debut restaurant in LA’s Arts District. All the travel has served her well. A trip to Nashville inspired creative variations on hot chicken, like one version she’s tested with Szechuan peppers. Other dishes—like her mapo tofu lasagna—will exhibit a similar style of cross-pollinating cultures to create original and delicious new dishes.
Benno, New York
Longtime Thomas Keller lieutenant Jonathan Benno left his post at Lincoln Ristorante in 2017 to open not one but three new restaurants inside the Evelyn Hotel in Nomad. This summer he debuted his Roman-style trattoria Leonelli Taberna and the bakery and café Leonelli Focacceria e Pasticceria. The eponymous third restaurant will offer a more upscale experience and stretch beyond Italian influence to cover the Mediterranean, which means French techniques will be present, as well.
Park MGM, Las Vegas
The old Monte Carlo hotel is getting a $450 million face-lift and rebrand, and with it comes a lot of amazing dining options. There’s going to be a 40,000-square-foot Eataly; Will Guidara and Daniel Humm are bringing NoMad—their urban playground of a restaurant, bars, and a hotel—to the Strip; and LA’s favorite son Roy Choi is on the verge of opening Best Friend, where he’ll bring the flavors of Los Angeles to Sin City.
Little Fish, Seattle
For years people have gone to Seattle’s Pike Place Market to see fish fly, but Zoi Antonitsas and Bryan Jarr will give people a whole new seafood-watching experience. Inspired by travels in Spain, restaurateur Jarr wants to make cured and canned fish in Seattle a delicacy, so he’s teamed with chef Antonitsas to create not only a restaurant filled with fresh seafood but a cannery, as well. Inside the newly expanded section of Pike Place Market, the duo is opening Little Fish, where diners can admire sweeping views of the Puget Sound or watch manila clams, spot prawns, and albacore tuna belly be brined, cured, and tinned in the glass-enclosed cannery.
Angler, San Francisco
Yet another Bay Area Michelin-three-star chef will add a more casual restaurant to his portfolio. After Christopher Kostow of Meadowood opened Charter Oak last year, chef Josh Skenes of Saison plans to open Angler in both San Francisco and LA in 2018. The 100-seat restaurants will have a raw bar and will also focus on seafood prepared in a wood-fired hearth. And the wine list will draw largely from Burgundy, Rhône, and Loire Valley varietals.
The space where Grace used to be will now feature a restaurant run by the shuttered Michelin three-star restaurant’s former pastry chef Mari Katsumura. Coming over from Matthias Merges and Graham Elliot’s Gideon Sweet, Katsumura will be making her debut as an executive chef. She plans on creating a Japanese fine-dining menu with some French influences, but it will be less expensive than the previous tenant.
Simone, Los Angeles
This has been a hotly anticipated restaurant opening for a long time. After months and months of delay, James Beard Award–winning chef Jessica Largey’s Simone is finally set to arrive this September. The former chef de cuisine at Michelin three-star Manresa will offer a more casual atmosphere at her debut spot. “It’s more stripped down and casual because that’s where I’m coming from. There’s still executing at a high level, but I don’t need a flower and a tiny garnish for every bite,” she says. “I’m making food I want to eat: clean, simple, and approachable.” The menu will focus on Southern California produce, ethically raised meat, and sustainable seafood.
Undercote, New York
We’re on record as being big fans of Korean-barbecue-meets-American-steak-house Cote, which we named one of America’s best new restaurants. Now Simon Kim’s Flatiron hot spot will add a lounge downstairs, where shareable Korean plates will be paired with cocktails from bartender Sondre Kasin and a select list of grower Champagnes.