Dining Agenda: New Restaurants and Food News this May

Couresy of Virginia's

Where to go, what to eat, and what to drink this month.

The winners of the 2015 James Beard Awards were announced in Chicago on May 4 to much fanfare. We're pleased to see some DEPARTURES favorites among the victors (including The Barn at Blackberry Farm, The Violet Hour in Chicago, and Blue Hill at Stone Barns), and excited to add many others to our running list of new places to try.

Grant Achatz is closing his famed Alinea (1723 N. Halsted S.; 312-867-0110) in Chicago for a six-week-long makeover this summer in honor of the restaurant’s 10th birthday. In the meantime, Achatz will host pop-ups in New York, and possibly the West Coast—exact dates of the restaurant's closure and his national appearances are still TBD. The chef has also announced that the opening date for Roister—a more casual, a la carte concept with an intentionally loud atmosphere—has been pushed to late summer.

The stoves at UntitledDanny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group restaurant inside the newly reopened Whitney Museum of American Art, have been re-ignited. The venture's new downtown location welcomes to the helm newly anointed James Beard Award–winning chef Michael Anthony, of Gramercy Tavern, along with chef de cuisine Suzanne Cupps. The team aims to serve seasonally-inspired fare (like the crab, mushroom, and pea ravioli pictured below) in the intentionally minimalist, modern dining room, seven days a week. 99 Gansevoort St.; 212-570-3670.

Chef Christian Ramos and Reed Adelson—alums of Per Se and Locanda Verde, respectively—have opened their new East Village restaurant Virginia'snamed in honor of their mothers. The duo, who initially met working at Charlie Trotter's in Chicago, will be serving up New American, market-driven small plates—think: crispy sweetbreads with apricot, pea leaves and charred lemon, and grilled cuttlefish with asparagus, green garlic and togarashi mayonnaise—at the intimate 38-seat spot. 647 E. 11th St.; 212-658-0152.

The Grand Galinaz! Shuffle announced their plans to organize the culinary version of the 1980s film Trading Places, for which 37 chefs from around the globe, including René Redzepi, Albert Adrià, and Dominique Crenn, will swap restaurants and “identities” for a series of dinners. Tickets for the event, taking place worldwide on July 9, go on sale May 13. 

Those with a sweet tooth have long-awaited the Los Angeles–based ice cream, donut, and coffee shop, ICDC, and it has finally opened its doors. The concept, an invention of pastry chef Mariah Swan and Neal and Amy Knoll Fraser, was inspired by Swan’s successful Doughnut Shoppe pop-ups at BLD and Grace restaurants, which the Frasers operate. Expect treats like Ojai pixie tangerine sherbet, grapefruit Campari donut holes, and salt and pepper caramel donuts. 7450 Beverly Blvd.; 323-930-9744.

David Burke Garden at The James New York will re-open for the summer season on May 6 with a four-course Tuscan-inspired pig roast feast. The evening will kick off with a cocktail hour, starting at 6:30 P.M., followed by a seated dinner of a whole hog cooked on a spit. $55 per person; reservations recommended; 23 Grand St.; 212-201-9119.

As part of its massive revamp due to complete this summer, Sydney’s historic Old Clare Hotel announces that it's adding three new restaurants, helmed by big-name international chefs. British toque Sam Miller, who served as chef René Redzepi's right-hand-man at Noma and worked under Magnus Nilsson at Fäviken in Sweden for many years, will be opening Silvereye. Jason Atherton, also hailing from England, will open Kensington Street Social, a 120-seat space offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And Clayton Wells, who was sous chef at David Chang's Momofuku Seiobo until last August, is currently staffing up for Automata, serving up informal comfort fare. 1 Kensington St.; 61-2/8338-1708.

The Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok will host Michelin three-star chef Thomas Bühner for a guest residency from May 11–16 at the property’s Lord Jim’s restaurant. Bühner is the owner and head chef of La Vie in Osnabrück, Germany, which, in addition to its Michelin accolades, carries 19 Gault Millau points. During his stint in Bangkok, chef will prepare five- and seven-course tasting menus composed of his purist cuisine. 48 Oriental Ave.; For reservations, email Mobkk-Restaurants@mohg.com or call 66-2/659-9000 ext. 7390.

Luxury chocolatier Valrhona has opened a school in Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighborhood, adding to their portfolio of four schools, including one in France and another in Japan. Frédéric Bau, a pastry chef who worked previously under Pierre Hermé, opened the brand’s first campus in 1989 in Tain-l'Hermitage, France. 222 Water St.; 718-522-7001 ext.110.

One World Observatory, located on the top three floors of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, officially opens on May 29 in the World Trade Center. In addition to stellar views of Manhattan and beyond, the destination will include a dining deck with three separate dining concepts and bars operated by Legends Hospitality, the group behind the food at Yankee Stadium, Angels Stadium, and AT&T Stadium. 285 Fulton St.

West Hollywood’s SoHo House will soon get a run for its money, thanks to the recent purchase of the former Hustler building, located blocks away, by Gwenyth Paltrow and Gary Landesberg, chairman of The Arts Club. The duo plans to open the London-based members-only club’s first L.A. outpost with a food and beverage element, presumably run by the GOOP founder. Membership for the UK location costs $3,000 a year, with a matching one-time sign-up fee. 8920 Sunset Blvd.

Marcus Samuelsson is on a tear, opening yet another restaurant this spring—this time at the newly revamped Hamilton Princess & Beach Club in Bermuda on May 27. Anticipate island-style dishes with the chef’s unique international twists, like oysters with black rum mignonette or tandoori-smoked salmon. The design showcases a stunning indoor/outdoor restaurant with an open kitchen, complete with a wood burning barbecue pit. 76 Pitts Bay Rd.; 441-295-3000.

Anthony Bourdain has confirmed that he’s working on a massive food hall and hawker center in New York City called Bourdain Market. Though the location and exact opening date is still TBD, Bourdain has confirmed that he’s working with entrepreneur Stephen Werther and Singaporean street food expert KF Seetoh to execute the concept, which should include 40-50 international stalls. The team aims to make the space feel like Blade Runner meets the back alleys of Tokyo, and promises the environment will be as lively and chaotic as Southeast Asian night markets. 

Pearl & Ash owners Branden McRill and Patrick Cappiello opened their wine-focused Rebelle in New York’s Bowery district (pictured above). Chef Daniel Eddy, formerly of Spring restaurant in Paris, is at the helm of the contemporary French restaurant, which features an 80-page wine list and a treasure trove of unique glassware to boot. 218 Bowery; 917-639-3880.

BottleRock Napa Valley returns for three days from May 29–31 with a lineup of over 90 musical and culinary artists spread across five stages. Headliners in the food arena include Iron Chefs Masaharu Morimoto and Marc Forgione, Michelin two-star chef Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn, Top Chef winners Michael Voltaggio and Mei Lin, and other star talents. The musical acts are varied, including performances from No Doubt, Robert Plant, and everyone in between. From $275; 575 Third St.

Jolly Italian super-chef Mario Batali will host The (RED) Supper on Sunday, May 31, benefiting The Global Fund, an organization working toward an AIDS free generation. The soiree is a collaboration between Outstanding in the Field and Gilt City, and will take place on Hudson River Park’s Pier 26. Chefs April Bloomfield, David Burke, Josh Capon, Jonathan Waxman, Michael Symon, and Joey Campanaro will present a stunning feast for 1,000 guests that will overlook the sweeping views of New York City. Tickets go on sale May 6 through Gilt City

Tickets are now on sale for the Bite conference in Silicon Valley, which takes place from June 5–7. The event celebrates the intersection of food and technology, with chefs like Roy Choi, Michael Voltaggio, and Jose Andres speaking about issues such as food waste and food desserts. But it's not all doom, gloom, and tech speak; there'll be grand tastings and plenty of NorCal wines flowing, too. Tickets for the entire conference are $499, Grand Tasting tickets are $149; Levi's Stadium; 4900 Marie P. DeBartolo Wy.

Image Credits: Alice Gao, © Evan Sung