Brooklyn: Butler Expands to Dumbo
On August 21, Butler–Williamsburg’s high-end bakery and café–is opening a second location in Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighborhood. Fronted by Michelin-starred pastry chef Ryan Butler (Tocqueville, Piora), the bakery has made a name for itself with impeccable pastries (think: thyme and Serrano chili scones, almond flour sticky date muffins made with Intelligentsia coffee and topped with apricot bergamot jam) and breakfast dishes.
The new location will feature these dishes plus sour dough toast topped with mascarpone, seasonal berries, rhubarb jam, and lavender, and a prosciutto sandwich with pickled cantaloupe, and heirloom tomatoes. In addition to dining in, guests can sign up for weekly baking classes with chef Butler. 40 Water St.
San Francisco: Theorita
The team behind Che Fico—San Fran’s celebrated Italian restaurant helmed by David Nayfeld (Eleven Madison Park) and James Beard award-winning pastry chef Angela Pinkerton—is coming together again. This time, they will turn their attention to the pie-centric dinette, offering a modern spin on the classic American eatery.
Located downstairs from Che Fico, Theorita will take pie seriously, with Pinkerton turning out bourbon walnut chocolate, plum raspberry crumble, and blackberry lattice pies—whole or by the slice. The savory side of the menu, meanwhile, will highlight updated diner favorites: scrambled egg and ham breakfast sandwiches on house-made English muffins, and banana granola paired with fresh berries and figs, spearmint, and avocado blossom honey. In the evening, comfort cuisine will reign, with dishes like a fried chicken sandwich with house made sriracha, and a killer burger with locally and sustainably-sourced meat.
Guests who love the retro vibe of a good diner will not be disappointed. A Granny Smith-green enameled pastry case will hold Pinkerton’s creations. And the 55-seat dining room will feature a smoky tin ceiling, a black granite counter with stools, and railcar booths upholstered with black denim and leather. Expect an August 20 opening. 834 Divisadero St.
Wellington, New Zealand: Chateau d’Yquem Wine Dinner at Hippopotamus Restaurant
On August 22, Bordeaux’s iconic, 400-year old winery will host its first-ever winemaker dinner in New Zealand. Held in the signature restaurant at QT Museum Wellington Hotel–the vibrant, art-focused boutique hotel–the one-night-only dinner will begin with canapés and champagne, followed by four courses.
During the meal, guests will enjoy the company of Hippopotamus’ head sommelier, Florent Souche, and executive chef, Laurent Loudeac. They can also learn about the unique microclimate that helped launch Chateau d’Yquem’s wines to Premier Cru Supérieur classification.
The menu includes seared Atlantic scallops with pickled shiitake and leek fondue, duck confit tortellini with mushrooms duxelles, and duck liver parfait, chicken roulade with New Zealand Perigord black truffle cream sauce, and sherry mouse cinnamon streusel with manuka ice cream. Each of the meal’s courses will be paired with Chateau d’Yquem pours. 90 Cable St; 64-4/802-8935.
Playa Del Carmen: Margarita Fest
On August 25 and 26, lovers of sand, surf, and potent cocktails will converge at the Thompson Playa Del Carmen resort for a weekend dedicated to Mexico’s famous tequila tipple. The luxury resort’s second annual Margarita Fest includes culinary competitions between Riviera Maya’s top chefs and mixologists, live music, and copious drinks on the Thompson’s 30,000-square-foot rooftop.
The food will be dedicated to the Mayan community’s vibrant food culture. Expect octopus tostadas with charred avocado and chile mayo, grilled pineapple and jicama salad with Yucatan lime vinaigrette, and Bluefin tiradito with charred cucumber, chiles, and ponzu. A daily ceviche based on the freshest catches of the day will also be available. Calle 12 entre 5ta Ave. y 10/SN Centro; 52-98/4206-4800.
Chicago: Brass Heart
On August 21, Michelin-starred chef Matt Kerney (Longman & Eagle) will open a tasting menu restaurant in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. The intimate space will have 20 seats, and feature an open kitchen and rotating art by local photographers. A roving bar cart will serve a variety of classic and house cocktails.
Kerney’s menu will change frequently with the seasons but will include refined, conceptual dishes like poached Dungeness crab sautéed in crab brain butter and dressed in a light crab vinegar. His version of rice and beans, meanwhile will pair long grain rice and stock-simmered black beans served tableside with caramel made from pig trotters and served with pork fat streusel and puffed chicarrones. Meat eschewers need not worry, however–Brass Heart will offer a full vegan tasting menu in addition to their regular tasting menu. Think: a savory, sour dough ice cream cone starter filled with corn crème, freeze dried corn vinegar, and avocado sorbet. 4662 North Broadway.
New York City: Akifumi Sakagami at Sushi Ginza Onodera
Throughout the week of August 27, master sushi chef Akifumi Sakagami will return to Sushi Ginza Onodera for a series of special dinners. (The first series, in early August, was a smash hit with diners, so they added a second round!) Chef Sakagami pioneered the restaurant group’s use of Edomae-style sushi, which ages fish to develop its umami flavor and delicate texture.
Sakagami trained the New York team before opening the two Michelin-starred restaurant in 2016. But these dinners represent the first time he has personally worked behind the restaurant’s the sushi counter. Fish for chef Sakagami’s dinner services will be flown in fresh, directly from Tsukiji Market in Japan, and the menu will take shape based on what is available. 461 5th Ave.; 212-390-0925.
Cary, North Carolina: Curtis Duffy at Herons
Tucked away in 12 acres of woodlands and overlooking a private lake, the Umstead Hotel & Spa is known for its serene, nature getaways. On August 24, the hotel’s fine dining restaurant Herons will welcome three Michelin-starred chef Curtis Duffy for a special dinner in partnership with executive chef Steven Devereaux Greene.
The seven-course meal will feature refined American cuisine made with produce from the hotel’s acre of sustainable farmland on nearby One Oak Farm. The exact menu is to be determined, but will be crafted around whatever is ready for harvest. But it is likely to include a variety of heirloom ingredients including Sungold, Brandywine, and Cherokee purple tomatoes, fairytale eggplants, wild cucamelon, Trinidad perfume peppers, and John Haulk corn grits. 100 Woodland Pond Dr; 919-447-4000.