New York City: Kish-Kash
Chef Einat Admony is the reigning queen of modern Israeli cuisine in New York City. Her restaurants – the hyper fresh falafel joint Taïm and the Middle Eastern fine dining spot, Bar Bolonat are both category defining. (Her other restaurant, the beloved upscale home cooking restaurant, Balaboosta, recently closed but Admony is looking for a new space.)
Meanwhile, starting June 18, Admony turns her attention to an unexpected corner of the cuisine: hand-rolled couscous. Her approach will have nothing to do with the boxed couscous found in the grocery store’s grain aisle. Instead, Kish-Kash will serve hand-rolled, sieved, and steamed semolina grains – a labor of love practiced for generations by loving home cooks across the Middle East, but rarely seen in the United States. The resulting couscous will be ethereally light and fluffy, and the ideal base for North African lemon chicken tagine, short ribs braised with swiss chard and beans, fish in spicy tomato sauce, and vegetable stews dolloped with harissa.
Admony will round out the menu with small plates – hummus and spicy chermoula with challah, and garlicky pumpkin spread. Plan to never look at couscous in the same way again. 455 Hudson St.
Barnard, Vermont: Twin Farms Wine Dinner
Located in a pastoral corner of Vermont and set on 300 acres of wildflower-dotted hills, Twin Farms has gained a reputation as a must-visit New England resort and dining destination. It also comes complete with an impressive historical pedigree: Nobel prize-wining author Sinclair Lewis and journalist Dorothy Thompson lived and entertained there for years after their marriage in 1928.
On June 23, executive chef Nathan Rich and wine director Keven Ring will host an exclusive “Burgundy & Bordeaux” wine dinner at Twin Falls. The menu will feature white asparagus with soft scrambled eggs, golden Osetra caviar, and chive blossoms, and Wagyu rib eye with smoked marrowbone butter and foie gras demi-glace. Six varietals will be poured over the course of the meal including Christian Moreau Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos des Hospices dans les Clos 2015, and Chateau Mouton-Rothschild Pauillac 2009.
Guests will be invited to retire to their rooms after the meal and the next morning, can wander or jog along the hiking trails that surround Twin Farm’s property. 452 Royalton Turnpike; 802-234-9999.
Washington DC: Five-Course Dinner at Bresca
On June 24, rising culinary star Ryan Ratino will offer a special five-course meal at Bresca – his seasonal fine dining restaurant in DC’s U Street Corridor neighborhood. Ratino cut his teeth at Caviar Russe, WD-50, Dovetail NYC, and Ripple, and went on to open Bresca last November. Since then, his restaurant has gained a celebrated reputation for its farm-to-fork philosophy. Ratino’s commitment to of-the-moment cooking will be on full display at the dinner, which will source ingredients from the best farmers and producers in the region.
Tables in Bresca’s airy dining room (which stuns with its royal blue walls and velvet seating and verdantly green live moss wall) will be laden down with summer sweet corn with chanterelles, yogurt, and truffles, dry aged veal with king crab and asparagus, and a dessert of peaches and cream dressed up with chocolate, granola, and tonka beans. The meal also includes rosé wine and beverage pairings and guests will take home a watercolor print made by a local artist to capture the spirit of the evening. The June dinner is part of a larger seasonal dinner series to come at Bresca. 1906 14th St. NW; 202-518-7926.
New York City: Leonelli Taberna
After years heading up many of the country’s best kitchens, chef Jonathan Benno is opening a culinary home of his own on June 26 – a Roman-style trattoria promising plenty of sophisticated comfort food. Located at The Evelyn hotel in the heart of NYC’s NoMad neighborhood, Leonelli Taberna's vibe will skew “old New York meets old Italy” - think: classic, art deco design meets rustic Italian cooking and spirits.
Benno is an alumna of iconic restaurants including The French Laundry, Per Se, Grammercy Tavern, and Craft. Now he is stepping into the head leadership role, focusing on a cuisine that is close to his heart. The menu will feature a mix of favorite childhood dishes and recipes discovered during his extensive travels throughout Italy. Crispy saffron pasta with braised lamb and mint will join lamb with preserved lemon and pea greens, and sea bream dressed elegantly with brown butter and capers. The cocktail list meanwhile will include an array of Prosecco-based drinks, with the bubbles being augmented with fresh fruit puree and Italian liquor.
Because good things typically come in threes, Benno is also partnering with Evelyn to open a focacceria and pasticeeria and a fine-dining Mediterranean spot. 7 E. 27th St.
West Hollywood: Tesse (and Boutellier)
On June 19, a team of culinary all-stars including legendary LA restaurateur Bill Chait (Bestia, Otium, Republique), French-Belgian chef Raphael Francois (Le Giverny, Le Cirque) and pastry chef Sally Camacho Mueller (WP24; Hotel Bel Air) will open a modern European restaurant on Sunset Boulevard.
The restaurant’s name is a play on the French word for delicious (délicatesse) and the menu will fittingly feature Francois’ innovative interpretations on classic European dishes. Several of the chef’s signature dishes, including crab simplissime (crab served with tarragon and potatoes), will also be on the menu. Next to the restaurant, Tesse’s managing partner Jordan Ogro will run Boutellier – a wine store that focuses on global, hard-to-source bottles like Abadía Retuerta, an award-winning winery from Spain’s Duero Valley. By day, the space will function as a wine shop and by night, it will transform into a private dining room for Tesse that can hold up to 40 guests. The team plans to host wine diners and other wine maker events in the space. 8500 Sunset Blvd.