Last year, travelers through Terminal 4 at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport saw some great new restaurants, many of which are local eateries opening satellite restaurants at the airport. (See the full list in the article Airport Food Goes Gourmet.) Now, under a new contract with SSP America, Inc., Terminal 4 is getting a new batch of restaurants for 2013, including a many local favorites. Some of the new restaurants you’ll be seeing open up during 2013 include:
- Cheuvront Restaurant & Wine Bar (this one is opening outside of security)
- Four Peaks Brewing Company
- Joe’s Real BBQ
- Lola Coffee with Tammie Coe Cakes
- Matt’s Big Breakfast
- Pei Wei
- Sweet Republic (for awesome ice cream)
- Wildflower Bread Company
- Zinc Bistro
The restaurants will be opening throughout the year in all four concourses at Terminal 4, which is the airport’s largest terminal and home to Aeromexico, Air Canada, British Airways, Southwest Airlines, US Airways and WestJet.
Commonwealth opens in downtown Las Vegas
A new bar opened in late 2012 on Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas. Commonwealth, with a speakeasy and rooftop bar, serves variety of drinks, both Prohibition-era cocktails and newer mixes. The menu, created by mixologist Juyoung Kang, uses a combination of fresh ingredients and spices to create standout drinks that are in the $9 to $10 range (champagne options are a bit more at about $15). The menu includes more than 30 specialty cocktails. There are also a selection of craft and imported beers, ranging from $6 to $10.
Commonwealth offers a separate “speakeasy” space behind the main bar, which features its own spirits-based cocktails. You’ll find dark wood, exposed brick walls, and candles. There are no glass containers allowed on the rooftop bar, so you’ll sip your drink (or wine) from a tin camping cup, a la Prohibition-era trend. www.commonwealthlv.com
Mondrian Soho welcomes the taste of the Italian coast
The 5,000-square-foot greenhouse at Manhattan’s Mondrian Soho has been transformed into a coastal Italian restaurant. Isola Trattoria & Crudo Bar offers fresh seafood, meat, pizzas, pastas and an impressive wine and cocktail menu. The space is an array of lush green plants and magnificent crystal clear glasswork hanging from the ceiling. The food is fresh, homemade and seasonal. Sashimi-style crudos range from $16 to $18; pizza, pastas and meat dishes are between $17 and $48.
The wine list is impressive with more than 100 offerings. The list tends to focus on wines from Italy, Sicily, Greece, Spain and Southern France. There is one draft beer available (Peroni) and several bottled beers, including the local Sixpoint Sweet Action. The restaurant also offers a selection of cocktails, including Market Fresh Cocktails for $15 that change depending on available produce. www.isolasoho.com
Wolfgang Puck finds a new home in Detroit
The MGM Grand Detroit is home to the newest Wolfgang Puck restaurant, Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria & Cucina, which opened in the resort casino in November 2012. The second Puck restaurant, Wolfgang Puck Steak, will open there in December 2012. The restaurant space was formerly occupied by Michael Mina’s Saltwater and BOURBON STEAK.
Beer finds its way into fine dining in San Francisco
Just as wine pairings have become a normal part of a meal, beer pairings are become more common. One new restaurant has made the beer as much a highlight as the exceptional cuisine. The Abbot’s Cellar, which opened this past summer in the Valencia Corridor of San Francisco’s Mission District, has a 120-plus beer menu, with a cicerone and a cellar master to ensure customers’ satisfaction.
The restaurant has approximately 30 beers by the glass, which it offers from draft, cask or large-format bottles. It also offers an additional 100 bottled beers, ranging from $5 to a rare $250 brew. To help customers select the right beer, the menu lists tasting notes and origin and each brew is served in the correct glass. In addition to an a la carte menu, Abbot’s Cellar also offers a tasting menu with beer pairings. www.abbotscellar.com
Charleston meets Chicago
Executive Chef Mark Steuer, a Charleston, South Carolina native, brings a bit of the South to Chicago with his newest restaurant, Carriage House, which opened recently at 1700 West Division Street in Chicago. The menu is designed for sharing with a selection of small plates and a few larger “family supper” options. Small plates range from $6 to $9 and include such Southern specialties as braised pig’s feet with collard greens, house-made vinegar and chiles. The “family supper” plates, priced from $32 to $55, include friend chicken dinner with biscuits, collards and honey. The overwhelming critic favorite seems to be the Lowcountry boil, with shrimp, clams, rabbit chaurice sausage, sweet corn, potatoes and grilled lemon. Sae room for bacon beignets for dessert. www.carriagehousechicago.com
Massive Bacchanal Buffet opens at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas
Caesars Palace welcomed another dining establishment recently. Bacchanal Buffet opened in September 2012 with a modern take on the Roman feast. The buffet serves more than 500 items daily from 9 kitchens. The 25,000 square foot modern restaurant, which seats 600, overlooks the Garden of the Gods pool oasis.
Each of the nine unique cooking areas features at least one live cooking station, a selection of individually-plated dishes and an assortment of small plates. The interactive setting encourages diners to participate, as the classically-trained chefs cook in front of them. Diners can find dishes such as made-to-order omelets, red velvet pancakes, wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas, Chinese dim sum, roasted South Carolina shrimp and grits. The 9 kitches are Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, American, Seafood, Pizza, Deli and Dessert.
The dining area, designed by Japanese firm Super Potato, consists of intimate dining areas that use glass, wood and steel. The buffet is open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Breakfast, weekdays from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., is $19.99; weekend brunch, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., is $31.99; lunch is offered weekdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for $24.99; and dinner is served daily from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. for $34.99 Sunday through Thursday or $39.99 Friday and Saturday. www.PulseofVegasBlog.com
Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill opens in Las Vegas
Michelin Star Chef Gordon Ramsay will open Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill in Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada in late 2012. Ramsay’s restaurant will be located next to the resort’s entertainment venue, The Colosseum.
The new restaurant will offer fine casual food with fresh ingredients in a lively, approachable English pub-style setting. The menu will feature British classics such as Bangers and mash, fish and chips and roasted chicken. One of Ramsay’s favorites will also be on the menu: London Broil prepared on a wood-burning grill. The menu will change seasonally. There will also be a selection of craft and microbrews from around the world, with more than 40 beers on tap.
Caesars Palace, on the famed Las Vegas Strip, features 3,960 hotel guest rooms and suites, including the new 180-room Nobu Hotel opening fall 2012. The resort includes 25 restaurants and cafes; 129,000 square feet of casino space; 5-acre Garden of the Gods pool complex with 8 pools; 50,000 square foot Qua Baths & Spa; 5 wedding chapels; 300,000 square feet of meeting space; The Forum Shops at Caesars with 160 boutiques and dining establishments in 683,000 square feet of space; Cascata golf course; 4300-seat Colosseum entertainment venue; and more. www.caesarspalace.com
Anheuser-Busch to open new St. Louis restaurant
Anheuser-Busch entered a licensing and sponsorship agreement with the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team to open an Anheuser-Busch-branded restaurant in the new $650 million, 6-block Ballpark Village to be built this year adjacent to Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. The 25,000-square-foot restaurant will offer German cuisine, more than 100 domestic and import draft beers and an outdoor beer garden. www.anheuser-busch.com
New bars open across the country
Several new bars opened across the country in recent months, all reflecting a specific theme designed to attract a defined demographic:
- Gin Palace opened in Manhattan’s East Village, aiming to emulate the 19th and early 20th century English- and Victorian-style bars. Gin is used in every specialty cocktail on the menu, such as the Uzi Tenenbaum (Beefeater, Zucca amaro, ginger syrup, lemon and soda water) and the MI5 (Plymouth, Laird’s 100-proof applejack, Dolin Rouge sweet vermouth and Cynar bitter liqueur). Gin Palace also serves craft beer and pub fare. www.ginpalaceny.com
- Drumbar is a new rooftop lounge at Raffaello Hotel in Chicago. Drumbar specializes in whiskey and tableside mixology service. The inside bar is dark and cozy while outside offers expansive views of the city skyline. www.drumbar.com
- Wine & Wall, a gallery-style retail space and wine bar for wine and art lovers, opened this summer in San Francisco. The bar, owned by the chefs/owners of Michelin-starred One Market, which is right next door, also offers a menu of small bites by the chef and a wine club. www.wineandwall.com
- Atlas Arcade is a 1980s-themed bar in Washington DC. The bar, complete with video games from the 80s and music from the same era, offers 20 beers, a selection of spirits, as well as pool, darts and foosball. www.dcatlasarcade.com
- Ten Bells Tavern, a British-style pub in Dallas’ Bishop Arts neighborhood, serves 40 bottled brews, several draft pours and has an outdoor beer garden. You can frequently catch live music at the tavern. www.tenbellstavern.com
Southern bistro in Virginia
The River and Rail opened in June in Roanoke, Virginia. the Southern bistro specializes in locally-sourced produce and meat. The restaurant’s Chef Aaron Deal serves Southern and French food, specialty drinks, beers and wines. www.riverandrailrestaurant.com
Noir New York gives a nod to yesteryear
Chef Jean-Yves Schillinger opened Noir in New York City in June. Noir features American food prepared with French flare. The restaurant has a spirits cart that enables guests to personalize their own drinks table-side. www.noir-ny.com
Richard Sandoval goes Peruvian
Richard Sandoval’s newest venture, Raymi, opened in June in Manhattan’s Flatiron District. Raymi, a joint venture with Peruvian Chef Jaime Pesaque, offers the cuisine of Peru, Spain, Japan and China. Focal points in the new restaurant include a ceviche bar and a Pisco bar with 30 exotic house-infused cocktails. www.richardsandoval.com/raymi
Darden Restaurants purchases Yard House
Darden Restaurants, Inc. is acquiring the 39 unit restaurant chain Yard House for $585 million cash. The closing is expected the end of November 2012. Darden owns Olive Garden, Red Lobster and Long Horn Steakhouse as well as the Darden Specialty Restaurant group, which includes Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52 and Eddie V’s. www.darden.com
Atlanta puts vodka on ice
Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood has a new vodka bar with a twist or two. Czar Ice Bar opened in April 2012 and offers a menu of more than 300 vodkas. Order a flight of chilled vodka shots embedded in a block of ice. Relax in the Russian-styled lounge or out on the patio. The main bar is 27 feet long and topped with a 4″ slab of ice. The bar also serves sushi and sake and the chef is an acclaimed sushi chef. www.czaricebar.com
Rock-n-Roll restaurant from a KISS legend
The legendary KISS rocker, Gene Simmons, partnered with an LA restaurateur (Michael Zislis) and a concert promoter (Dave Furano) to create Rock & Brews in El Segundo, CA. The casual dining restaurant has a rocking theme: rock posters, rock-inspired art and flat screen TVs showing concerts and live recording sessions. The menu includes Opening Acts (apps), Headliners (sandwiches), Front Row (pizzas) and Encore (dessert). Food includes soft pretzels, hamburgers, calamari and barbecue chicken pizza. The restaurant has 100-plus beers plus 40 drafts. Additional locations will open in Maui, Tokyo and at LAX later in 2012. www.rockandbrews.com
French Blue Restaurant opens in heart of Napa Valley
French Blue, a warm neighborhood restaurant, opened May 29 in St. Helena, CA. The restaurant is located in the old Vanderbilt building on the north end of downtown St. Helena. The restaurant’s name comes from the building’s blue doors, which were a landmark for over 50 years. The restaurant is the brainchild of renowned architect Howard Backen, his wife interior designer Lori Backen and vintner Leslie Rudd, who also owns PRESS restaurant.
The restaurant, designed to be a comfortable neighborhood gathering place, features a large open kitchen with a wood burning oven and grill, two fireplaces, a communal table in the center and outdoor seating. The menu, from Executive Chef Philip Wang, features rustic, wood-fired Napa cooking, seasonally inspired from the local gardens of Rudd Farms on Mt. Vedeer and at Edge Hill Vineyards. The food is paired with Northern California wines and handcrafted cocktails.
The venue will be an all-day restaurant. It currently serves dinner from 5 p.m. – 11 p.m. daily. Lunch service begins June 4 and breakfast service starts June 13. The restaurant is at 1429 Main Street in St. Helena. Seating is on a first come, first saved basis. http://www.frenchbluenapa.com
Juvia opens in Miami to celebrate food and nature
One of the most spectacular restaurants to emerge in recent memory is Miami’s Juvia. Named for the Brazilian nut tree, the restaurant is a collective work of four of Miami’s finest chefs. The 10,000-square-foot restaurant sits atop the 1111 Lincoln Road building with unobstructed views of the Atlantic Ocean Biscayne Bay and Miami’s Art Deco District in South Beach.
The restaurant blends natural elements with contemporary elements to present a unique feel. The space includes a 22-foot vertical garden wall, a large outdoor terrace, a backlit amethyst bar top and natural wood floors.
The menu combines regional cuisines of Asia with South American ingredients using classic French techniques. The menu includes ceviches, tiraditos, sushi, oysters, fresh fish and meats. You can find such dishes as Roasted Chicken Vadouvan with Indian spices and Chilean sea bass with maple-glazed eggplant. The bar serves an extensive cocktail menu, some imported wines and beers. The restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner at 1111 Lincoln Road in Miami. http://www.juviamiami.com
The Rose opens in Jackson Hole serving vintage-inspired cocktails
Jackson Hole, Wyoming is home to a new bar, The Rose. The intimate lounge specializes in vintage-inspired cocktails, especially those using whiskey. Signature drinks, created by Maura McGuigan, include the Ten Cent Claude (Four Roses Bourbon, Angostura bitters, house-made Darjeeling syrup and muddled tangerine and lemon) and the Dance Card (Milagro Silver Tequila, St-Germain elderflower liqueur and grapefruit and lime juices). The Rose also features cocktail punches for up to six guests, cocktails by the carafe, domestic and imported craft beers, a limited selection of wines and upscale bar snacks. The Rose is located next to the Pink Garter Theatre at 50 W. Broadway Avenue in Jackson Hole and is open nightly from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. http://www.therosejh.com
Savoy Grill at The Savoy in London
Fairmont reopened the legendary Savoy hotel in October 2010 after a £220 ($348 million) restoration. The famous Savoy Grill is under the direction of Gordon Ramsay. His chef patron is Stuart Gillies and the head chef is Andy Cook. Cook headed up the kitchens at Gordon Ramsay at The London West Hollywood before joining the team at The Savoy. http://www.fairmont.com/savoy
Jose Garces’ JG Domestic
Jose Garces, one of the famed “Iron Chefs” opened his seventh restaurant venture, JG Domestic, in October 2010 at 2929 Arch Street in Philadelphia. The focus of the new restaurant is all-American artisanal foods. The restaurant seats 175 and boasts a living wall of herbs and plants and a communal table flanked by three live trees.
Garces plans to provide much of the fruits and vegetables for the seasonal menu for the restaurant from the 40-acre Bucks County farm he recently purchased.
Tokyo restaurants among the top in the world
Tokyo has more Michelin 3-star rated restaurants than any other city in the world — even more than in Paris. Tokyo boasts 14 Michelin three-star restaurants, 54 Michelin two-star restaurants, and 198 Michelin one-star rated eateries.