The 10 Most Important Restaurant Openings of 2017 | Food Newsfeed
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The 10 Most Important Restaurant Openings of 2017

December 20, 2017

Don Angie

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Ashley Sears
Don Angie

New York City

Opened: October 2017

Warm and welcoming, Angie Rito and Scott Tacinelli’s restaurant feels conceived under the Tuscan sun. While that might not be exactly true, the influence behind this Greenwich Avenue restaurant is very Italian, from Rito’s memories growing up around her family’s Italian bakery in Cleveland to those of Tacinelli’s childhood growing up in a New Jersey, Italian-American family. Food has been integral in both of their lives and careers. So, when they teamed up, as a married couple and chef-partners, it only seemed natural that they open up their own spot featuring wholesome Italian-American cuisine. Don Angie busted out of the gates to much acclaim. They’re tight, yet approachable menu is full of favorites like stracchino gnocchi and octopus puttanesca paired with a playful list of cocktails and wine.

Don Angie

Kemuri Tatsu-ya

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Kemuri Tatsu-ya
Kemuri Tatsu-ya

Austin, Texas

Opened: January 2017

Bringing the Japanese tradition of Izakaya to brisket-loving Texas, this restaurant’s menu is full of shareable Asian dishes with a cow-country twist, offering the likes of sashimi, smoked barbecue eel and skewered beef tongue. Try something new with your crew like the Chili Cheese Takoyaki (octopus fritters topped with Texas chili) and Guaca-Poke of tuna, avocado and Kaiware sprout or dive into a bowl of ramen. The drink menu, one of the driving forces of the Izakaya vibe, is packed with playful cocktails, sake, shochu, and whiskey. For a good night out with good people, Austin (and the larger food world, too) is flocking to this exciting concept.

Kemuri Tatsu-ya

Il Posto

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Il Posto
Il Posto

Denver

Re-Opened: January 2017

On the cusp of celebrating 10 years in business, Il Posto shed its 17th Avenue skin in Denver to open anew in the River North (RiNo) art district. The space is bigger and very hip, with large, windowed dining areas opening up to the art district below, curved black leather booths and sleek light fixtures running along walls. The change made the already-beloved Northern Italian food of chef/owner Andrea Frizzi even that much more irresistible (especially now that he has more kitchen space to work with).

Henrietta Red

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Andrew Thomas Lee
Henrietta Red

Nashville, Tennessee

Opened: February 2017

Oysters in landlocked Tennessee? If anyone could do it—and do it well—it is chef and CIA-grad Julia Sullivan and business partner, general manager, and sommelier Allie Poindexter. The restaurant, named affectionately after Sullivan’s grandparents, is situated in lively Germantown and offers a raw bar full of goodies sourced from the east and west coasts: Mystique shells from Florida, Mon Louis from Alabama, Saquish from Maryland are followed by Sea Cow, Calm Cove and Shigoku from Washington. A trip to the clean-lined, modern dining room will get you a taste of homey, yet inventive plates—from potato chips to turnip steak—paired with an approachable selection of wines and cocktails.

Palizzi Social Club

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flickr: Pikakoko
Palizzi Social Club

Philadelphia

Re-Opened: February 2017

While also not totally new to the scene—technically, the spot turns 100 in 2018—this revamped social club and Italian eatery has seen quite a year. After the passing of his uncle late last year, Joey Baldino inherited the institution and reimagined it in 2017 in a way that struck a chord with the food world. Whipping up family recipes and those of his own creation, Baldino’s menu takes diners through Italian favorites like the classic Caesar salad and grilled octopus to spaghetti with crabs and a stuffed artichoke house specialty. Unfortunately, due to the high acclaim—Bon Appetit named Palizzi one of America’s best new restaurants in 2017—getting a table at the restaurant is nearly impossible. The club has temporarily ceased taking applications for membership, which means that unless you were in—or have a friend who was in— before, you’ll need a good deal of luck to get a seat to Baldino’s table.

Palizzi Social Club

Grand Cafe

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Melissa Berg
Grand Cafe

Minneapolis

Opened: May 2017

Blush linens, gold accents, florals, and warm woods come together in this dream of a restaurant curated by Chef Jamie Malone. On the menu, you’ll find French fare resuscitated for the modern, share-dominated palate and a mostly-wine drink menu. It’s no wonder why diners in the Twin Cities have fallen so hard, so fast.

HaiSous

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Jason Little
HaiSous

Chicago

Opened: June 2017

Chef Thai and Danielle Dang are on a journey to bring authentic Vietnamese cuisine to Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. Enjoy a chef’s tasting menu for the table or select off their dinner menu featuring “for fun” tastes to specialty meat, seafood and vegetable dishes. There are beer, wine and cocktails aplenty, and Thai’s brunch menu features swoon-worthy delights like his mother’s homemade beef pho.

Vespertine

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Anne Fishbein
Vespertine

Los Angeles

Opened: July 2017

Moving away from the homey and inviting themes we’re seeing in other new restaurants on this list, Vespertine exists to disrupt, specifically “the course of the modern restaurant.” It is the brainchild of chef Jordan Kahn and moves beyond food in its exploration of art, architecture, music, and sculpture. A menu isn’t available online, but you can read the reviews to get an idea of what might be in store. To say the least, Kahn’s Culver City attraction, housed in a spaceship-like building designed by architect Eric Owen Moss, is something to be experienced.

Vespertine

Café Du Pays

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Nir Landau
Café Du Pays

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Opened: July 2017

True to its French-Canadian roots, Café Du Pays’ exclamation point–heavy website is excited to share its unassuming options like poutine, Brussels sprouts in lemon foie butter, and catch-of-the-day entrees with Bostonians. And Bostonians are excited to have them, too, with Boston Magazine naming the restaurant just “as dreamy as Justin Trudeau” in its No. 1 spot for “Top New Restaurants in Boston 2017.”

Café Du Pays

Edmund’s Oast Brewing Co.

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Robert Donovan Photography
Edmund’s Oast Brewing Co.

Charleston, South Carolina

Opened: September 2017

Following the success of seasonally driven restaurant Edmund’s Oast, which opened in 2014, operating partner Scott Shor opened Edmund’s Oast Brewing Co. in the fall of 2017 less than a mile away. The square-footage at this location is primarily dedicated to the production brewery, but its onsite taproom and restaurant has received a good deal of buzz for its continuation of Edmund’s Oast’s quality approach in a more casual atmosphere. Wood-fired pizza and clams find their place beside homemade hot dogs and a butcher plate of meats, pickles, and bread. There’s a kids’ menu for the little ones, brunch on Sundays, and the drink menu—especially the beer and whiskey offerings—is robust.