The beach comes first on most summertime must-do lists, but some of this season’s most scorching heat is coming from new kitchens cropping up around the country. So, pull your toes out of the sand and bask in the glow of hot chefs and cold craft cocktails at these six essential restaurants. Just remember to put your sandals on first.
Unveiled in May at Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star resort The Broadmoor, Ristorante Del Lago’s interior was inspired by Lake Como’s countryside. Famed hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany brought the idea to life with reclaimed materials from Italian villas. As for the culinary creations at the 148-seat restaurant, they’re conceived by executive sous chef David Patterson and chef de cuisine Justin Miller. Dishes reflect the design’s casual sophistication, encompassing the culinary traditions of Italy with vitello tonnato, a Piedmontese veal appetizer, and housemade sausages with red peppers. Exposed wooden beams and a retractable glass wall overlooking the Rocky Mountains make it easy for you to relax into a leisurely meal. A charcuterie course from the temperature-controlled salumi and cheese room, and a grappa or an Amari from the digestif cart only help to complete the mood.
Love chef Tim Graham’s modern take on Mediterranean fare at Travelle? His new, intimate concept at The Langham, Chicago, which sits right on the waterfront between the State and Wabash bridges, serves up creative taco fillings (such as crispy chickpeas or piri piri chicken) either folded into flatbread or served on a bed of greens. Bring a group, because while three tacos are fun, a dozen spread across the table is a mini fiesta. (Want a real party? Thanks to strategically placed jam boxes around the establishment, you can choose your own music.) Housemade sauces that range from mild to blazing will leave you thirsting for one of Elle’s punchbowls — a heaping Better Than a Bradford (Tanqueray, watermelon, basil, lemon) serves six and can arrive topped with prosecco.
Just below Central Park, in new luxury lifestyle hotel The Quin, sits the Wayfarer. The two-level space is reminiscent of old New York clubs that were all the rage a century ago. Leather banquettes and vintage lighting in a plush dining room and lounge help the vision. Serving 22-ounce rib-eyes and locally sourced catches, executive chef Braden Reardon’s menu combines steak tartare and seafood towers made of oysters and clams, with the more unexpected pickled beets and braised bacon. Mixologist Christian Sanders, of Evelyn Drinkery fame, crafted the cocktail list.
The food and fashion marketplace mash-up “combining retail, restaurant and café” has been the city’s most-anticipated opening since rumors swirled of its planning more than two years ago. The brainchild of chef Eric Bruner-Yang of Toki Underground and Will Sharp of the Durkl clothing line, the H Street NE space will house several of Washington’s best food artisans, including Frenchie’s Bakery, Vigilante Coffee and Bruner-Yang’s famed Cambodian sandwiches when it (hopefully) opens in late summer. Though design details have been vague, expect the spot to be a modern reinterpretation of an Asian night market.
Just opened on June 26, the 10,000-square-foot, three-level eatery on Chicago’s Gold Coast brings the olive-oil-centric restaurant’s Mediterranean food to the Midwest. At the oasis meant to resemble the French Riviera (limestone, stucco walls and a top-level garden terrace), servers deliver fresh and seasonal dishes such as zucchini carpaccio and paella del mar with a choice of three distinct olive oils. Savor executive chef Pascal Lorange’s selections with a glass of heart-friendly red wine or, our choice, a blood orange vodka Rossellini. Two standouts you won’t find on the menu: the ground-level crostini station and linen sofas in the second-floor bar area.
The latest offering from Amy and Spike Gjerde (the team behind B-More’s beloved Woodberry Kitchen), Parts and Labor continues with a national trend toward combined restaurants and butcher shops. The Gjerdes focus on whole-animal butchery here, so along with the de rigueur organ meats, they offer unusual cuts such as plate steak. Fortunately, the menu provides recommended cooking temperature and flavor profiles. The renovated industrial building is filled with wooden tables and brick, while a sharp, attentive staff gives the restaurant warmth. A menu that also features salads, sandwiches and hearty sides such as braised collard greens offers the place some diversity. For carnivorous DIY-ers, order cuts at the adjacent counter to experiment at home.
Photo Courtesy of The Wayfarer