Hundreds of thousands of restaurants debut around the world every year, but only the tiniest fraction can inspire otherwise sane people to wait breathlessly, camp out for hours or generally lose their minds. At the moment, we admit we're salivating to be first in line to try all the things at these upcoming spots.
1. 108, Copenhagen
Copenhagen’s Noma, loudly considered to be one of the best restaurants on the planet (and slated to close in late 2016 and morph into an urban-farm-restaurant), is spinning off a casual cafe in the meantime. Due in spring, 108 will serve deliciously fussy-sounding dishes like caramelized milk skin with braised veal tongue and watercress, grilled pork belly with gooseberries and fresh pine, and cabbage with sauteed pigtails and spicy herbs. It's billed as an assuming neighborhood spot, but we'll believe that when we see it.
2. LocoL, Los Angeles area
Roy Choi, the pioneering restaurateur and founder of L.A.'s Kogi taco truck, and Daniel Patterson, one of San Francisco’s most celebrated chefs and restaurateurs, would appear to have little in common on the surface. But they’ve been united in an ambitious goal to revolutionize the quick-service food industry with LocoL, which will launch early this year in the L.A. area (in Watts) and in San Francisco. Their radical idea is simply to make fast food extremely healthy and delicious. Granted, they won't be the first—but judging from the looks of some of those (um, healthy!) grilled sandwiches, they stand a good chance of killing it.
3. Pharmacy 2, London
Iconic artist Damien Hirst ran a conceptual restaurant called Pharmacy in London from 1998-2003, and he has announced that he’ll open Pharmacy 2 at London’s Newport Street Gallery later this year. No word yet on whether it will have the same type of bare-bones decor or clinically themed staff uniforms, but the London Evening Standard speculates that it could be a gallery canteen by day and a full-service restaurant at night.
Nobu Matsuhisa has been absent from the Paris scene since closing Nobu in 2003 after a two-year run, but the city appears eager for his imminent return. According to French newspaper Le Figaro, Matsuhisa will open Matsuhisa Paris in February inside the luxury boutique hotel Le Royal Monceau, where he plans to unleash “a very personal interpretation of Asian cuisine.”
5. Eggslut, Las Vegas
Residents of downtown Los Angeles swear by the breakfast sandwiches and the signature Slut (poached egg with whipped potato and toast) at this breakfast and lunch counter inside the Grand Central Market, and now Eggslut is headed to Las Vegas. The opening date has yet to be confirmed, but chef Alvin Cailan teased to Eater Vegas that, unlike the original location, the new branch at the Cosmopolitan Hotel might be open late-night.
6. Nordic Food Hall, New York City
Manhattan’s sprawling Grand Central Terminal will soon be home to a 5,000-square-foot Nordic food hall from Noma co-owner Claus Meyer. An adjacent restaurant, planned for early 2016, will be helmed by top Icelandic chef Gunnar Gislason. Both will highlight food made with both local and Nordic ingredients using Scandinavian culinary techniques such as smoking, curing and pickling. It's about time Grand Central, one of New York City’s true international crossroads and a food destination in its own right, got some Scandinavian action.
Eater National predicts that Single Thread Farms Restaurant & Inn in Northern California wine country will be the biggest opening of 2016. Chef Kyle Connaughton has an extensive background cooking with Japanese, French and American chefs, and a bounty of produce at his disposal, some of which he’s growing himself. Barring any potential delays, the 55-seat restaurant with five suites could be open before spring.
8. The Halal Guys, Berkeley, CA
A New York City food truck known for its gyros, chicken-and-rice and interminable lines is branching out for the first time in its 25 years, with a forthcoming Berkeley location that will no doubt have University of California students queuing up too. Since restaurants that serve Halal food, which is prepared under Islamic dietary guidelines, are facing growing international demand, more Halal Guys franchises are planned for cities including Las Vegas, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Toronto, Kuala Lumpur and Manila.
9. Zauo, New York City
Asian restaurants where you grill or cook your own food at the table are not new to America, but New Yorkers will be the first diners Stateside to get to actually catch their own fish inside a restaurant when Japanese chain Zauo opens in the city. Company president Kazuhisa Takahashi blogged that he has been taking his time to make sure he finds the right conditions, but he promises that a New York City launch is definitely in the works. Whether this will finally come together before the end of 2016 is still unclear, but we're brushing up on our fishing technique just in case.
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