Best New Restaurants
Alma de Cuba This is Cuba as it might look in a prosperous, post-Fidel era. The glowing red bar and wall- projected photos of la vida in Havana set the tone. The Nuevo Latino foodsugarcane-skewered tuna, rum-cured smoked marlin served in small taco shells made of malanga, a root vegetablecomes courtesy of New York superchef Douglas Rodriguez, who teams up with Stephen Starr, one of the city's most prolific restaurateurs (1623 Walnut St.; 215-988-1799).
Morimoto The pyrotechnic cuisine of Masaharu Morimoto gets the theatrical setting it deserves from hotshot designer Karim Rashid. With his first restaurant project, Rashid goes for a dazzling effect: wavy walls, an undulating ceiling. In partnership with, yes, Stephen Starr, Morimoto lives up to his pedigree as an exIron Chef and Nobu acolyte, with such New Japanese combinations as 10-hour-braised pork belly with hot rice porridge, an addictive rock-shrimp tempura with a red chilemiso aioli, and Nobu-inspired oil-seared sashimi (723 Chestnut St.; 215-413-9070).