Put these spots on your radar, and get excited.

By Maria Yagoda
Updated February 25, 2020

The best part of winter ending, aside from longer days and shorter jackets, is the return of spring dining. Not only do we feel more inclined to venture out for dinner when it's brighter and marginally warmer, but we're also enticed by a flurry of new openings. This spring, several highly anticipated concepts are opening around the country. Here are some of the places we can't wait to visit.

Graduate Nashville

March (Houston, TX)

Opening: Spring

The latest from the Goodnight Hospitality team, the 26-seat tasting menu-only restaurant is opening upstairs from Rosie Cannonball. Chef Felipe Riccio will helm the kitchen, and master sommelier June Rodil will undoubtedly flex on the beverage program.

Lutie's (Austin, TX)

Opening: April

Located at the lush, historic Commodore Perry Estate in Central Austin, the restaurant will serve seasonal Texas cuisine, sourcing from the on-property garden and local purveyors.

LMNO (Philadelphia, PA)

Opening: Spring

Stephen Starr's big return to Philly—his first opening in the city in two years—will be a Fishtown restaurant that focuses specifically on the Baja region of Mexico.

GG’s Chicken Shop (Chicago, IL)

Opening: March

Chef Lee Wolen's fourth concept with Boka Restaurant Group, the vendor at Revival Food Hall will focus specifically on rotisserie chicken (available by the quarter, half, or whole), classic sides and salads, and a fried chicken sandwich.

Elio (Las Vegas, NV)

Opening: March 19

Enrique Olvera, Daniela Soto-Innes, and Santiago Perez are behind one of the year's most anticipated restaurants. The blockbuster aims to channel a retro sensibility at the Wynn, "inspired by the 40s and 50s, a golden age for the Mexican cinema," says Olvera.

Jônt (Washington, DC)

Opening: Spring

The tasting menu restaurant from Bresca's Michelin-star-winning Ryan Ratino will have an 18-seat chef’s counter spotlighting aged meats and fermented ingredients.

Solazo (Chicago, IL)

Opening: Mid-May

Reopening in May as a new concept, the new Solazo (from La Josie chef Pepe Barajas) will have a fresh menu and an agave-focused cocktail program.

The Optimist (Nashville, TN)

Opening: Spring

Ford Fry is taking his hit Atlanta seafood restaurant to Music City; while the second edition aims to capture the spirit of the original, it won't be an exact replica. Expect wood-grilled seafood, upgraded comfort food, and Southern ingredients. Downstairs, guests will find the adjoining craft cocktail lounge, Le Loup.

Chateau Miami (Miami, FL)

Opening: Spring

Housed in the historic Chateau Petit Douy building in Brickell, the space will show off "manicured gardens, vintage chandeliers, and verdigris conservatory," according to a release. Buccan chef Clay Conley is behind the menu.

Gigi's (Los Angeles, CA)

Opening: March

Opening on La Brea Corridor in Hollywood, the French bistro will channel a distinctly Los Angeles energy, with loads of California produce and a cozy, unpretentious atmosphere. Gigi's is the brainchild of Alex Wilmot, of the East Village burger haunt Whitman's—it's his first project out West.

Ramona (Portland, ME)

Opening: Spring

The Rose foods team is debuting an eclectic Philly-inspired sandwich shop that will be open for breakfast and lunch. (Roast pork will be on the menu, naturally.)

Miss Bessie's (Nashville, TN)

Opening: Spring

The all-pink rooftop restaurant and bar will open at the newly opened Graduate Nashville, which also has an animatronic karaoke bar, so you don't have to ever leave the property.

Peak (New York, NY) 

Opening: March 12

The latest restaurant to hit the massive, glitzy Hudson Yards dining complex is Peak, a seafood-focused concept from Seamore's alum Chris Cryer. Designed by David Rockwell, it will be located on the 101st floor of Hudson Yards, presumably offering sweeping views of the city.

Cut and Gather (North Raleigh, NC)

Opening: Spring

Former personal chef to Oprah and Top Chef alum Kenny Gilbert will focus on wood-fired barbecue and seafood. According to Eater, the menu will include smoked pork belly burnt ends with pickled pineapple, Southern ramen with pulled pork, and moonshine-based cocktails.

Khora (Cincinnati, OH)

Opening: Spring

Edward Lee and Kevin Ashworth's new restaurant will open at the forthcoming Kinley Hotel. Ashworth, who worked alongside Lee for over a decade in Louisville at 610 Magnolia, MilkWood, and Whiskey Dry, is plotting fun twists on regional classics—including a pasta inspired by Cincinnati chili. The name Khora comes from "khorasan," one of the oldest ancient grains (also known as kamut), and the menu will be pasta-driven, sourcing grains from the Ohio Valley and milled to order for the restaurant.

Vestry (New York, NY)

Opening: Spring

Award-winning fine-dining wiz Shaun Hergatt will make his long-awaited return to NYC with Vestry, the signature restaurant at the Dominick Hotel. The dinner-only menu is "inspired by the modern wave of abstract American cooking," according to a release, and will emphasize seafood and vegetable dishes.

Locust (Nashville, TN)

Estimated opening: March

Noma and The Catbird Seat alum Trevor Moran is opening a more permanent version of his kakigori (Japanese shaved ice) pop-ups, with rotating savory items like dumplings.

The Slanted Door (Las Vegas, NV)

Opening: Early March

Chef Charles Phan's first project outside of the Bay Area, the modern Vietnamese restaurant will serve many of his signature dishes, including crispy imperial rolls and shaking beef. Located at street level at Caesar's Palace.

Torch and Crown (New York, NY)

Opening: Spring

When it opens in Soho, Torch and Crown will be the only production brewery in Manhattan, and the tri-level space will house a restaurant, outdoor beer garden, subterranean fermenters, and bar area.

Karazishi Botan (New York, NY)

Opening: February 27, with lunch menu in spring

Ramen legend Foo Kanegae is debuting a cozy, wildly inventive "ramen diner" in Brooklyn's Carroll Gardens neighborhood. This will mark the Ippudo ramen master's first solo venture, featuring shareable non-noodle dishes like crispy wings and soy-braised spare ribs.

Nakaji (New York, NY)

Opening: March 3

Third generation "edokko" sushi chef Kunihide Nakajima, who was born and raised in Tokyo, is debuting his first solo concept at 48 Bowery. He'll source fish from Tokyo’s famed Toyosu Fish Market, as well as from the Bronx’s New Fulton Fish Market.

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