Restaurant Openings: August 2019 : New Worlder

New restaurants and bars are always popping up. To save you the trouble, we’ve put together a list of noteworthy openings on the culinary scene across the Americas (and beyond). If you missed our last list (July 2019), you can check it out here.

Jungle Tiki Bar – Boulder, Colorado

The team behind Arcana restaurant has opened a contemporary tiki bar in downtown Boulder. Jungle Tiki Bar boasts a beverage program by Jake Novotny and Michael Elmore featuring tiki cocktails along with island wines sourced from producers in Canary Islands, Sicily, Tasmania, and New Zealand, among other destinations. The cocktail list offers classics such as the Mai Tai and Piña Colada along with modern “exotics” such as High off the Indo made with Indonesian rum, banana, coconut cream, fenugreek, and Thai peppercorn. The Arcana culinary team has prepared a Caribbean-inspired food menu of bar snacks and small plates, while the ambiance complements the relaxed nature of the concept with indoor and outdoor seating.  Website.

Seven Reasons – Washington, DC

Chef Enrique Limardo recently opened his first DC venture, Seven Reasons, on 14th Street NW. The Venezuelan chef spent the last five years running the kitchen at Alma Cocina Latina in Baltimore, where he met his Seven Reasons co-founder, Argentinian consultant-turned-restaurateur Ezequiel Vázquez-Ger. The menu features imaginative Latin-fusion dishes divided into seven sections: snacks, small plates, medium plates, large plates, desserts, cocktails, and wines. Chef Limardo studied architecture and design which is apparent in both the aesthetic of the physical space as well as the plating of his dishes. An outdoor patio boasts the full menu and guests can eat beneath a pastel-colored mural of a tree painted by the chef-owner himself. Website.

Boia De – Miami, Florida

Fans of La Polita, the beloved Mexican street cart in Miami’s design district, can now enjoy the culinary offerings of Luciana Giangrandi and Alex Meyer in their first brick and mortar, Boia De, which means Oh My! in Italian. Both chefs have experience working in prestigious kitchens between L.A. and New York including Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo’s Animal and Son of a Gun, Carbone, Eleven Madison Park and The Nomad in New York, where the duo met. The intimate, 24-seat restaurant in the Buena Vista neighborhood offers a menu focused on shared plates of local, seasonal ingredients. Their commitment to local resources has led them to partner with Miami neighbors including Sullivan Street Bakery, Great Circle Coffee, and Frice Cream. Website.

La Cubana – New York, New York

The Meatpacking District is now home to a Havana-inspired experience at La Cubana restaurant, located across from Chelsea Market. The newest project from chef, consultant, and Food Network personality Carl Ruiz will feature authentic Cuban cuisine such as fire-roasted calabaza, ropa vieja, and ajiaco del mar. Dinner, vintage cocktails, and live Latin music and dancing are offered Monday through Saturday starting at 5pm. Website.

Bacoa – Juncos, Puerto Rico

Three of Puerto Rico’s rising star chefs – René Marichal, Raúl Correa and Xavier Pacheco – have joined forces to open this “finca and fogón” concept in Juncos, an eighteenth century plantation town in the eastern central part of the island. Their 3.5-acre farm is anchored by a refurbished house that was nearly wiped out by Hurricane Maria and the menu centers on local, seasonal produce, fritangas, cuchifritos, and whole cooked animals on the wood hearth. Additionally, Correa has also opened a street food concept, Tía Dora, in San Juan, serving pastas, paninis, and global munchies like Korean mozzarella sticks with honey sriracha and cauliflower wings. Facebook page.

Olam/Nkiru/Vermut Bar – Santiago, Chile

The team of restaurateur Raul Yañez and chef Sergio Barroso, who run the avant garde tapas spot 040 in Santiago’s Bellavista neighborhood and have also popped up in New York city for much of 2019, have multiple openings in Santiago’s El Golf neighborhood nearing completion. Vermut Bar, Santiago’s first authentic vermouth bar with a traditional tapas menu, as well as fine dining restaurant Olam and a speakeasy called Nkiru. Instagram page.

SUR Barra Nikkei – San Juan, Puerto Rico

After staging at Lima restaurants including Astrid y Gaston and El Mercado de Rafael Osterling, chef Rafael Ubior returned to his native island to open his first brick and mortar restaurant, one that brings the flavors and history of Nikkei – Japanese-Peruvian fusion – to the Caribbean. Ceviche, tiraditos, sushi, pachamanca-style potatoes, and classic Peruvian dishes comprise the menu, while cocktails focus on sake and pisco-based drinks. Facebook Page.

Time Out New York Market — Brooklyn, New York

Having opened earlier this summer, Time Out New York’s Brooklyn market, joins Lisbon, Miami and Boston outposts and is situated at splashy 55 Water Street’s Empire Stores, located under the iconic Brooklyn Bridge. Bringing the best of fast-casual New York City to the masses — from Thai to Deli to Italian to Mexican — the new food hall features stalls from Alta Calidad (Mexican-Indian fusion), Avocaderia (avocado toasts), Ivy Stark (Mexican), and Loco Coco (superfood bowls), as well as a cocktail bar and rotating, visiting DJs. Website.

Amacita — Los Angeles, California

Located in Josef Centeno’s BacoShop in Culver City, which has closed, the chef of popular Bäco Mercat, will open Amacita, which anchors its Tex-Mex cooking to Centeno’s Bar Ama in Downtown L.A. Offering classics like queso, guacamole, and breakfast tacos, with a focus on vegetables, as well as some favorites from the BacoShop menu will round out the new spot. The Super Nacho Happy Hour from 5-7 PM at the bar and on the patio begs a visit. Website

Misía – Cartagena, Colombia

Leonor Espinosa has expanded her casual Colombian restaurant Misía from Bogotá to the Caribbean port city of Cartagena. The restaurant – which opens for breakfast on weekends with arepas, fried foods, and juices (weekends) and features popular cuisine from around the country the rest of the day – is located inside a shiny, new four level commercial and cultural center called La Serrezuela, which will also include the restaurants Bastión Bistro by Gobernador, La Enoteca, and La Gloria de Lima. Website.

Agua Fresca – Medellin, Colombia

El Cielo’s Juan Manuel Barrientos has joined forces with Mexico City chef Edgar Nuñez of Sud 777 to open this taquería and mezcalería in Medellín. For the moment, the restaurant opens in the evenings only, from 7 to 10 pm, and serves straightforward Mexican classics like tacos al pastor, gorditas, and sopa de tortilla, alongside nearly a dozen original cocktails. Instagram page.

News & Notes

Iconic Buenos Aires restaurant El Preferido de Palermo, has reopened after a five month renovation that has put Pablo Rivero and Guido Tassi, the owner and chef of Parrilla Don Julio at the helm. The pair has given it new life with a new cellar for wine and aging charcuterie, remaking an unused patio, polishing up the decór, and expanding the menu while respecting the classics.

Header image of Seven Reasons in Washington D.C. courtesy of Seven Reasons.