New U.S. Restaurants Sizzle for Spring
In South Florida, the much-anticipated St. Regis Bal Harbour opened its doors this year with a showy installment of J&G Grill. The design comes compliments of the Seiger Suarez Architectural Partnership, with dramatic interiors by Yabu Pushelberg (whose work can also be seen at Tribeca's Smyth Hotel and W Hotel Times Square). There are J&G Steakhouse installments from Phoenix, Ariz., to D.C.: this is the first Jean-Georges Vongerichten eatery at the beach, and it comes with an floor-to-ceiling windows that loom out over a beachfront pool and palm-strewn Atlantic. While a fancy destination for dinner, the views (not to mention dishes such as spring pea soup with sourdough croutons, black truffle and Fontina cheese pizza and center-cut filet mignon with heaping sauteed Maitake mushrooms with a drizzling of lime) make it a perfect post-shopping lunch.
In Chicago, Nellcote occupies the former Marche restaurant space on Randolph Street. It's become the hottest restaurant reservation in town. Owned by the Element Collective, which also operates Chicago's popular Socialista, Nellcote is inspired by an infamous mansion along the French Riviera known for its Belle Epoque revival style and as a popular romping place for the Rolling Stones in the '70s. Nellcote has a grand dining room that mixes concrete and iron with more refined details, such as Louis XVI chairs, crystal chandeliers and white-washed herringbone floors fit for modern-day Marie Antoinettes and even Taylor Momsen -- who recently did a late-night DJ set. But chef Jared Van Camp is king here, and a worthy one at that. He watches over a refined menu with French, Italian and Spanish influences, but translated through ingredients sourced exclusively from the Midwest.