Emerging Brands

Tao Group and Groot Hospitality meet in Miami and more noteworthy openings

Detroit's Book Tower comes to fruition. Fontainebleau resorts bring big name chefs to Miami and Las Vegas. And Marcus Samuelsson's latest opens in New York. Here are the seasons new restaurants—and some closures.
Metropolis arctic char
The Arctic Char at Marcus Samuelsson's new Metropolis. | Photo courtesy of Andy Thomas Lee.

Tao Group Hospitality is getting its first taste of the Miami market with the new Casadonna on Biscayne Bay, a concept developed in partnership with the famed local Groot Hospitality, which is known for concepts like Komodo, Swan and Papi Steak (several of which are on this year’s Top 100 independent restaurant list).

With more than 300 seats in a historic building that was home to the Miami Women’s Club, Casadonna has a number of indoor and outdoor dining spaces and bars, all situated to enjoy the waterfront views.

Tao Group was acquired by Mohari Hospitality earlier this year, but co-founders Noah Tepperberg and Jason Strauss were also part of the new ownership deal.

Groot, meanwhile, is also spreading its wings and flying West to Las Vegas, where the group’s Komodo and Papi Steak concepts are expected to open at the new Fontainebleau resort on the north end of the Strip, scheduled to open in December.

The Fontainebleau planned to hire 6,500 people for the $3.7 billion Las Vegas resort, which will feature 36 food-and-beverage outlets. The website lists concepts from Los Angeles Chef Evan Funke (Mother Wolf); Hakkasan founder Alan Yau’s Chyna Club; and Cantina Contramar by chef Gabriela Cámara.

Meanwhile, back in Miami, the Fontainebleau Miami Beach has recruited famed chef Michael White to open Mirabella there.

In Detroit, the Book Tower building has been enjoying a seven-year, $400 million restoration that will bring seven new dining options to the downtown space by hospitality group Method Co. Le Suprême is an all-day French brasserie that opened in October along with rooftop bar Kamper’s and the Bar Rotunda. Coming later will be the sake pub Sakazuki, and Hiroki-San, an iteration of the group’s Hiroki in Philadelphia.

Here’s a look at some noteworthy openings this fall and winter.

Surreal

From Seven Reasons Group comes the new Surreal.|Photo courtesy of Jennifer Chase.

Surreal

Washington, D.C.

Coming soon is the latest from Seven Reasons Group (Seven Reasons, Joy, The Saga), where Chef Enrique Limardo and Ezequiel Vázquez-Ger plan to get a little wacky with an all-day venue featuring dishes like swordfish carpaccio with Flaming Hot Totopos; or a Twisted Foot Long Hotdog; alongside pastries, pastas and sandwiches.

Chez Francis

This new venue is in the space that once housed Les Halles.|Photo courtesy of Chez Francis.

Chez Francis

New York City

In the space that was once home to Les Halles, this Parisian brasserie by Francis Staub opened on Nov. 16. Staub is the creator of the eponymous enameled cast-iron cookware, and now he has shifted his focus “from the pot to its contents,” according to press materials. Overseeing the menu is Chef Jaime Loja (Brasserie Ruhlmann) who brings back the classics, from escargot and frog legs Escoffier with Grenobloise sauce, to steak frites or a whole Cornish hen served in a Staub cocotte.

Radio Star restaurant

An Italian trattoria meets 1940s diner.|Photo courtesy of Remi Amezcua.

Radio Star

Brooklyn, N.Y.

Step back into New York as it was in the 1940s at this Mediterranean restaurant and bar by Sara Conklin (Glasserie), which opened on Nov. 15 serving breakfast, lunch and dinner in a space with the original fixtures from the era. Chef Yusuf Lovett (also Glasserie) created the menu, which is described as “northern Italian trattoria meets 1940s diner.” Look for merguez in a blanket; mushroom filo pie with smoked labne; and olive oil-poached salted cod with fingerling potatoes. An oat milk-tahini shake is “spike-able” for dessert. The restaurant is deliberately “gas-free” to make a statement about moving away from fossil fuels.

The Post Room

An all-day menu serving the Beacon Grand hotel.|Photo courtesy of The Post Room.

The Post Room

San Francisco

Open Nov. 13 in the Beacon Grand hotel on Union Square, The Post Room is an all-day venue with a Mediterranean-inspired menu and live music on the weekends. Menu highlights are described as Spanish octopus with Romesco sauce; roasted whole branzino with artichoke, white beans and pesto; and Jamón Ibérico and fig salad.

Metropolis

An elegant venue for pre- and post-performance dining.|Photo courtesy of Adrian Gaut.

Metropolis

New York City

Marcus Samuelsson’s latest concept opened earlier this month in the Perelman Performing Arts Center, known as PAC, in lower Manhattan. The famed chef taps the city’s history of immigration, which has shaped the “cultural flow” of food and drink in New York. Executing the menu are Executive Chef Ed Tinoco and Chef de Cuisine Marcelo Malta Andrade, along with pastry chef Ayana Brown. There’s aged Long Island duck with foie gras and peaches; Arctic Char with uni beurre blanc; and grilled Dover sole with pomme soufflé and braised leeks.

Altair restaurant

The Salted Honey Tart at Altair. | Photo courtesy of Nicholas Lee Ruiz.

Altair

New York City

This modern American concept from Renwick Hospitality Group opened in the boutique Arlo Midtown hotel in October. Partners Chef Carsten Johannsen and Gary Wallach created a menu around the classic Greek elements of Earth, Air, Water and Fire. There is a mushroom ragu with mafaldine, ricotta and oregano; sea bass with olive, fennel and currants; and a salted honey tart for dessert.

Le Supreme restaurant

Le Suprême is among the first wave of Book Tower venues.|Photo courtesy of Method Co.

Le Suprême

Detroit

A 100-year-old skyscraper dubbed Book Tower in downtown Detroit has been undergoing a $400 million restoration, which will include a number of new food-and-drink venues developed by Method Co. In the first phase (opened in October) comes Le Suprême, a French brasserie with all-day dining and a décor inspired by the Le Mans car race (because it’s in Motor City). On the menu: seafood towers, steak au poivre, and moules frites, with a traditional absinthe service at the bar.

Irie restaurant

Hunger may be the best sauce, but cannabis helps too. |Photo courtesy of Ashley Randall.

Irie

West Hollywood, Calif.

The cannabis revolution continues in Los Angeles with the debut of PleasureMed, one of the few legal dispensaries that also features a destination restaurant called Irie (which is upstairs). On the menu are options like a dandelion and frisee Caesar bottarga; a venison burger; and the vegan Hidden Pearl Lion’s Mane cakes. “Cannaseurs,” like a sommelier but with cannabis, can help diners choose what they might like to consume.

Movida restaurant

Iran meets Mexico at this San Francisco concept. |Photo courtesy of Nader Khouri.

Movida Lounge

San Francisco

Founder Bobby Marhamat opened this Persian-Mexican fusion restaurant in October. Chef Hoss Zaré offers dishes like Pomegranate Chicken Tostada on a tortilla made with “tahdig” crispy rice; and Saffron Prawns with braised fennel, urfa biber, sumac and lime.

Enso Louisville

The new Ensō comes from the team behind North of Bourbon.|Photo courtesy of Ensō.

Ensō

Louisville, Ky.

Japanese techniques and flavors meet Southern influences at Ensō, the latest from the team behind North of Bourbon. Open in late October, this new concept from Executive Chef Lawrence Weeks offers Chili She-Crab Noodles; Japanese Potato Salad with Fat Baby sauce; and a bar program that highlights Japanese highballs, whiskeys and sake.

Casadonna Miami

This huge restaurant is a partnership between Tao Group and Groot Hospitality. | Photo courtesy of Ngoc Minh Ngo.

Casadonna

Miami

The famed Groot Hospitality (Komodo, Swan, Papi Steak) and Tao Group Hospitality (Tao Asian Bistro, Hakkasan) have joined forces for this 20,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor venue on Biscayne Bay, which opened in late October. On the menu are pastas like Campanelle Bolognese; a crudo bar with Langoustine Ceviche, tuna carpaccio or caviar; and entrees like Bistecca Fiorentina or Royal Dorade Aqua Pazza. It’s Tao Group’s first Miami location.

Mirabella

Mirabella's Gnocco Frito. | Photo courtesy of Evan Sung.

Mirabella

Miami

Chef Michael White (Fiamma Osteria, Spiaggia) launched his latest concept Mirabella in the Fontainbleau Miami Beach in October, featuring an Italian menu executed by Executive Chef Paul Keyser. Dishes like bone-in veal parmigiana; risotto di mare and plenty of seafood are offered family style.

CLOSED

The Signature Room atop what used to be known as the John Hancock building in Chicago reportedly closed in September, with owners blaming “severe economic hardship.”

Rue Lepic in San Francisco has closed after 41 years, without explanation. According to SF Gate, which cited the San Francisco Chronicle, the restaurant is expected to reopen next year under new ownership.

Animo in Sonoma, Calif., is scheduled to close after Dec. 17, but not forever. Chef Josh Smookler plans to reopen the concept in another location. Meanwhile, he is working on the new Golden Bear Station, an Italian-American concept slated to open in December.

The Palm Beverly Hills closed in October. Bruce Bozzi, whose family brought the once-iconic steakhouse from New York to the West Coast blamed current owner Landry’s Inc., saying recipes were changed and portion sizes were smaller. Landry’s bought The Palm restaurants out of bankruptcy in 2020 after a family battle.

The once three-unit Quality Eats has closed its final location in Manhattan. Owner Michael Stillman’s Quality Branded still operates several restaurants in the city, including Quality Meats (which is a Top 100 restaurant) and Bad Roman.

Here's a look at this season's openings:

 

 

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