The proprietors of this Mexican chain, primarily located downtown, thought it unfair to deny the denizens of the upper regions of our fair city the opportunity to drink one too many margaritas. So, they brought their restaurant to the Upper East Side, where their menu uses ingredients primarily imported from the backyard of the owner's mother. That's a kitchen that earns the idea of "home grown!"
Blu Cafe by Tavalon
Opening: Mid-Late April
120 Riverside Blvd / Upper East Side
Flying in from South Korea, the minds behind Tavalon will be opening their first U.S. storefront. Offering options such as peachy oolong while sharing a glass wall with a real estate agency, patrons can sip on exotic concoctions while simultaneously searching for the perfectly affordable studio space in Soho (which, as we all know, will never be found).
Frog N Snail
Opened: March 30
3124 N Broadway / Lakeview
Upset Dale Levitski didn't take home top honors on "Top Chef?" You can show your support by visiting his new restaurant Frog N Snail, which aims to make you rethink everything you know about French-American. With a prix-fixe bistro menu that adheres to the idea of flavor math, or the perfect balance of taste, texture, and temperature, expect this restaurant to have legs (Get it… frog legs? I'll be here all week.).
Opening: April 22nd
415 New Jersey Avenue NW / Capitol Hill
When it comes to preparing the finest pork around, Cochon knows a few things. At least five, as that's how many chefs will be competing to serve the finest swine in our nation's capital. Guests get to sample and judge, along with guest celebrity judges, and the winner competes in the Grand Cochon event in Aspen Co. If the smells don't lure you through your doors, maybe the healthy sense of culinary competition will.
Opening: April 19-May 5
3407 Connecticut Ave NW / Cleveland Park
While not technically a true restaurant opening, "Top Chef" alum Mike Isabella will be showing off his new modern Mexican cooking chops in Cleveland Park's Tackle Box. The five-course menu will offer the standard dips and tacos, but the real thing to look out for will be the prickly pear margarita.