We consulted our friends at Reserve again for this next post. Are you the type of couple that dreams of jetting off to Europe on a moment’s notice? Maybe it’s backpacking through Asia you crave, or sailing through the Caribbean islands, lazily lingering over a beachy drink in the briny ocean air. While we can’t all escape to our dream destinations this weekend, a few choice restaurants offer a delicious taste of adventure — enough to make us feel magically transported for an evening (and cheaper than a flight to Paris!)
New York City
At the revamped New York outpost of the San Francisco cult favorite, Chef Danny Bowien delivers his fiery, creative takes on classic brasserie fare with Asian-American flavors. The menu showcases a blend of Sichuan heat and spice, served up in a chic Lower East Side space decked out with a roomy bar, communal tables and red banquettes.
Boston-based Co-Chef/Owners Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette bring their Barcelona-style tapas bar to New York, with an eclectic menu combining regional Spanish flavors with local and market-fresh ingredients. Cocktails and wines are Spanish-focused while regional rotations explore all the bottles Spain has to offer. Located in the iconic former Nabisco Factory, the grand space exudes an industrial vibe through its brick walls and high ceilings.
Roy Choi’s first creative project in partnership with Dave Reiss challenges traditions of standard dining culture with communal picnic tables and small plates that are meant to be shared. Fresh Asian and international flavors combine at this bustling eatery, where abstract forms of Hawaiian soul food shine in creative small plates and drinks. The modern and minimal wood-paneled space is located in a repurposed Culver City IHOP and also features outdoor patio dining.
Chef Phillip Frankland Lee’s playful American dishes at this dinner-only vegan eatery in Studio City feature vegetables grown on-site and come both in 10-course tastings or a la carte forms. The rustic and spare space is decorated in earth tones and adorned with exposed wood beams.
Geja’s Cafe is a fondue restaurant with a menu composed of a variety of global cheeses and cheese fondues, and four-course premier fondue dinners. An extensive wine list –– with many selections available by-the-glass –– pays homage to the restaurant’s history as Chicago’s first wine bar. The romantic, intimate space is warm and inviting, with the sounds of Spanish music and classical guitar filling the dining room.
Chef Bill Kim reimagines Asian barbecue at bellyQ with boldly flavored, creative fare prepared with seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. Among the highlights of the minimal, industrial-chic space are a full bar lounge, built-in hibachi table grills, a spacious dining room and separate private areas (including a karaoke room). A selection of creative craft cocktails, sakes and wines accompany an unexpected array of beers.
A simple Somerville staple, Journeyman serves up New American cuisine paired with an inventive and globally influenced beverage program. Almost everything is made in-house, with offerings based on seasonal and local produce.Housed in a brick building that was previously a pasta sauce factory, the dining room feels both industrial and homey with plenty of warm reclaimed wood.
Taberna de Haro is a Brookline destination for authentic Spanish food. The comprehensive menu features classic, favorite dishes from various regions of Spain, made from imported ingredients. This award-winning restaurant dishes out tapas and entrees, late-night offerings and over 300 Spanish wines. Whether it’s a plate of Spanish seafood or a bowl of Korean spice, let the flavors and dishes at these top restaurants take you on a journey through your senses — minus the jet-lag.
Try all of these great restaurants by downloading Reserve and entering code ZOLA2015 before 11/15/15 to get $20 off your first dining experience.