8 New Restaurants On Our Radar

By: makenna.Kaminski

Purl | Washington, DC

A recent addition to the H Street Corridor, Purl opened its doors in Washington, DC, this past June. The American comfort food restaurant provides guests with nostalgic twists on classic dishes and cocktails by integrating a blend of South American and Portuguese influences, flavors, and traditions. Their name comes from a famous 19th-century beverage sold on the streets of London, and the restaurant itself is set inside of a beautiful 1912 two-story townhouse with a color-popped interior.

Purl’s menu offers enticing items such as the Portuguese inspired piri-piri chicken with sweet potato mash and broccolini, and a homemade 1990s-style rainbow sprinkle cake. Their cocktail menu is equally desirable, with inventive candy-inspired adult drinks such as the Nerds-and-coconut-foam-topped mezcal Bitter Fruitopia and Root Beer Flip, made with Dewar’s whiskey and finished with a playful root beer Dum Dum pop on top.

Image courtesy of Julie Soefer

Elro Pizza | Houston

Terrence Gallivan, the former chef and owner of The Pass and Provisions, opened Houston’s newest neighborhood pizzeria earlier this summer. Elro Pizza, named for Gallivan’s children Eleanor and Ronan, is housed in a 1928 bungalow and serves up a wide selection of eats. Paying homage to its historic roots, the house welcomes guests into an intimate space that playfully resembles the feeling of coming into a friend’s home. Their outdoor patio holds vintage Salterini-style wrought iron furniture combined with fresh white paint and tropical pink fabric—the perfect backdrop for a summer meal.

Elro’s menu offers specialty pizzas, a variety of crudos, salads, snacks, and hoagies made on housemade bread. Gallivan, an experienced wine buyer, has curated a concise, curated wine list featuring everything from natural bubbles to classic benchmarks.

Regina’s | Asheville, North Carolina

Two-time James Beard Award-winning chef Elliott Moss is bringing a new touch of flavor to Asheville. Moss and his business partner, Michael Piroli, recently opened the Southern-centered restaurant Regina’s in West Asheville this past June. This anticipated foodie destination takes on a unique approach, offering guests an approachable neighborhood restaurant serving elevated classics, such as deviled crab hushpuppies with remoulade, tomato glazed meatloaf, baked ricotta gnocchi and cheese, and a Melbourne chicken parmesan inspired by the chef’s trip to Australia. The food and color-filled dining room—pink and filled with tchotchkes from Moss’s travels—isn’t the end. The restaurant also offers a reservation-only bar called Regina’s Rumpus Room, that makes the perfect intimate spot to enjoy quirky decor and comic book villain-themed cocktails.

Image courtesy of Kate Dearman

Loblolly Bakery | Hattiesburg, Mississippi

What was once an old bank is now a bright and cheerful bakery brought to life by James Beard Award-winning baker Martha Foose and restaurateur Robert St. John. Loblolly Bakery, which opened in July, celebrates the joy that baking brings through thoughtful use of Southern ingredients and classic techniques. Stop in to try a mix of French pastries and Southern favorites like butterscotch cake, purse pies, and southern Mississippi blueberry muffins. You can also take home curated pantry staples like their seasonally inspired compound butters.

Decade | Louisville, Kentucky

Decade, a neighborhood restaurant located in the Butchertown neighborhood of Louisville, Kentucky, opened its doors to the public this June. The restaurant joyfully embraces the spirit of the now-closed restaurant, Decca, which was previously owned by the same team. Decade’s fresh, bi-level space is housed in a historic 1870s building and has a bright menu to follow suit. Guests can expect menu items like vegetable-forward dishes, pastas, and plenty of local meats and fish. In addition to top-notch food and beverage, the owners envision the space to be a hub for music, art, culture, and community. They plan to display local art on the walls and offer an event space on the second floor for private parties.

Southern National | Atlanta

Earlier this summer, Atlanta welcomed the long-anticipated Southern National to its Summerhill neighborhood. The spot is owned by well-respected chef Duane Nutter and restaurateur Reggie Washington who have racked up numerous accolades over the years. The pair has received multiple James Beard Awards nominations, and they’ve already been owners of two popular restaurants in the South.

Their new location will feature Nutter’s unique culinary range, which reflects his time spent in different regions of the country. Guests can expect hints of creole influence from Louisiana, Asian-fusion from the Pacific Northwest, and an essence of Bourbon County, Kentucky. Specific menu items include a Creole cured salmon and potato blini with pineapple mascarpone, cucumber, mustard seed vinniagrette, and a berbere-spiced fried chicken thigh with coconut milk and jalapeño maque choux.

The James Andrew Cebulka
Image courtesy of Andrew Cebulka

Little Coyote | Chattanooga, Tennessee

Located at the base of the mountain in Chattanooga’s historic St. Elmo neighborhood, Little Coyote is anticipated to open later this August. The restaurant is owned and operated by chef Erik Niel and his wife Amanda Niel of Chattanooga’s Easy Bistro & Bar and Main Street Eats. Erik has taken inspiration from a mix of Texas barbecue, Cuban, Caribbean, and Southwestern cuisines to design his menu. The offerings, including smoked meats, fresh tortillas, and homemade pico de gallo, will all be served family style on vibrant plating. In addition to their savory menu and extensive list of cocktails and tequilas, Little Coyote will also offer delicious sweets, like soft serve ice cream with key lime and a graham cracker cone.

The James | Charleston

The Neighborhood Dining Group (of Husk, Delaney Oyster House, and Minero), opened its next new spot right in the heart of James Island in Charleston. The James, which opened in July, offers top-notch hospitality and acts as a gathering place for James Island residents. Executive chef and Lowcountry native Mark Keiser (formerly of Oak Steakhouse), showcases contemporary and quality American cuisine at its best. The James’ menu can be expected to offer dishes like baby back ribs, pecan crusted chicken, garlic shrimp pasta, and smaller appetizers such as French onion soup, tuna tartare, and a spinach artichoke dip.

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  • Lois H. Peterson
    August 30, 2023 at 5:21 pm

    You should check out Wallace’s at the Greenhouse in Homosassa, Florida. a Caribbean chef nailing it on the Nature Coast of Florida. Freshly prepared, great wine/foodie dinners. Probably the best chef in central Florida. Too sad so few Florida restaurants get attention other than Orlando and Miami. My husband and I are so into special wines and great but not complicated food. Wallace delivers. By the way, he does not know we are writing this message. Thanks for your great reporting.


    1. Amber Chase
      August 30, 2023 at 7:00 pm

      Thanks for your insight, Lois–We will absolutely check out Wallace’s!