New on the Scene
Lenoir | Charleston, South Carolina
Vivian Howard’s newest restaurant opened this month in downtown Charleston to high marks from locals, critics, and TLP staffers. The North Carolina chef, cookbook author, and PBS star’s style of channeling story through food can be seen throughout the menu. And, you’ll find similarities to her flagship restaurant Chef & the Farmer in Kinston, North Carolina, but with a decidedly Lowcountry slant thanks to executive chef Tyson Detzler’s influence. Look for Howard’s signature blueberry barbecue chicken wings updated with benne seed, local crudo with buttermilk nuoc cham, butterbean agnolotti in a country ham broth, and pork sausage with lemongrass and shrimp paste on the menu. Belly up to the wraparound bar stacked with Southern cookbooks or grab a seat in the wine garden for a cocktail composed of locally-made spirits.
Botánico Gin & Cookhouse | Miami, Florida
Miami gets its first gin-centric eatery this spring with the arrival of Botánico from partners Ricardo Ordoñez and Chef Gerardo B. De Negri in the heart of Coconut Grove. For the food at Botánico, De Negri employs his classic French training to create an upscale yet approachable menu with standouts like goat cheese dip; octopus carpaccio; arepas topped with duck confit, short rib, and pulled pork; grilled branzino with roasted vegetables; a French burger served on a croissant bun; and Ecuadorian ceviche—a family recipe passed down to Ordoñez from his mom—made with fresh shrimp marinated in a flavorful tomato-lime base with onions and cilantro. As the name suggests, Botánico will offer an extensive gin-focused cocktail menu in addition to a well-stocked full bar menu. And guests can choose from fifteen Gin & Tonic botanical variations, including cucumber jelly & lime twist; green apple & thyme; grapes & crystalized ginger; and lavender & lemon twist.
CAMP | Greenville, South Carolina
French-Laundry alum Drew Erikson returns to his hometown to open his own restaurant CAMP this May, bringing a modern American eatery to Greenville. He aims to introduce new spins on American classics, with a menu reflecting the melting pot of global flavors and cultures. Think wagyu beef corndogs, french onion dip with homemade chips and caviar, crispy mussels, blue crab beignets, and a brisket deckle en tomatado dish from sous chef Diego Campo’s upbringing in Puebla, Mexico.
La Traila BBQ | Miami, Florida
La Traila BBQ, Miami’s genuine Texas-style craft barbecue pit spot, is set to open its first brick-and-mortar location next month. Founded by Austin native and pit master Mel Rodriguez and Miami native/Buffalo Bills wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie, the hotly anticipated spot will serve smoked items like Brisket Sundae with a mac and cheese base that’s layered with baked beans and cream corn then topped with smoked brisket, cotija cheese, crema, and house sauce, as well as platters and meat by the pound like smoked pulled pork, smoked sausage, pork spare ribs, and Texas-style brisket. For some Miami-Texas fusion, there will be brisket y queso empanadas and smoked pork rib croquettes.
Locust | Nashville, Tennessee
Locust from The Catbird Seat alum Trevor Moran, opened for takeout last fall amid Covid concerns and has now opened for indoor dining. The menu at Locust, which is centered around dumplings, hand-cut noodles, and shaved ice, also features cold, refreshing highballs as well as a variety of sake options chosen by general manager and sake sommelier Kynsey Hunter.
Shelter Wynwood | Miami, Florida
Brooklyn’s acclaimed wood-fired restaurant and bar transports its woodsy, “hunting lodge chic” style to South Florida with the recent opening of Shelter Wynwood. Overflowing with delicious, rustic fare, informed by its creators’ Italian and Argentine roots and fueled by a wood-burning oven, the bold menu ranges from starters like steamed mussels and crispy artichokes to ruffled mac and cheese and fresh ceviche mixto. Pizzas, available gluten free if desired, are a fixture here. Expect rustic mains like a roasted half-chicken and a parillada for two—ribeye, chorizo, morcilla, skirt steak, chicken—served with roasted vegetables and fries.
Kinship Butcher and Sundry | Atlanta, Georgia
New to the Virginia Highlands neighborhood is Kinship Butcher and Sundry opening this summer as a hybrid butchery, market, wine shop, and cafe with chef-driven bites from Myles Moody and Rachael Pack. The F&B all-star pair bring impressive resumes to their new venture–Myles trained in NYC Michelin-starred restaurants Blue Hill, Eleven Madison Park, and Aska, while Rachael is a former cook, food writer, and sommelier. The spot will also be home to exceptional specialty coffee shop Academy Coffee run by Myles’ brother Connan Moody.
Longboard | Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina
This is the second outpost of the U.S. Virgin Island eatery that aims to meld the tropical flavors of US Virgin Island with the Lowcountry style of Sullivan’s Island for refined, coastal fare. Opening early this summer, the kitchen, helmed by chef Will Fincher, will produce Caribbean-inspired dishes based on fresh and obscure seafood, various items from Lowcountry farms and fishermen, and tropical produce. The beverage program will feature tropical craft cocktails made from fresh juices and housemade syrups, local kombucha, and a focused wine menu.
Abba Telavivian Kitchen | Miami, Florida
Abba Telavivian Kitchen, a chic Israeli-inspired restaurant from hospitality entrepreneurs Omer Horev and Sam Gorenstein, opened last month in Miami Beach’s South of Fifth neighborhood. Abba brings the flavors of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine to Miami–Gorenstein’s imprint can be found in many of the Syrian and Latin flavors on the menu, while Horev’s Moroccan roots are the inspiration for several dishes as well. Plates go beyond typical American expectations of Middle Eastern menus and feature dishes one would find in a café in Tel Aviv—fresh food that showcases the melting pot of flavors from the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe. The restaurant currently serves breakfast and lunch, with dinner planned for the future, as well as a sunset menu featuring nisnushim (snacks) such as arak-cured salmon and soft egg and garbanzo hummus. Stop in for coffee or tea, and pick up a Jerusalem bagel or nutella babka for later.
Two Graces | St. Petersburg, Florida
Outdoor dining concept Two Graces is set to open this month bringing Mediterranean flavors in a casual atmosphere. The outdoor, garden-focused concept is the third by co-owners Lisa Masterson and Marlin Kaplan, the latter helming the sustainable kitchen. The menu will be driven by an on-site gardens where in-house horticulturist Maggie Jenson is growing one hundred different types of vegetables in addition to sugar cane, fruits, and tree nuts to be utilized by the kitchen and organic beverage programs. The 100-seat outdoor space situated among 100-year-old live oak trees is the epitome of ambiance, only matched by the trellis-covered indoor space and chef’s counter.
- by Erin Byers Murray
- by Amber Chase