The Most Exciting Restaurants of 2018

From the food documentaries on Netflix to the cooking classes that are taking over many large cities, people these days are obsessed with food. We talk about it all the time and are continually searching for the next biggest food craze.

While the majority of food trends are visible on Instagram, Twitter, and other social media (charcoal ice cream, anyone?), a much more meaningful revolution, led by a cabal of inventive young chefs, is quietly sweeping the globe. These chefs are opening restaurants with incredible menus, focused on the best ingredients prepared in new and inventive ways. These restaurants don’t necessarily open to great fanfare but should be acknowledged nonetheless.

We’ve put together a list of some of the most exciting restaurants in the world, driven by some of the world’s best chefs.

Nusr-Et Steakhouse – New York City

You may not have heard of Nusret Gökçe by name, but you’ll probably recognize him by his nickname, Salt Bae. A chef and butcher by trade, he opened his first restaurant in Istanbul in 2010, and is well-known for his trademark salting technique, which he does with theatrical flair over mouth-watering cuts of meat. According to Nusr-Et’s website, there are many locations including Dubai, Doha, Miami and most recently, New York City — it’s this location that “Salt Bae” is best know and helped to put his Nuse-Et Steakhouse on the map.  If you want to see the viral meme in person, New York City is where you need to go.

Il Santo Bevitore – Florence

Florence is known for its classic Italian osteria cuisine — simple foods from the countryside that complement local wines. Open since 2002, Il Santo Bevitore has been in the vanguard of exciting Italian restaurants for 15 years. Proprietors Marco and Martina Baldesi and Stefano Sebastiani, Il Santo Bevitore serves Mediterranean-inspired dishes but with a modern twist.

Pastas are made from scratch just the way nonna would but feature unique ingredients like N’nduja sausage and Jerusalem artichoke. Their wine list features over 100 bottles from producers all around Italy. In a city where most restaurants cater to busy tourists, Il Santo Bevitore stands out for the clean, sleek lines of their dining space and the delicious simplicity of their food.

The Lobster Club – New York City

The Lobster Club was opened in the Seagram Building in late 2017 and was the third restaurant put into that space by restauranteurs the Major Food Group. From the unusual pink chairs that look exactly like lips to the Japanese-American fusion cuisine, The Lobster Club was designed to bring diners to the point of sensory overload. Chef Tasuku Murakami, who is known for his sushi artistry, is expanding his skills with a menu full of seafood and steak cooked on a teppan grill, most often seen at Benihana. The owners encourage patrons to order a multitude of small plates, and share them all together, a la dim sum.

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