Lots of promising new restos on the horizon, starting right here in our own backyard:
Ovenbird, the open-fire concept from Birmingham, Alabama, star chef Chris Hastings, is slated to open next month at the Pepper Place market complex. The new joint will feature Southern-sourced ingredients cooked over open fire in the pan-Latin tradition. Latest word is that the space can handle about 120 covers, including 40 at an outdoor garden patio.
In Chicago, culinary superheroes Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas plan to open Roister later this summer. The new venture will be decidedly different from the elegant and refined Alinea and Next: It's meant to be loud, fun, and rustic. Whatever it turns out to be, it's a safe bet that it'll be excellent, because those guys just don't do anything halfway.
And in Durham, North Carolina, chef Andrea Reusing is extending her considerable talents to a second restaurant, opening this July. Unlike her much-loved Lantern restaurant, her new space in the boutique The Durham hotel will not be Asian-inflected.