By Carey Jones
May 24, 2014

New York City: Burrata with lox; buffalo skate wings: Amanda Freitag takes greasy-spoon food to new heights at Empire Diner ($$), a reboot of the Chelsea landmark. The 65-seat Brooklyn Fare Manhattan ($$$$) has finally opened, bringing the outer borough’s most coveted reservation to Hell’s Kitchen.

Philadelphia: Expect two spots in May from the increasingly prolific Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook (Zahav): Abe Fisher ($$$), inspired by Jewish cuisine from Europe, the U.S., and Canada, and the casual Israeli-style hummusiya Dizengoff ($).

Savannah, Georgia: James Beard Award winner Hugh Acheson is expanding his mini empire this month with the Florence, an Italian restaurant starring Southern ingredients and a hand-built oven by Stefano Ferrar, a Stradivari of pizza masonry. $$

New Orleans: You’ll find first-class pies at Pizza Domenica (pictured) on Magazine Street, a counter-service offshoot of John Besh and Alon Shaya’s Roosevelt Hotel original. Try the Bolzano: roasted pork shoulder, fennel, bacon, and sweet onions. $$

Los Angeles: In the 1940’s, blue-and-yellow Helms Bakery trucks delivered fresh-baked goods to front doors all over SoCal. Today, the former headquarters in Culver City houses restaurants, furniture showrooms, and, soon, the revived Helms Bakery & Marketplace, from Sang Yoon (Father’s Office) and pastry chef Sherry Yard (Spago). $

San Francisco: Corey Lee found fame with his elaborate 17-course dinners at Benu, but his upcoming Monsieur Benjamin, in Hayes Valley, aims for accessibility, with extended hours (from brunch until 1 a.m. on weekends) and a modern French-American bistro menu. $$

Restaurant Pricing Key
$ Less than $25
$$ $25 to $75
$$$ $75 to $150
$$$$ More than $150