At Bangkok Supper Club in New York’s West Village, you’ll notice hints of influence from the team’s popular first restaurant, Fish Cheeks. The two restaurants both present the fresh, bright flavors of Thai cuisine across several regions. But while Fish Cheeks leans into Thai comfort foods like coconut crab curry and prawn karee (a scrambled egg stir-fry), Bangkok Supper Club will experiment with different ingredients and techniques—and the focus will be on a charcoal grill, the centerpiece of the restaurant’s kitchen.
In preparation for opening, owner Jen Saesue and chef Max Wittawat went to Thailand last summer to seek inspiration. Saesue is a Bangkok-native, while Wittawat spent years training under famed Thai chef Ian Kittichai. The duo traveled across Thailand to source products like palm sugar and shrimp paste that will be on the restaurant’s opening menu.
At Xiao Ye in Portland’s Hollywood District, Louis Lin and Jolyn Chen will serve what they describe as first-generation American food. The restaurant, whose name means “midnight snack” in Mandarin, brings together influences from the Taiwanese foods of Lin and Chen’s youth, the restaurants they’ve worked at throughout their careers, and food they’ve eaten on their travels. The menu from Lin and Chen, both of Taiwanese descent, includes chicken piccata, steak lettuce wraps served ssam-style (with their take on condiments meant to replicate the flavors of Korean barbecue), and Lin’s take on fuqi feipan, a traditional Sichuan dish of offal made here with beef tongue and salsa macha. The pair met working in restaurants like Rose’s Luxury in D.C, where Lin was in the kitchen and Chen worked the dining room. Chen has since pivoted to interior design, evident in the restaurant’s fun, unfussy design which includes mismatched vintage chairs in bold colors, patterned textiles, and checkered tile floors.
When you look up from the patio at Little Coyote, you’ll be met by a very above-average view of Chattanooga’s beautiful Lookout Mountain. Even if you’re seated indoors, Little Coyote’s airy dining room is meant to match its scenic setting with terracotta tiles and lots of happy cacti. With Little Coyote, chef Erik Niel is leaning into his love of Texas barbecue and Southwestern food, as well as Cuban and Caribbean influences. He’s shaping a menu of dishes like pork collar carnitas with smoked tomatillo salsa verde and playful desserts like soft serve with key lime and graham cracker crumble. The restaurant will come to the historic St. Elmo district later this summer, led by Erik and his wife Amanda Niel. The Niels are no strangers to the Chattanooga restaurant scene—they own popular Easy Bistro & Bar and Main Street Meats, for which Erik garnered two James Beard Semifinalist nominations.
Despite the restaurant’s name, Bad Idea is set to be a very good addition to East Nashville. The new wine-centric neighborhood restaurant is housed in a former church, and comes from local wine pro Alex Burch and chef Colby Rasavong. Burch ran the wine programs at celebrated Nashville restaurants Henrietta Red and Bastion, and Rasavong has worked through chef Sean Brock’s Nashville kitchens. Burch wants people to learn more about wine while they’re at Bad Idea, whether that’s by drinking through his three curated wine lists (wine flights, a short list of wines by the glass, and a long list of bottles) or attending regional tasting dinners. As for the food, Rasavong will serve a menu of Laotian-American dishes like scallop crepes and kaya profiteroles, which some Nashville diners have already been lucky to sample at pop-ups that started last fall. There will also be new dishes, like ruby red shrimp with shiso and mung bean or swordfish belly with grits and vadouvan.