As food has become a main event globally, even making its way into famed Madison Avenue holiday windows
, it’s no longer just what’s on the menu that’s compelling restaurant patrons. While name chefs
and farm-to-table ethos
are still luring foodies to the table, there are a growing number of innovative restaurateurs devising new concepts in dining out. Here’s a look at the latest restaurants based on big ideas rather than particular cuisines.
: Proof that dining has become a form of entertainment akin to music or theatre, Test Kitchen is as much a venue for culinary performance as it is a restaurant. “The most interesting opening of the season,” proclaimed LA Weekly
. Test Kitchen boasts a different visiting chef every night in a manner similar to how rock clubs book new acts each evening. A small staff of expert mixologists
creates the appropriate beverage pairings for each chef’s unique menu. Of course, just as clubs need sound engineers to ensure the best performances possible, Test Kitchen also has an offstage leader, chef/owner Ricardo Zarate
, who works with each visiting chef to ensure the nightly transitions are as smooth as the meals are delicious.
The Loft Project
: The private supper club trend
has emerged from the underground. Consisting solely of one communal table that seats 16 guests, The Loft Project is affording London’s gastronomes the intimacy of a home dinner party—but with the marquee talent of Michelin star restaurant chefs. First established as a personal test kitchen-cum-pop-up supper club, chef Nuno Mendes has since transformed the experiment into a sort of culinary gallery where international young talent from premiere kitchens can take up residency. Past talent includes Ola Rudin (WD-50
) and Samuel Miller (Noma
). Next month will see chef Magnus Nillson
introducing guests to the signature foraged feasts of his restaurant, Fäviken Magasinet
. His creations are likely to be more refined than that of his country’s most widely recognized chef