Where to dine this season? Try this trio of coast-to-coast newcomers

NEW YORK: Washington Park, 24 Fifth Ave., (212) 529-4400
Chef Jonathan Waxman, who introduced Manhattan to California-fresh cuisine in the ’80s, cooks again after a decade-plus hiatus. In view of Washington Square Park, his new Greenwich Village eatery evokes a casual West Coast spirit in sunny lemon walls, rattan chairs, and a bustling open kitchen. The seasonal menu morphs nightly, though Waxman fans can always get two classic dishes: smoked salmon on red-pepper pancakes and grilled chicken with fries.

SAN DIEGO: Arterra (pictured), 11966 El Camino Real, (858) 369-6032
California’s überchef Bradley Ogden opens yet another tasty outlet in Arterra. The new venue, in the San Diego Marriott Del Mar, trumpets Ogden’s farm-fresh, in-season food, culling choice produce from the renowned Chino Farms nearby. Roast guinea hen with herb-potato dumplings and filet mignon with Pinot Noir sauce typify the oft-changing menu. Take advantage of the SoCal weather by dining on the terrace, romanced by a wood-burning fireplace.

WASHINGTON, D.C.: 15 Ria, 2525 Rhode Island Ave., (202) 742-0015
Myriad Restaurant Group, the folks behind Nobu, Tribeca Grill, and other New York hot spots, makes capital gains with the opening of 15 Ria in the new Washington Terrace Hotel. In retro digs highlighted by a limestone fireplace, chef Jamie Leeds serves modern American comfort food à la crispy oven-fried pecan chicken, jalapeno hush puppies, and onion-smothered pork chops. The adjoining bar pours a whopping 25 bourbons.