THREE OF-THE-MOMENT EATERIES WELL WORTH FINDING
Hankering for some suburban eats? Explore these funky new worth-the-trek restaurants in urban fringe neighborhoods.
Nashville: MIRROR, 2317 12th Ave. South; (615) 383-8330
Low-slung sofas atop plush green-carpeted platforms greet you at the Mirror, housed in Nashville’s emerging 12 South district. Mirror-mosaic walls and Japanese fighting fish in mini bowls on your table amplify the way-hip groove. But the Cal-Med-Asian menu anchors the theatrics with fine flavors. Try the seared tuna with beans or the oven-roasted mussels — a culinary far cry from C&W fare.
Brooklyn: ROSE WATER, 787 Union St.; (718) 783-3800
A slice of SoHo (both of the owners worked at SoHo’s acclaimed Savoy) in Brooklyn’s residential Park Slope, Rose Water dishes up Mediterranean exotica in the form of striped bass with Moroccan spices, rump steak with cloves, and beet, feta, and shallot salad. Go hungry; the quartet of house-made breads alone warrants a trip. Finish with the artisanal cheese plate. Applaud.
Chicago: RAMBUTAN, 2049 W. Division St.; (773) 772-2727
Filipinos outnumber other Asians in Chicago, though their restaurants are few. But Rambutan in boho Wicker Park makes up for the shortage. In this 60-seater, chef Jennifer Aranas serves the Philippines’ unique Spanish-Asian fusion fare — think duck adobo and pancit noodles — filtered for lighter American palates. Small portions pay homage to Spanish tapas and to Aranas’ style. “I’d rather have three appetizers than a three-course meal,” she says.