They're some of the hottest names on the social circuit -- celebrity chefs. They probably didn't get where they are by sitting back and relaxing, so why not open a new restaurant? Here are some of the most exciting new restaurants being opened by celebrity chefs.
Carnevino -- Las Vegas
Thought The Venetian Las Vegas was big enough? Here comes the latest expansion, Palazzo Resort and Hotel, with a new lineup of celebrity chefs and restaurants to prevent guests from ever wanting to leave the premises. While Charlie Trotter and Wolfgang Puck set up franchises of existing Trotter and CUT steakhouses, it's Mario Batali and winemaker Joe Bastianich that are making the biggest headlines these days, with the all-new Carnevino.
The name combines two essential ingredients -- top-notch American beef and a much-touted international wine list. The space, located next to Batali's B&B Ristorante, is decorated in classic Italian style with 16-foot ceilings, polished wood veneers and generous use of imported marble. Look for a menu of steakhouse fare mixed with Italian touches like shaved Alba truffles, homemade pastas and intricate vegetable sides.
PaperFish -- Beverly Hills
If Hollywood had a cafeteria, this would be it. Located on the former Maple Drive, PaperFish has been hallowed lunch ground for the likes of Michael Ovitz. Attached to a midrise office building, the restaurant's exterior looks more like an overgrown office park than a hip L.A. eatery. Inside, however, restaurateur Joachim Splichal of Patina and Pinot fame debuts a brand-new concept restaurant that's more chic than anyone imagined.
The interior space is bright and bold, featuring several separate dining areas, each offering a different design aesthetic. The largest dining room features a long bar area with an interwoven metal wine rack surrounded by glass windows and orange-upholstered walls. Pod-like chairs offer a Jetsons-inflected seating experience for those not lucky enough to land one of the circular red booths. It's a seafood restaurant, and the house specialty is a snapper cooked in parchment -- hence the restaurant's name -- served tableside.
Maison d' Azur -- Miami
Located at the new Angler's Hotel, this glamorous seafood eatery mixes traditional Parisian brasserie with the sexy ambiance of the Cote d'Azur. New York husband-and-wife restaurateurs Stephan Fortier and Tove Nord, formerly of Piazza Notte and Loft, create a moody and sexy dining destination that's convenient to Lincoln Road and near Ocean Drive.
The interior features an indoor and outdoor layout of covered patios and cozy beach-chic décor. Weathered antique tables with crisp white linens create a textured, almost vintage vibe accented by DJs spinning sexy lounge anthems. For those on a liquid diet, a full bar pours a cocktail menu derived from seasonally inspired fruit and exotic alcohol.
Social -- Aspen
Located on Aspen's restaurant row, this two-story restaurant and lounge has a reservation calendar filled by village trendsetters. Created by local restaurateur Tommy Tolleson, owner of Elevation just next door, the restaurant is designed to fill a missing niche in a local dining scene more geared toward complicated European cuisine.
The two-story space is decorated with sleek, modern furnishings with heavy use of leather, translucent glass and shiny metals. The lower level is home to the main restaurant, with its lengthy tapas menu and global-influenced cuisine. Upstairs is the wine bar and lounge, the scene of late-night romps by visiting celebrities and moneyed locals looking for a laid-back hideaway.
Bar Boulud -- New York
Located across from Lincoln Center, this casual wine bar and bistro by Daniel Boulud looks to mixfine cuisine in a dressed-up gastropub environment. The space is conceived around a central cave a vin adjoining three private dining rooms available for private parties and events. A separate patio area along Broadway is available for outdoor dining and weekend brunch.
A lunch and dinner menu begins with what Boulud hopes are the greatest charcuterie plates ever assembled. They include a delicate selection of terrines and pates assembled at a wrap-around charcuterie bar with communal seating. The full menu includes Parisian bistro specialties like soupe de poisson, braised lamb, classic fillets and lapin chasseur.
Frontera Fresco -- San Francisco
Once a staple of every great department store, the in-store restaurant is quickly becoming anendangered species. San Francisco, however, has remained steadfast, with enduring eateries atop Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom's(JWN)at San Francisco Center. Macy's (M) Union Square is once again joining the gourmet scene with a basement outpost Frontera Fresco.
This upscale counter restaurant from Chicago's Rick Bayless, the chef-owner of both Frontera Grill and Topolobampo, offers a gourmet spin on traditional Mexican foods typical of local street vendors. With no more than fifteen tables and a thriving to-go business, look for fine presentations of Mexican tortas, huaraches and handmade tamales as well as exquisitely stuffed quesadillas topped with house-made salsas and guacamole.
Bourbon Steak -- Scottsdale
We love him in New York, flock to him in Vegas, and even planned a summer weekend around his outpost in Orange County. Now Michael Mina sets up his famed kitchen in the newly renovated Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Arizona. With locations in Miami and Detroit, Bourbon Steak is the newest concept from the legendary chef who mixes elements of Egyptian and traditional American cooking in his signature restaurants nationwide.
Located off the main lobby of the resort, the restaurant features a Southwest design of local flagstone and juniper woods. It's a contemporary American steakhouse with heavy use of Japanese and domestic Kobe beef for succulent presentations of ribeye, filet mignon and T-bone specialties. Look for addictive sides like duck confit fries and lobster pot pies, as well as a cheesy spinach soufflé for non-carnivores.