A full month before Spring, with post-holiday bellies still hidden under bulky winter outwear, February offers the perfect time to indulge unabashedly at some of the world's hottest new restaurants. With Valentine's Day falling on February 14th in the US, expect prix fixe menus galore at most haute NYC eateries including new Kate & Theo. Created by El Bulli/Per Se alum Chef Paras Shah, look for homemade foie gras tourchon followed by lavender poached lobster in a rustic, industrial dining room set in the Flatiron district. If you don't mind a potential lover's quarrel at the door, David Chang's Momofuku Nishi in Chelsea isn't yet taking reservations but manages sold-out seatings each night in its new concept eatery that mixes-up Korean and Italian cuisine.
In LA, you'll find Otium, next to downtown's new Broad Museum, that pits a former French Laundry sous chef against a wood fire grill with sustainable ingredients. There's also the new location of Los Angeles vet, Salt's Cure, that unites an old time butchery with paleo-practicing Hollywood hipsters. Las Vegas gets a rooftop sequel by Alain Ducasse at seafood-minded Rivea atop the Delano - providing its guests do more than just drink and look at the views. Otherwise there's Carbone, an even worthier redux of an NYC eatery, that's a bit closer to earth from prices to food to location. Glimpses of Alain Faena and his 24k gold taxidermies prove far more memorable at Faena Miami Beach and it signature Asian dining room Pao that's a lot more, like, bust. But it's in San Francisco you'll find chef Dominique Crenn's ode to Brittany at Petit Crenn that puts an affordable, still-foodie spin on prix fixe dining that makes for the perfect dinner for 2.
In London, the hottest new dining rooms are all about exclusivity. For example, look no further than the very intimate six-seat dining room at Aulis, located through the kitchen at Simon Rogan's Fera inside Claridge's. But if it's a queue you prefer outside your restaurant, famed 100 Wardour Street has been resurrected into a sexy Soho supper club by restaurateurs D&D and chef Liam Smith-Laing of Le Petite Maison. In Paris, fine dining now means throwing out the tablecloths and any stemmed glasses at a new guard of neo-bistros by chefs emancipated from the kitchens of Noma and El Bulli and into worthy new eateries like Elmer or Salt. And Berlin takes it a step further with fully open kitchens and dishwashing by hand at Industry Standard. But for those in Sydney, the next eight weeks seem the result of Cupid's culinary bow as Noma pops-up with a waterfront restaurant in Barangaroo. In a fully outfitted space built specifically for the 10-week popup, Noma proves love at first bite - at least for those able to get in, given the wait-list already topping 30,000.