Travel Picks: Top 9 restaurant openings of 2009

SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - Despite the world’s economic woes, a menu of top-class chefs are pushing ahead with plans to open new restaurants this year.

A man views silverware at the Savoy Hotel in central London, December 17, 2007. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Men’s website has come up with a list of nine of the hottest new restaurant openings this year. Reuters has not endorsed this list:

1. The Savoy Grill, Gordon Ramsay, London

When the Savoy Hotel reopens after a 100 million pound ($144 million) restoration, it will feature a new Savoy Grill run under the watchful eye of Gordon Ramsay.

2. Bouchon, Thomas Keller, Los Angeles

The American chef with three Michelin stars will open a new house -- Bouchon -- in the Beverly Hills Garden Building in late 2009.This will be a casual-dining house that features the best of Keller’s creations.

3. BLT Steak, Laurent Tourondel, Charlotte

The Ritz-Carlton chose Bistro Laurent Tourondel -- known as BLT Steak to its friends -- to fit the bill in the new Bank of America Center. Tourondel is known across the world for his approach to fine dining: it’s more casual than most, but he never compromises on the best ingredients.

4. Quattro Gastronomia Italiana, Nicola and Fabrizio Carro, New York

When the new Trump SoHo Hotel Condominium New York opens this spring, it will be anchored -- in culinary terms, at least -- by the chic Miami Beach Quattro Gastronomia Italiana, which is run by identical twins and chefs Nicola and Fabrizio Carro.

5. 25 Degrees, Tim and Liza Goodell, Phoenix

If you’re after the best burger in the southwest, then look no farther than 25 Degrees. Think of the best local organic ingredients such as grass-fed beef, artisanal cheese and a wide selection of traditional and atypical condiments. Pair those with one of more than 50 wines and you’ve got the concept.

6. Jamie’s Italian, Jamie Oliver, UK

Jamie Oliver has plans to open at least three new Jamie’s Italian restaurants by the end of 2009. He chose sites in Brighton, Canary Wharf and Cardiff as the new homes for his affordably priced Italian restaurants.

7. rn74, Michael Mina, San Francisco

San Francisco’s restaurant opening, rn74, will showcase the best wines available and pair them with regional French cuisine prepared by Chef Michael Mina. The house itself, which is named after Route National 74 that passes through France’s Burgundy region, will focus on good food, drink and education.

8. Unnamed project, Rick Bayless, Chicago

Chicago restaurateur and Chef Rick Bayless plans to expand his holdings this summer with a low-key little Mexican sandwich shop not far away from his other properties: Frontera Grill and Topolobampo. The restaurant building will be ultra energy efficient, with solar panels and furniture made from recycled materials.

9. Unnamed project, Galvin Brothers, London

Brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin may be two of the best chefs you’ve never heard of. Their two London restaurants -- Galvin Bistrot de Luxe and Galvin at Windows -- are packed regularly and the pair is rumored to be opening a new house in the East London area of Spitalfields.

Editing by Miral Fahmy