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Vegas eatery named Yelp’s best new US restaurant for 2023

Updated November 29, 2023 - 7:19 pm

Of all the new restaurants, in all the towns, in all the land, you’re No. 1.

Anima by EDO — the southwest Las Vegas spot grounded in the cooking of Barcelona but open to the world — has been named the best new restaurant in the U.S. for 2023 by Yelp, the platform announced Wednesday. Anima leads a list of 25 restaurants across 14 states. To be considered for the list, a place had to open during the period running from Jan. 1, 2022, through Aug. 7 of this year.

“We feel very proud. So many other restaurants are great,” said chef Oscar Amador, co-owner of Anima and its sibling, EDO Tapas & Wine. “First of all, we have a very strong team. We love this business, we love what we do and we try to deliver the best we can.”

The Yelp recognition caps off a big year for Anima: In March, Amador received a finalist nod for the Best Chef: Southwest category in the 2023 James Beard Awards.

Anima opened in January 2022 and quickly received praise for its deft layering of Spanish cooking with global influences, creating a clean precise internationalism that was all the more impressive because the menu changed so frequently.

“We wake up thinking and trying new recipes and techniques,” said Robert Liendo, a partner in the Anima restaurants. “We always have to be creating. Every we day we come and there are new dishes. It’s more than a passion.”

To understand, simply try the Peruvian scallops crudo with tom kha sauce and jabs of lemongrass and lime from the current cold appetizers.

Another Vegas restaurant on the list

Anima wasn’t alone among Vegas restaurants on the list. The Bedford by Martha Stewart, which opened in August 2022 at Paris Las Vegas, comes in at No. 22. The restaurant draws inspiration from Stewart’s 1920s farmhouse in Bedford, New York, a posh suburb of New York City.

The look and the feel of the restaurant showcase the signature cozy luxury of the DIY doyenne: elaborate glassware in clear-front cabinets, wainscoting and crown moldings, gilt-framed mirrors, fireplaces flanked by sconces and panels of silky faux bois set into walls and columns.

The menu at The Bedford features many of Stewart’s favorite dishes, including oysters Rockefeller, her mother’s pierogi, seriously roomy martinis and $90 roast chicken for two carved tableside that is worth the price.

How the list was determined

Pomet, a farm-to-table restaurant in Oakland, California, checks in at No. 2 among the best new places, followed by Manzke, a Michelin-starred tasting menu spot in Los Angeles. Oreatha’s at the Point, an Atlanta soul food restaurant, and Rania, serving modern Indian cooking in Washington, D.C., round out the top five.

To create its list of best new restaurants for 2023, Yelp identified full-service restaurants, ranked the spots according to several measures (including review volume and stars), and factored in its own data about which restaurants were trending among Yelp users.

For the full list, visit here.

Contact Johnathan L. Wright at jwright@reviewjournal.com. Follow @JLWTaste on Instagram and @ItsJLW on X.

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