Jason Anderson of Umi Star fame is about to embark on a very busy 2014.
In the coming months, he expects to add three new restaurants to his portfolio.
First up is Nox Kitchen Cocktails in the old Cafe Jasper at 6370 N. Campbell Ave., which is set to open Feb. 1. Anderson has created a modern American menu the infuses Latin-Asian influences, with a heavy focus on craft cocktails.
Some menu highlights include grilled baby artichokes with housemade aiolil pork belly buns with hoisin vinaigrette, chives, red chile and kimchi; cast iron center cut New York steak; roasted Peking duck tacos; and a raw bar with seasonal oysters.
The cocktail menu includes vintage drinks such as the Manchurian Mule (vodka, lime, ginger and five spice bitters), Mexican Fire Drill (using jalapeño-infused tequila), Brooklyn (rye, amer picon, maraschino and dry vermouth) and Vesper (a marriage of gin, vodka, cocchi americano and orange bitters).
The kitchen is helmed by 15-year Fox Restaurant Concepts veteran Peter Lindquist, who was most recently known executive chef at the Hub downtown.
Anderson said the restaurant is a nod to Ernest Hemingway, the Lost Generation writer known for his far-flung world travels, wild adventures and love of drink. The restaurant is decked out with eclectic art, aged wood paneling and vintage finds that give it a nostalgic ambience.
Also in 2014:
• Construction could start soon on Anderson's downtown project, Hudson at 201 N. Fourth Ave. The menu is still a work in progress. Anderson said he hopes to have it open by August, before students head back to class at the University of Arizona.
• He's scouting locations now to open an outpost of Original ChopShop Co. The fledgling fast-casual sandwich and smoothie restaurant has locations in Scottsdale and Tempe.
See more restaurant news in Thursday's Caliente.