Chef Rob Newton's repeatedly mined his Arkansas heritage for inspiration at his restaurants like Wilma Jean and the now-closed Seersucker, but also looked farther afield with his Vietnamese restaurant Nightingale Nine. For his latest, Black Walnut, debuting inside The Hilton Brooklyn in Downtown Brooklyn, it's a patchwork of both Southern roots and international flavors, with some local character thrown into the mix as well.

The somewhat austere design aesthetic in the front bar area—a departure from the cutesy diner look of Wilma Jean—features maps of Brooklyn made from pieces of welded metal like fancy subway grate art. The rest of the seating area's all muted browns and creams, with mid-century modern furniture and wood paneled walls that wouldn't look out of place in Don Draper's office.

With the food, there are European nods like spaetzle ($18), the rustic German pasta; traditional dishes from the American south like a Fish Muddle ($22), a seafood stew flavored with bacon; and lots of influences from Asia, like yuzu in a "snack" of steamed eggs with crab ($18), Szechuan peppercorns in the confit pork ($19), and tofu skins served with black trumpet mushrooms ($18).

140 Schermerhorn Street, inside the The Hilton Brooklyn, 929-337-1280;

Black Walnut Dinner Menu by Nell Casey on Scribd