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    July 2003


Renewed appetite. Richard Ansara, longtime chef of the now closed Appetito in the South End, is revamping the menu at Donovan’s pub on Savin Hill Avenue. He re-creates many Appetito favorites | Tea Tray in the Sky has closed in Cambridge and Arlington. The Arlington space on Massachusetts Avenue will become a new restaurant named Elements. Executive chef Bill Flumerfeld plans to use lots of produce on his seasonal American menu. Flumerfeld developed his cooking style as sous-chef at Icarus and working at the farm stand at Verrill Farm | Jasper White’s Summer Shack has opened a Boston location on Dalton Street, adjacent to the new Kings Lanes Lounge and Billiards. Pick up your shucked oysters and New England specialties at the counter | Brian Reimer has been promoted to chef de cuisine at Radius from sous-chef. He replaces Gabriel Frasca, who is planning his next move while working shifts at Pigalle and giving lady friend Amanda Lydon a hand at Upstairs on the Square | The Lounge at The Ritz-Carlton is serving a contemporary Asian tea with dim sum and pastries on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday afternoons | Tony Ambrose (Ambrosia) is opening Blackfin Chop House and Raw Bar in Hingham. Ambrose promises to buy most of the fish for the classic steakhouse/seafood venue straight from the docks, as befits the restaurant’s setting—an 18th-century sea captain’s house.


On Broadway. It’s a far cry from New York’s show district, but Frankie J’s eatery on Broadway Street is luring diners with its MethaDome Theater on the second floor. Named for the methadone clinic that once occupied the site, the 50-seat theater showcases Chicago talent. Located in the gentrifying Uptown area, the restaurant-theater is the dream of chef Frankie Janisch, a CIA graduate, who has combined cooking and comedy in live performance and on the Food Network | It seemed he had hardly warmed up the kitchen when French chef Mikael Blais quickly departed Marché. He is replaced by Richard Bergers (ex-Cochon Sauvage in Wheaton) | Aubriot has reopened as Escargot. Eric Aubriot is offering a more casual and affordable French menu | John Keefer is serving overstuffed sandwiches at Keefer’s Kaffe, a lunch-only spot next door to Keefer’s steakhouse. At night, the cafe serves as a private dining room for the steakhouse | Cal-Ital cuisine is on the menu of the new Azure, formerly the site of Millennium Steaks & Chops in the West Loop. John Weiszer (ex-Vivere) cooked Italian in California for almost two decades | Dale Levitsky (ex-Blackbird, Fortunato, Deleece) is directing the kitchen at La Tâche, a new French restaurant in Andersonville. The pastry chef is Allison Levitt (ex-Gramercy Tavern, NYC) | Craig Fass (ex-Bistro 110) and pastry chef Mandy Franklin (ex-Green Dolphin Street) are running the kitchen at Menagerie, a new American restaurant with global influences.


Call to arms. Tom Aikens (ex-Pied à Terre) has taken over the Marlborough Arms in Chelsea with his wife, Laura (ex-Capital), out front. They’re serving a modern French menu; the decor is by Anoushka Hempel | The Connaught hotel has opened The Terrace, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner from a modern European menu with Italian influences | Alan Yau (Hakkasan, Busaba Eathai, Wagamama) is opening Anda, a simple Italian restaurant with communal tables and no reservations | Atul Kochhar (ex-Tamarind) has launched Benares, his own venture in Berkeley Square. It’s named after the holy city in northern India | Edera is a new Italian restaurant in Holland Park opened by the team behind Aubergine, Zaffereno, et cetera. The menu is priced by the number of courses, and there’s an all-Italian wine list | The boys behind E&O are opening Eight Over Eight on King’s Road, serving a similar Pan-Asian menu | Cinnamon Club now offers a five-course tasting menu with recommended wines. The daily-changing à la carte menu remains | Closures include Chinon, Deumela, Ibla, Sabbia, and Teatro.


Arts eats. Zov’s Bistro, the popular Mediterranean restaurant/cafe/bakery in Tustin, will set up a temporary satellite at the world-renowned Laguna Beach Festival of the Arts this summer, feeding an estimated 2,600 art lovers a day. Zov Karamardian’s staff will offer Cobb salads and Moroccan salmon as well as pastries by Michelle Bracken | Oysters owners Walt and Mona Babcock (Babcock Vineyards) have opened Oceans 33 in Mission Viejo. It’s named for the north latitude, not a triple-cool Vegas heist. Jason Johnston (ex-Clae’s Seafood in Laguna Beach) collaborates with Oysters chef Scott Brandon | Jeff Osaka (ex-Tarpy’s Roadhouse) and Christian Shaffer (ex-North Beach Bar & Grill) have opened Chloe, an intimate, 36-seat personal statement in Playa del Rey. The menu includes parsnip flan with braised leeks and chestnut brown butter, bacon-wrapped venison with Kabocha squash and cipollini, and fig and blue cheese tart with toasted walnut ice cream and port sauce | Cheebo is the new Sunset Strip creation of pizza chef Sandy Gendel (Pace In The Canyon) and front-of-house maven Sandro Reinhardt | Mirko Paderno (ex-Ago, Celestino Italian Steak House) is at the new Dolce on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood, offering all the Italian classics from branzino to vino | Brentwood is home to organic coffee house Coral Tree Café. Chef Kalissa Krejcik hails from Ocean Ave. Seafood and is making healthy comfort food and enormous breakfasts | LSG SkyChefs is partnering with Wolfgang Puck on a new line of foods for air travel. Coach passengers can eat Chinois chicken salad, honey-smoked-turkey sandwiches on fresh rosemary focaccia, and cinnamon streusel coffeecake muffins | King’s Seafood Company, whose restaurants range from upscale Water Grill to the more price-friendly King’s Fish House mini-chain, has closed its Clearwater Seafood in Pasadena after a ten-year run. The Kings plan to re-enter the Pasadena market within two years, probably with another King’s Fish House | In Malibu, Oreste Di Gregorio has moved from Allegria Cafe to Tra Di Noi. He’s replaced by Antonio Mure (ex-Locanda Veneta, Il Moro) | Deidre Henry, who rekindled the glow at Moonshadows, has returned to New York. She’s replaced by Joachim Weritz (ex-Patina Catering) | Katsuo Nagasawa, who was lured from Café del Rey to Legacy in Redondo Beach, has now moved to Mum’s in Long Beach. Nagasawa’s Cal-Asian fusion dishes should make Mumm’s even more of a player in its neighborhood.


Brasserie Les Halles New York, Washington DC, and Miami will celebrate the most important dates in the American and French History with an annual LIBERTY FESTIVAL, honoring the 4th of July, America's Independence Day, and the 14th of July, Bastille Day. Throughout the 11 days, each restaurant in collaboration with will offer trivia quizzes, live music, performances, and a special menu. | Prepare for takeoff. Our radar screen has picked up Michel Nischan, who left his post as executive chef at Heartbeat in the W Hotel in Midtown last year. But you’ll need your boarding pass to sample his latest handiwork. Nischan is developing the in-flight menu for Song, the new low-price Delta carrier, which flies between New York and Florida. Hungry passengers can order salads, wraps, and snacks made from organic and small-farm ingredients | Actor Gabriel Byrne’s Irish eyes must have been smiling when he named his new Upper East Side restaurant Balitore, after his Irish hometown. The pub-like space has a menu of tapas-size portions and imported Irish products | Café Topsy is a newcomer to Greenwich Village, but owners Tony Powe and Maryann Terillo are not; they also own Jarnac. At their latest venture, in the former Papillon space, they are serving breakfast, lunch, tea, and dinner. Terillo’s “cross-Channel cooking” incorporates Irish, English, and European elements | On Broadway. The sleek Art Deco Bar 41 at Hotel 41 has opened next to the Nederlander Theater in Times Square. Chef Marcello Moretto oversees the cosmopolitan menu. If Italian’s your thing, head to Azalea before the show, a mahogany-paneled eatery adjacent to the Gershwin Theater. Owner Giovanni Apicella and chef Camillo Bassani offer hearty fare such as rigatoni stuffed with veal and gnocchi made from bread crumbs | In its heyday Greenwich Village was the epicenter of free-spirited Bohemian life in Manhattan. Maybe that’s why Eiji Takase (ex-Sushi Samba) chose the neighborhood for his new Japanese restaurant, Yujin. The word means free-spirited traveler in Japanese. Enjoy sushi or East-West fusion food like steamed rock shrimp dumpling in sweet corn bisque or striped bass with shimeji mushrooms, Okinawa sea salt, and black truffle oil. Pastry chef Akiko Kimura continues the theme with frozen lime-sake parfait and green tea crème brûlée. The restaurant features a signature chopstick ceiling, platformed sushi bar, and glass wall with gold leaf bamboo etchings | The chef team at Tamarind has expanded. Sujit Bose, previously at the Orchid Hotel in New Delhi, and Kirti Pant, ex-Cinnamon Club in London, have joined Durga Prasad in the kitchen of the Flatiron Indian restaurant | Trading spaces. Jorge Adriazola, who was the chef at Calle Ocho on the Upper West Side, has departed to become the chef at Chicama in the ABC Carpet & Home store in the Flatiron District. Meanwhile, Douglas Rodriguez, at one time the chef at Chicama and now spicing things up at OLA, will oversee the menu at Calle Ocho | Aaron Sanchez, who has been busy at Paladar in the increasingly hip Lower East Side, has teamed up with chef Edwyn Ferrari, and the two have set their sights beyond city limits. Mixx, their new restaurant-cum-nightclub, is slated to open this summer at the gleaming new Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. Ferrari was the executive chef at Nobu | Lespinasse may have closed, but former chef Christian Delouvrier is going full-speed ahead. Later this year, he plans to open two restaurants, Terre, a country-style eatery in the Meatpacking District, and the more formal Delouvrier, in Midtown | Epicurean siblings Jodi and Jeff Wolf and partner Carol Warren try to capture the romance of Parisian life with CityCrepe, their new takeout crêperie on the Upper West Side. But the mouthwatering fillings are designed with an American audience in mind and include vegetarian three-bean chili, chicken satay with peanut sauce, smoked salmon and cream cheese, and peanut butter and jelly. Make ours Nutella, please | Love the cocktails, the murals, the tinkle of the ivories, in short, the sophisticated scene at Bemelmans Bar in The Carlyle? Make an evening of it with dinner at the hotel’s new restaurant, Dumonet. Jean-Louis Dumonet was one of the founding Jeans of Trois Jean in New York. Later, he served as executive chef at Palladin and Rhône. At Dumonet, he is offering a menu of classic and contemporary dishes plus a long list of sides | Chef Richard Farnabe recently left Bruno Jamais Restaurant Club to open Aïgo, also on the Upper East Side. The Mediterranean menu features Farnabe’s version of the classic Provençal garlic soup, aïgo bouïdo, as well as dishes like citrus-crusted loin of veal with falafel and rabbit ravioli with tomato-olive sauce. There are plenty of Greek and Sicilian wines to match the food and sunny décor. The new chef at Bruno Jamais is Juan Cuevas | Le Perigord has lost its longtime chef, Jacques Qualin, who moved to Stone Ridge, New York, to open French Corner. He has been replaced by Perigord veteran Joel Benjamin | What’s a summer job for a chef? How about Luna Park, the perpetually packed seasonal restaurant at Union Square Park? This summer, the guest chef is Joey Fortunato, formerly of The Tonic, which is now Amuse | Notable closings include Della Femina in Midtown and The Right Bank, a Williamsburg fixture. Restaurants that didn’t close but have changed names or concepts include La Bicyclette on the Upper West Side, now Il Fiore, and The Monkey Bar, in Midtown, which has become Steakhouse at Monkey Bar | Love Italian, but tired of same old, same old? At Baldo Vino in the East Village, owner Marcello Assante and chef Salvatore Esposito offer what they are calling Nuevo Tuscan cooking. Specialties include napoleon of celeryroot with marinated vegetables and baked veal cigars with goat cheese, thyme, asparagus, and mushrooms | Need a drink? Head to the handsomely renovated Art Deco Flatiron Lounge, where Julie Reiner and her trio of female mixologist/partners whip up fanciful cocktail flights like the Flight Back in Time (Sidecar, Sazerac, and Aviation) and Flight to Hawaii (tropical minidrinks) | Marrakesh Express. Kemia Bar offers the feel of a Moroccan casbah with colorful canopies and rose petals on the floor. Located underneath the brasserie Marseille in the Theater District, Kemia Bar features inexpensive North African tapas that pair nicely with the lychee martini. Alex Ureña oversees the kitchens upstairs and down | The Clinton Street restaurant renaissance marches on with Crudo, from the owners of tapas restaurant 1492, just down the street. Chef Seamus Mullen celebrates raw and barely cooked seafood with all sorts of international preparations—hamachi with yuzu vinaigrette, cured diver scallops with prosciutto, and octopus and Manila clam seviche | A different kind of dough. When Sanford White designed the grand Bowery Savings Bank, little did he envision Capitale. Ex-Local chef Franklin Becker and partner Seth Greenberg, who owns Boston’s Mistral, have transformed the space. For months, they’ve been hosting celebrity parties. Now regular folks can enjoy the decidedly New American food, too—grilled bison with chocolate oil and mustard greens, gingery borscht, and slow-cooked salmon with Moroccan-spiced gremolata and pickled beets. Pastry chef John Lee delivers the finale with Meyer lemon custard and crème Catalan with sonhos (Portuguese beignets).


Betting on the dark horse. Ben McNamara is out of his acclaimed New Wave Café and headed for the Dark Horse Pub. He is replaced by CIA grad Jason Feraydarian (ex-Gonzo in NYC), who will add Italian/Mediterranean accents to the primarily American menu | Jean-Marie LaCroix was inducted into the International Food and Beverage Hall of Fame at Johnson & Wales University | The Inn Philadelphia has promoted Dennis Hobb to executive chef, replacing Amanda Williams, who has transferred to Bella | Giovanni and Concetta Varallo (Io E Tu), with relatives John Varallo, Mario Varallo, and Claudio Conigliaro, recently opened Ristorante Pesto across from St. Agnes Medical Center | Alison Barshak has moved her new American BYOB from a tiny space in Cedars to more spacious quarters in Blue Bell. Moving with her is Amelia Dietrich, who was on Barshak’s team at the former Venus and the Cowboy.


Aloha. 808 La Jolla has opened in the Hyatt Aventine in the former Palamino space. The chef is Jean-Marie Josselin, and the cuisine is Hawaiian. This is the third restaurant for Josselin, whose first is a Pacific Café in Hawaii | Henry Freidank, formerly of Chive in the Gaslamp, has landed at Axis Martini Bar in Del Mar. His menu is mainly bar food with a few seafood main courses | Jason Shaeffer has left his post as executive chef of downtown’s Laurel and Sorrento Valley’s Winesellar & Brasserie. He is returning to New York. His replacement is Maryjo Testa, Laurel’s former chef de cuisine. Her menu will have a more Italian emphasis | Pascal Vignau, who was the opening executive chef at the Four Seasons Aviara in Carlsbad, has left the hotel for a restaurant of his own. His new place, Savory, is in coastal Encinitas and will feature bistro comfort food | Brian Johnston has moved from Anthony’s Star of the Sea downtown to become executive chef for the Champagne Bakery chain, with outposts all over San Diego County. He is replaced by Paul McCabe, former executive chef of La Jolla’s Top of the Cove | Amiko Gubbins, chef/owner of Parallel 33, has been named Chef of the Year by the San Diego chapter of the California Restaurant Association.


Waning moon. Kerry Heffernan (not the same Kerry Heffernan who is at Eleven Madison in New York City) once co-owned Autumn Moon Cafe in Oakland, which closed last November after five years. Now she has taken over as the executive chef of Joachim Splichal’s Pinot Blanc restaurant in St. Helena | Fabio Flagiello, a native of Italy, is the new chef/partner at Il Fornaio on Battery Street | After four years, Fringale’s chef de cuisine, Allen Vitti, has left to become executive chef of Bridges in Danville. Sous-chef Scott Boggs has been promoted to replace Vitti | Who says hard work doesn’t pay off? Longtime managers Marcus Hernandez and Parry Tong and a group of investors have purchased Postino in Lafayette. Sous-chef Michael Zeiter, Jr., replaces Cat Cora as executive chef | Restaurateur Bill Thorne (Gold Street Restaurant, Bix) has died in Oakland at the age of 63, after two heart attacks | David O’Malley, general manager and one of the three founding partners of Bacar, the stylish South of Market restaurant and bar, has left the partnership | Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants (Masa’s, Kuleto’s, Postrio) is set to open Blue Mermaid Chowderhouse & Bar at Fisherman’s Wharf in August. The 145-seat casual restaurant will be in the new Argonaut Hotel | After three years, chef John Beardsley has left Ponzu restaurant in the Serrano Hotel to take over the stoves at the upscale Vietnamese restaurant Le Colonial. He replaces Kellie Nguyen, who is now a full-time mom | Mark Sandoval and Darren Robey are heading to Sonoma to be co-chefs of the Ledson Hotel & Harmony Club, next to the Sebastiani Theater. The $2.7 million project includes a luxury, six-room hotel and restaurant-club.


Padded cell. Takashi Takiuchi has closed the well-known Omotesando club Shinkukan and reopened it as Cell, a restaurant that does double duty as an art gallery. The French food is by Koichi Dote, formerly of Mikasa Kaikan in Shinjuku | Aroma Fresca has closed temporarily for renewal, but Shinji Harada’s refined Italian cuisine can be enjoyed at Aroma Fresca’s new sister restaurant, Aroma Classico in Shinagawa, which opened in April | Ginza has a new late-night spot in Lobby. The tall, narrow, multi-room Japanese restaurant has a bar specializing in sherry, and a basement sake bar called Shiokara | Roppongi Hills has opened, a huge complex with more than 60 restaurants, including the casual French restaurant Atelier de Joël Robuchon, with an attached boutique bakery; it’s Robuchon’s second Tokyo venture. Also on the grounds are restaurants by Wolfgang Puck and Todd English’s Olives, the first Olives outside the United States. The Roppongi Hills Club, on the 51st floor of the Mori Tower in Roppongi Hills, offers members six restaurants and bars, all designed by Conran & Partners. The operation is overseen by executive chef Yasunori Miyazaki from Park Hyatt Tokyo | Stig Drageide worked at Oro in Oslo before assuming his current role as chef at Juniper, one of the few restaurants in Tokyo with the cuisine of northern Europe. Juniper, with a cool modern interior by Tony Chi, is one of eight restaurants at the new Grand Hyatt Hotel in Roppongi Hills | The new Fish Bank Tokyo combines a dramatic double-height space, a commanding view of Tokyo Bay, and a modern French menu by executive chef Seigo Izawa. It opened in April as part of the newly redeveloped Shiodome area near Shimbashi. The restaurant, which is on the 42nd floor, operates a separate bar, Majestic, on the mezzanine level | Hidemi Haga, once chef of the now-closed El Beranille, is the new chef/owner of Rakli, in Kudan-Minami. Haga continues his Spanish repertoire but also draws inspiration from southern France and Italy.


The popular metropolitan Washington, DC Restaurant Week will take place July 28-August 3, 2003. Lunch specials are $20.03 and dinner specials are $30.03, see for listing of participating restaurants. DINE OUT, DINE OFTEN, DINE DELICIOUSLY | A perfect 10. Charlie Palmer (Aureole) has opened Charlie Palmer Steak on Capitol Hill, his tenth American restaurant. Maryland native Bryan Voltaggio, who cooked with Palmer for four years, is executive chef | David Winer (Grillfish) is planning to open the casual Logan Tavern in the new Hudson building in Logan Circle. The chef will be San Varith | Carlos Mendez has purchased Vida Loca in Tenleytown and transformed it into Caravella, featuring Portuguese dishes | Downtown theater diners now have another choice. Bistro d’Oc recently opened across the street from Ford’s Theater. Chef Bernard Grenier (who sold La Miche in Bethesda) includes Asian dishes inspired by his Thai-born wife, Thasanee | Joseph “Jay” Comfort has moved from Bistro 309 in Fredericksburg, Maryland, to become executive chef of Poste Moderne Brasserie.



Chef/owner Charles Dale has closed the French-inflected Renaissance after 13 years. The James Beard Award nominee has reopened the space as Range, serving American food with a Western bent. Dale launched his new concept with a dinner at the Beard House last month. Rustique, Dale’s French bistro, remains open.

Jamie Adams has left Eno to return to Veni Vidi Vici, the midtown trattoria where he was executive chef from 1993 to 1999.

James Beard Award winner Norman Van Aken (Norman’s) will open a restaurant in the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes later this summer. The complex will also be home to a second Primo restaurant by Maine-based Melissa Kelly. The chef de cuisine will be Kathleen Blake, formerly of organic restaurant Nora in Washington, D.C. | Israeli native Shahar Dan has moved from SushiSamba Park in New York City to become executive chef of Sushi Samba Dromo on Lincoln Road. The sushi chef remains Naohiro Higuchi.



In our Paris column in May, we erroneously reported that Pierre Hermé’s “pâtisserie on rue Bonaparte is expected to close this summer.” Pastry lovers will be happy to hear that we misunderstood the situation. The shop is owned by the company Medelice (a partnership of Jean-Luc Delarue, Hubert Boukobza, and Pierre Hermé). Because of financial setbacks encountered by Delarue and Boukobza with their restaurants Korova and Nobu (both are now closed), Medelice is benefiting from a law roughly equivalent to America’s Chapter 11. There are, however, no plans to close the successful Bonaparte pâtisserie. Au contraire, Hermé will soon be launching an ice cream collection and introducing the Fall-Winter pastry collection.