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    October 2003


Happy birthday! This year Icarus celebrates 25 years in business; Grill 23 & Bar has been going strong for 20 years; and EVOO is only a kid at five | Sous-chef Jorge Lopes has been promoted to executive chef at the Blue Room to replace Steve Johnson | Chez Henri chef/owner Paul O’Connell snatched pastry chef Tania Schnapp (ex-Rouge) | Speaking of Rouge, chef Sal Fristensky has left, making way for partner Andy Husbands to step into the kitchen | Frank DePasquale (Il Panino) has hired Marisa Iocco and Rita D’Angelo (ex-Galleria Italiana, La Betola) at Bricco in the North End. Iocco is executive chef; D’Angelo manages the front of the house | Jim Cafarelli has taken over Rustic Kitchen in Faneuil Hall from Todd English. Bill Bradley is executive chef | A new restaurant in a red house in Harvard Square is aptly named The Red House. The Winthrop Street eatery has plenty of Colonial New England charm. Owner Paul Overgaag moved down the street from his previous restaurant, Giannino’s on Charles Square, bringing much of his staff with him. Chef Marc Plourde makes French and Continental dishes | After five years, Karen Dinsmore has closed the South End’s Truc to devote time to motherhood. Her chef, Philip Wang, is returning to San Francisco. In Truc’s place will be Perdix, first opened by Tim Partridge in Jamaica Plain | Paul Booras returns to the North Shore for his latest venture, The Salt Box. Booras worked at Olives before becoming chef/owner of Fava and Sweet Basil in Needham, as well as Olio in Canton (both now under different ownership) | Brad Ozerden has moved across the river from the Hyatt in Cambridge to become executive chef at the Hyatt Regency Boston Financial District | The area’s first long-awaited Krispy Kreme Doughnuts has opened in Medford.


Decadence. Those looking for a heart-healthy meal should not go to the newly opened Cafe Le Coq in suburban Oak Park. That’s where chef Steve Chiappetti (Mango, Grapes, Rhapsody) has resurfaced after a three-year hiatus to create a menu saturated with cream sauces and red meat. “This menu is inspired for those looking to indulge in decadence,” says Chiappetti, who showcases such dishes as steak Roquefort and chocolate génoise | Robert Morris College’s new Institute of Culinary Arts in Aurora hopes to draw students seeking to avoid a long commute to Chicago’s other culinary schools. Chef Kevin Appleton, formerly of Rhapsody, will teach, along with mentors such as Gale Gand (Tru), Shawn McClain (Spring), and Katherine August (Tizi Melloul) | Don Yamauchi (Le Français, Gordon, Carlos) has been named head chef of the new signature restaurant at Hotel 71 | Piazza M has changed its name to Joe Marchetti’s to reinforce its lineage to the founder of the late Como Inn. The menu will stick to its rustic Italian roots. Augie Sanchez, chef at Como Inn for 50 years, continues to run the kitchen | Restaurateur Richard Smith has reportedly sold his Cafe Luciano on Rush Street to developers, who will build a 39-story condo tower on the site. In return, Smith will receive some hefty cash and a condominium interest for a new restaurant | After less than a year, the Napa Valley Grille on State has closed | SushiSamba Rio, the newest eatery in the River North neighborhood, features two kitchens: a traditional sushi kitchen, headed by Takanori Wada; and the “samba kitchen,” where Jason Paskewitz serves Brazilian and Peruvian cuisine. The inspiration for intermingling these culinary traditions is not new. In the early 20th century, many poor Japanese emigrated to Brazil and Peru to work on coffee plantations. The restaurant is part of a chain based in New York | Perfect 10. To celebrate its tenth anniversary, TRIO restaurant is hosting a week of festivities this month, with James Beard Award–winner Grant Achatz partnering with top chefs from around the country to prepare eight-course tasting menus with wines. On October 8, Achatz will host Michael Schlow of Radius (Boston), on October 9, Dan Barber and Michael Anthony of Blue Hill (NYC), and on October 10 pastry chef Michael Laiskonis of Tribute (Farmington Hills, MI). Each dinner costs $250, all-inclusive. On October 11, Achatz will cook a 12-course anniversary menu. The week culminates on October 12 with a star-studded Centennial Reception in honor of James Beard’s 100th birthday and featuring more than 25 chefs. For reservations, call 847.733.8746.


New light. Dimly lit date destination Marfreless has been spiffed up thanks to new owners Michael Wells and Robert Clay | John Schwartz (Marco’s, Original Pasta Co.) has purchased Te Amo Mexican Bar & Grille, with plans to rename it Side Street Brewery | The Greenbriar Chophouse has closed. Owner Robert Martinez is using the kitchen for catering | Uptown Park on the West Loop will soon be home to at least two new venues. Donald Chang, once the firecracker sushi chef at Nara (and, later, Midtown’s Fish), will open Uptown Sushi later this year. There’s also The Tasting Room, a wine bar/store from Jerry and Laura Lasco | Shelly Drought is back at what was formerly known as the Redwood Grill. (She was executive chef there from 1996 to 2000.) Owner Manfred Jachmich has renamed the restaurant Morgan’s on Montrose. The white tablecloths are gone, the drinks are larger, and “the atmosphere is more fun,” notes Drought.


Brooke Williamson, who wowed finicky Westsiders during her stint as opening executive chef at Zax in Brentwood, has teamed with her former sous-chef, Nick Roberts, to open Amuse Cafe in Venice. The restaurant serves seasonal American bistro fare | Meanwhile at Zax, proprietors Chris and Chantal Schaefer have hired 27-year-old Gavin Portsmouth (ex-An American Place in Manhattan, Hotel Connaught in London) from Britain to man the stoves. Portsmouth will continue Zax’s tradition of rustic, contemporary American cuisine | Robert Gadsby has maintained a low profile in Los Angeles since the abrupt closing of Gadsby’s several years ago. Now he’s re-emerged as chef/partner of Noe Restaurant & Bar in the Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza Downtown. Gadsby describes his dinner-only menu as “progressive American” | Lawyers Larry Flax and Rick Rosenfield, creators of California Pizza Kitchen in Beverly Hills in 1985, have opened the $2.1 million LA Food Show in Manhattan Village in Manhattan Beach. There is no pizza on the menu, but just about everything else | Don Dickman earned a local following in the 1980s, when he was Michael Roberts’s number two at the long-departed Trumps in West Hollywood. Dickman now has his own place, Rocca, on 5th Street in Santa Monica. The pan-Italian, reasonably priced menu changes daily | The Art Institute of California in Santa Ana has opened 50 Forks, run by students of its culinary arts program under the supervision of Martin Gilligan (ex-The Plaza Hotel) and Sterlinn Harris. It’s lunch only for now | Going to the dogs. Chris Simms and his father, Thomas (Mimi’s Cafes), have opened the 260-seat Lazy Dog Cafe in Huntington Beach. The executive chef is Gabriel Caliendo (ex-The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel). After three generations in the restaurant business, the Simms family hasn’t lost its sense of fun: desserts are served in dog bowls | The Patina Group has opened Napolini, an Italian take-out place in Downtown Disney in Anaheim | Canadian transplants Hedley Apter, wife Jennie, and Apter’s brother, Jeffrey, have opened Hedley’s in vibrant West Hollywood. The trio ran Yam in Vancouver, which was popular with film types on location | Colorful Toribio Prado has re-organized his restaurant empire. He, his brothers Javier and Rafael, and his cousin Miguel Anaya assume control of the Original Cha Cha Cha in Silver Lake, while Confete Latin Brasserie has been reborn as Cha Cha Cha Tapas Bar & Lounge, featuring Toribio’s interpretation of Spanish and Caribbean tapas | Maple Drive, the venerable American classic tucked away in Beverly Hills’ industrial area, has a new lease on life after founding executive chef Leonard Schwartz left to open a barbecue restaurant. New in the kitchen is French-born Eric Klein, the former sous-chef at Spago Beverly Hills | Sometimes a huge success in Los Angeles just doesn’t translate to Orange County. In 1988 L’Opera opened in a beautifully restored bank building in Long Beach to great acclaim. In October 2001, Dell’Opera Restaurant Group opened the first branch of L’Opera, L’Opera at The Spectrum, in the Irvine Spectrum entertainment complex in Irvine. That restaurant has quietly closed. A popularly priced, casual Mexican restaurant with local roots will replace it next April.


Local topography. Since New Orleans is situated below sea level, it was only a matter of time for someone to open Sea Level Restaurant. The Carrollton Avenue spot was formerly known as Bennachin. It is owned by Andrew Martinez, who worked with the multitalented Kevin Vizard at both Vizard’s and Indigo; the restaurant will serve modern Creole food | La Cote Brasserie in the new Renaissance Arts Hotel features the food of “Bingo” Starr (ex-Cuvée) and René Bajeux (René Bistrot). They, in turn, have hired pastry chef Joy Jessup | Tapas and dessert restaurant Delachaise has opened uptown. Christy Samoy (ex-Vega Tapas Café) is chef and co-owner, along with Colby Smith.


Chef Marcus Samuelsson of Aquavit and Gourmet have joined forces with "Trick or Treat for UNICEF" for the second year. When you dine out for lunch or dinner on Friday, October 31, 2003 the participating restaurants will donate $1 for each patron. This is a great way for adults in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami, Boston, Las Vegas, and Philadelphia to support UNICEF's mission of providing all children with nutrition, health, education, and protection. A complete list of participating restaurants is available by visiting | Harvest in the Square, presented by the Union Square Local Development Corporation, showcases the best tasting restaurants in the Union Square neighborhood on Thursday, October 2, 2003. For the eighth year in a row, Harvest in the Square will erect a tent in Union Square Park, at the corner of 17th Street and Union Square West on the North Plaza, where chefs from more than 45 top-rated restaurants will provide “tastes” of their signature dishes | Walk around tasting of award-winning wines from over 30 empowerment South African wineries and South African hors d’ouevres from Chef Mark Henegan of I- Shebeen Madiba restaurant in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Thursday, October 2, 2003 6:30 pm – AIWF member admission, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm General admission. Puck Building, Skylight Ballroom (7th Floor) 295 Lafayette Street. | Tea Women Network - "Taking" Tea and Making Connections. Tea Women Network is an organization devoted to meeting, "taking tea" and connecting with other women in a meaningful way to help each other to build stronger businesses and to make friends. There will also be a representative of an online tea company who will talk about the evolution of a successful e-commerce site. Adagio Teas, launched in 1999, was created not only as a site to order high quality, fresh, loose tea, but to become part of a community of tea lovers. Karolin Shoikhet will tell us how Adagio has become one of the most respected tea companies and communities on the Internet today. Tea (and of course, coffee), mini sandwiches and delicious pastries from the award winning baker/owner of Mondrian Pastry, will be served. Time: Wed Oct 1, 2003 3:00 pm; Location: Mondrian Pastry, 1026 Third Avenue (at 61st Street); $30 | Atkins, schmatkins. Get your carbohydrate fix at Bread Tribeca. Owner Luigi Comandatore installed a wood-fired oven, a step up from the panini presses that have taken over the city, to bring us his signature sandwiches and other tasty treats | The West Village has scored a swank Vietnamese restaurant, Hue (named for the 17th-century cultural capital of Vietnam). Chef Junnajet Hurapan (Ruby Foo’s and Nong) moves in to create authentic dishes such as pho bo (beef noodle soup), steamed cod with ginger purée, and five-spice quail | Restaurateur Koji Imai, who owns more than 25 high-end restaurants in Japan, is getting ready to open his first U.S. venture, Megu, in the former Obeca Li space in Tribeca. The vast, multilevel dining rooms will feature sushi, tempura, soba, and other specialty dishes | Want to see those stars twinkle in your martini glass? High Bar is the place to go for alfresco cocktails, served on the roof terrace of the newly renovated Gramercy Park Hotel. A light bar menu is available | David Burke, that maverick of American cooking who recently parted ways with the Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group, has found a new partner in Donatella Arpaia, who owns Bellini, Cellini, and Acqua Pazza. Burke is taking over the former Il Valletto space in Midtown, where he plans to open an American eatery this fall | Butter has a new chef, Alexandra Guarnaschelli, most recently of Nick & Stef’s Steakhouse | Wallpaper readers take note. The first foodservice establishment in the recently refurbished 50-year-old landmark Lever House has opened with the appropriate name, Lever House Restaurant. Architect Marc Newson created an edgy, pod-like dining room to complement the dramatic austerity of the building itself. The owners, who include John McDonald of Canteen and Merc Bar, may be counting on their hip reputations to create the buzz, but we think Dan Silverman’s luxurious American menu (carpaccio, tartare, grilled foie gras with peaches, lobster bolognese) will do the job. Both he and pastry chef Deborah Snyder worked at Union Square Cafe | The Alex Hotel will house Marcus Samuelsson and Hakan Swahn’s (Aquavit, AQ) new venture, Riingo, slated to open this month. The food will fuse Japanese and American accents with the Swedish chef’s wildly creative cuisine | Atelier at The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park, has a new pastry chef, Eric Hubert, and if William Grimes’s recent three-star New York Times review is any indication, it was a good hire. Like chef Gabriel Kreuther, Hubert is a Jean Georges alum. In addition to his sugar duty at the three-star eatery, Hubert also moonlights as a consulting pastry chef for the Aussie café Sunburnt Cow, in the East Village. Hubert replaced Atelier’s pastry chef, Jean-François Bonnet, who has joined Christian Delouvrier to work on his upcoming projects, Terre and Delouvrier | Über-confectioner Katrina Markoff has opened a Soho branch of her Chicago-based Vosges Haut-Chocolat, with a white marble table at which you can sample signature chocolates with familiar flavors and a few unexpected ones, such as curry, pollen, chilies, olive oil, and even cheese | Speaking of chocolate, save the dates for the annual New York Chocolate Show, which will be held November 13 through 16 at the Metropolitan Pavilion on West 18th Street | Jimmy Rodriguez, the nightlife impresario who owns several Jimmy’s restaurants (Jimmy’s Bronx Cafe, Jimmy’s Uptown, Jimmy’s Downtown), has just added one more, Jimmy’s City Island, located on, you guessed it, City Island, just off the coast of the Bronx | The refreshed Millennium Hilton Hotel in the Financial District houses a new restaurant, Church & Dey, the name a reference to the hotel’s cross streets. Joe Verde, the former chef of Oscar’s at Waldorf=Astoria, oversees the American seafood menu | If you’re wondering what happened to Denim and Diamonds at the Midtown Radisson Hotel, wonder no more. Alex Garcia, formerly of Calle Ocho, has opened LQ (Latin Quarter) in its place. The restaurant and nightclub will feature what Garcia calls Latasian food. Garcia is also opening Zona Rosa, a Mexican ceviche restaurant and taquería in Midtown | A blocklong, all-you-can-eat sushi bar may sound like something straight out of Vegas, but you won’t have to fly to Sin City to find it. Try Murray Hill. Minado, the New Jersey buffet-style restaurant chain, has just opened a branch here. In addition to a spread that only a sumo wrestler could appreciate, there’s also a huge selection of hot dishes. Kids are charged by their height | City seafood shacks. Everyone’s getting in on the New England seafood craze. When Rebecca Charles anchored Pearl Oyster Bar to our shore six years ago, it quickly became a New York favorite. This year, Pearl got some delicious company, including The Mermaid Inn, Shore, and now Pier 116 and Beer Garden in Cobble Hill. Owners Steven Hall and Sam Firer partnered with chef Aaron Bashy (Minnow) and dispensed with their That Bar concept, to deliver appropriately messy beach fare (steamers, fried clam rolls, corn on the cob) in a casual setting.


Bernard Leprince (Tour d’Argent, Fouquet’s) will be taking over as head chef for the Blanc brothers restaurant group, comprised of well-known brasseries such as Le Procope and the 24/7 Au Pied de Cochon in Les Halles. Leprince replaces Marc Bayon, who retired in September | Claude Deloffre has opened Food, a culinary bookstore (English and French) and gallery in the third arrondissement | The Pourcel brothers (Le Jardin des Sens in Montpellier, Maison Blanche) are launching their food and lifestyle magazine Sens’Art on newsstands in 2004. They also opened Sens in Montpellier, an Imaad Rahmouni–designed fast-food restaurant selling Mediterranean sandwiches | Eric Kayser of boulangerie fame has opened Kayser, an upscale take-out spot/casual restaurant, in the eighth | The unsinkable seafood restaurant Marius et Jeanette, with its lovely terrace on Avenue George V, has hired Bernard Pinaud (La Marée) as chef.


Good earth. Douglass Dick (ex-Lucca, The Duquesne Club) opened Bona Terra in the Sharpsburg space vacated by Bocconcino. The menu features organic products | Zen Garden, an all-vegetarian Chinese restaurant, joins what is becoming an Asian restaurant row on Forbes Avenue in Squirrel Hill. It sits next to Rose Tea Café and Ho Lee takeout, with Café Asia and Bangkok Balcony just down the street | Sam DiBattista continues to put tiny Belleview on the map. He has added Affogato, a specialty coffee, tea, and pastry café, to his other holdings: fine-dining Vivo, jazz club Downstairs at Vivo, and a gourmet sausage purveyor called Frankfurters. The new café serves affogato, an ice cream dessert drowned in espresso | Friulian chef Luca Plett has been chef-in-residence at Lidia’s Pittsburgh. He’s working with executive chef Craig Richards to replicate a true Friulian kitchen here. At home in Italy, Plett is executive chef at his family’s Michelin-star restaurant, Hotel Ristorante Al Ponte, in the small city of Gradisca d’Isonzo.


Fresh dish. Cazuelas of San Jose is headed here. Owners Eduardo and Silvia Rallo are looking for a space. The Rallos hail from Cuernavaca, and the restaurant evokes the French-influenced cantinas that were all the rage there at the beginning of the 20th century | Radisson Miyako Hotel on Post Street has closed its Dot restaurant | Jeff Neustadt (Taxi’s Hamburgers) is opening Jitney’s Bar & Grill in the former Black Cat space on Broadway | David O’Malley, who earlier this year left as general manager and one of the three founding partners of the wine-oriented Bacar restaurant, is now directing front-of-the-house operations for Michael Mina. As for Mina, he’s doing yet another restaurant in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand, called Sea Blue. It is a Mediterranean seafood restaurant designed by Adam Tihany | Fog City Diner is now serving breakfast | Daniel Paterson will leave his Elisabeth Daniel restaurant at the end of the year to be the executive chef of a restaurant-lounge planned to open on Jackson Street in January | Former Masa’s chef Chad Callahan plans to open a fish market and cafe called Caruso’s in Sausalito.


Retro South Seas. The Islander Polynesian Cuisine & Tiki Lounge opened in the former 96 Union space. Owner Thoa Nguyen has a history of successful restaurants since she opened her first Chinoise Cafe in 1996. Executive chef Ed Teofilo has a casual menu that draws on Bali, Tahiti, Hawaii, Fiji, the Philippines, Samoa, and Japan | Mike Davis resigned as executive chef of The Salish Lodge and Spa in Snoqualmie to build 26brix in Walla Walla, one of the fastest-growing Washington winemaking areas. Davis is co-owner with chef Sterling Jackson | Jef Fik (Cassis) is opening Bandol in the Smith Tower, with a French country menu | Gordon Naccarato (Monkey Bar in Los Angeles) has returned to his roots outside Tacoma and opened The Beach House at Purdy in Gig Harbor, serving Northwest cuisine | Lindsey Schwartz has been named president of Schwartz Brothers Restaurants (Chandler’s Crabhouse, Spazzo, Daniel’s Broiler), taking over from her father, Bill Schwartz | John David Crow (ex-The Brooklyn, Space Needle) is the chef of the new Fire & Ice, in the former Avenue One space.


Daddy’s girl. Cathal Armstrong (ex-Bistro Bis) is opening a restaurant in Old Town, Alexandria, called Eve, named after his four-year-old daughter. Located where Santa Fe East used to be, Eve will be split into two: one side will be casual, and the other will offer French-inspired American fare | Natalina Koropoulos (La Tomate) will open Mourayo right across the street on Connecticut Avenue. The new restaurant will feature Greek cuisine | There’s a new chef at Gabriel, Antonio Burrell, formerly of Vidalia | Michel Fitoussi is now executive chef for Restaurant Associates at the Kennedy Center. He comes from The Palace in New York City.


IACP Mexico Culinary Experience
October 28 - November 2, 2003 explore the cuisine and culture of Puebla and
Tlaxcala, Mexico.

Western MA Awards Dinner & Silent Auction
Monday, October 27, 2003
Log Cabin Meeting & Banquet House
Holyoke, MA
Cocktails & Silent Auction at 6:00 PM
Dinner & Program at 7:00 PM