news &

Find your city here:


    April  2004


Dillon’s has replaced the Barcode on Boylston Street in the Back Bay. Billed as a “swanky new gin mill,” Dillon’s has a Roaring ’20s theme but an up-to-date menu. The concept is a departure for the Glynn Hospitality Group, whose other properties include Irish pubs Clery’s, Coogan’s, and the Black Rose | Samir Majmudar (Tanjore, Bhindi Bazaar) has transformed his Bombay Bistro in Coolidge Corner into Rani, serving specialties from the Indian city of Hyderabad | Po Chiu, owner of Epiphany, recently opened Lot 401 in Providence. Under chef Rachel Klein-Gates, Lot 401 serves American food with Asian accents. Chiu’s business partner in the venture is Henry Mu | Sanctuary, a new tapas bar and restaurant on State Street, has chef Stephen Lancaster composing a menu with flavors from Vietnam, India, Mexico, and Italy. Parent company J.D. Ventures also owns Aqua and the Black Rhino | Ole Mexican Grill in Arlington has opened a take-out branch named Andale on Summer Street in the Financial District | Troquet on Boylston Street recently expanded, moving the dining upstairs and turning its first floor into a lounge. Owners Chris and Diane Campbell also have added the husband-and-wife team of chef Scott Hebert and pastry chef Natalia Andalo as partners | Skipjack’s Back Bay location has reopened. Supervising the new sushi bar is sushi chef Tsui “Otto” Hiu Tou (ex-Oiishi, Ginza) | L, the new restaurant on the first floor of Louis Boston, has opened under chef Pino Maffeo (ex-AZ in Manhattan) with a menu influenced by Southeast Asia and Japan.


This spring, the owners of Club Gascon and Cellar Gascon are opening Le Circle at 1 Wilbraham Place in Chelsea. Expect French with a modern twist | Giorgio Locatelli’s new classic Italian restaurant, Refettorio, is in the Crown Plaza Hotel on New Bridge Street. Chef Pasquale Amica has worked at Locanda Locatelli for the past six months and before that was at Cecconi’s | This spring, the owners of Zuma are opening Roka, a new Japanese grill on Charlotte Street | The Greenhouse is set to reopen after refurbishment by its new owner, Marlon Abela | Marcus Wareing’s Fleur and the Savoy Hotel’s River Restaurant have closed. The hotel now has Wareing’s Savoy Grill and the casual Banquette | Nathalie, on the former site of The House in Chelsea, is named after owner Eric Chatroux’s daughter. Chatroux is ex-manager of La Tante Claire.


Chefs redux. Josiah Citrin (Mélisse) and Raphael Lunetta (JiRaffe) are back in business together with the casual Lemon Moon Cafe serving breakfast and lunch only in West Los Angeles on the ground floor of Westside Media Center. The two chefs previously owned JiRaffe together | Hush has finally debuted in Laguna Beach on the ocean-view site that was formerly Mark’s. Jonathan Pfueger (ex-Montage Resort & Spa) has created a menu of seasonal, contemporary American cuisine with touches from Asia and the Mediterranean. Proprietor Chuck Rock is a serious wine collector | In nearby Monarch Beach, Crab Cove Euro-Asian Cuisine has already become the darling of local hotel concierges. Paul Van Zeumeren (ex-Rancho Bernardo Inn) runs the kitchen. Popular dishes include whole Dungeness crab roasted in special seasonings and garlic noodles with spicy sauce | Z Mario California is the new name for the former Sapori Trattoria in Tustin. After 13 years, proprietor Adriano Maniaci sold his establishment to Mario Bustani | Stefan Richter (ex-Villagio Inn & Spa in Napa) is at the culinary helm of Enoteca Drago Ristorante, Wine Bar & Pizzeria in Beverly Hills | Knoll’s Black Forest Inn became the bastion of fine German cuisine in Los Angeles with the move in 1982 to its current Santa Monica address, but actually was started by Norbert Knoll and his wife Hildergard in 1960 nearby as a modest coffee shop. Chef Knoll always kept pace with contemporary German dishes. The Knoll’s son, Ronald, developed an incredible cellar of fine German wines that was reported to be the deepest collection in the West. The Knolls have sold the property for development and have retired | Former white-hot Hollywood hot spot Les Deux Cafés has closed after five years | The revered Orange County chef and restaurateur Hans Prager has died at age 74. Prager created the elegant destination restaurant The Ritz Restaurant & Garden in 1977. He sold The Ritz two years ago, but longtime executive chef Guadalupe Camarena remains. Prager also founded The Ritz Brothers, an exclusive club that raised tens of thousands of dollars a year for community nonprofit groups.


Korean restaurant Ghengis Khan has closed. Owner Harry Lee, a former violinist with the New Orleans Symphony, provided opera and string quartets to accompany his Asian cuisine. Many musicians used the restaurant to showcase their talents | Chef Duke LoCicero of Café Giovanni, where opera singers abound on Saturday nights, has left the partnership in Mamma Cucina in Metairie | Bingo Starr, who rose to fame as executive chef at Cuvée and then teamed with René Bajeux to open La Côte Brasserie, has moved on. He’s now at the eclectic Café Marigny, where there are fewer tables and a more casual atmosphere. Replacing him at La Côte Brasserie is Chuck Subra, Jr., who once worked at the Windsor Court as Bajeux’s executive sous-chef. (Bajeux and Subra will be cooking at the Beard House this month; see page 17) | Pioneer vegetarian restaurant Old Dog, New Tricks has closed.


Broken hearts. After 43 years and a makeover, a final farewell. For decades André and Simone Soltner made Lutèce synonymous with refined French dining and unpretentious charm in New York. In 1994, they sold the place to Ark restaurants, which modernized the interior and the menu. Although chefs Eberhard Müller and David Féau carried on admirably, Lutèce never quite recovered from the loss of Soltner. The landmark restaurant served its last meals on Valentine’s Day | Lutèce was a youngster compared with Gage & Tollner, a 125-year-old institution in Brooklyn, which extinguished its gaslit lamps for the last time on Valentine’s Day. Charles M. Gage and Eugene Tollner opened the restaurant in 1879, and it was soon a social center for entertainers, leaders of industry, and members of high society. The restaurant revived during the 1980s under the wonderful Edna Lewis, who introduced Southern specialties, including a signature she-crab soup. But despite its 19th-century charm, business had been steadily declining | Some good news on the legendary New York restaurants front: La Grenouille is undergoing renovations, and is expected to conclude this month, and owner Charles Masson says he is committed to continuing La Grenouille’s grand tradition | Terrence Brennan has closed his Seafood and Chop House. He’s planning to relocate, possibly to another Midtown location. Carnivores, stay tuned | Alternately, meatophiles can head downtown, to the newly opened Churrascaria Plataforma Tribeca. The original Brazilian barbecue restaurant is in the Theater District. Both specialize in glutton-sized portions of succulent, char-grilled skewered meats of every variety | AZ, the respected Flatiron Asian eatery, has closed. With both Patricia Yeo and Pino Maffeo gone, owner Jimmy Haber plans to rethink the concept. See Boston Dateline for Maffeo’s current whereabouts | Richard Farnabe, who briefly turned out outstanding dishes at Bruno Jamais Restaurant Club and later at Aïgo, both on the Upper East Side, has found a new home. He is the corporate chef for the Milos restaurant group in New York and Montreal. But don’t look for him in either of those cities. He’s probably busy finalizing the menu at the Athens location, opening just in time for this summer’s Olympic Games | Jean-Luc, an eclectic bistro on the Upper West Side named after its owner, has a new chef. Eric Le Dily has been replaced by Julio Quisbert, who was promoted from within | Daniel Orr has left Guastavino’s, and he’s left New York City, too. Given this past winter’s frigid temperatures, we can’t begrudge him his new consulting job for Cuisinart Resort and Spa in Anguilla in the Caribbean. Back in Gotham, the new toque at Guastavino’s is former chef de cuisine Robert Weland. There’s a new pastry chef, too, Felencia Darius, formerly of Brasserie 360 | Kalustyan’s, at the center of the spice universe in Manhattan’s Curry Hill, has opened the ambitious Masala Café nearby. Chef Geetika Khanna (formerly of Raga) is in the enviable position of relying on the spice shop as her personal pantry. Consider ordering grilled prawns and corn chowder drizzled with green chile oil, mint chutney–crusted rare salmon, and chai crème brûlée. Owners Sayedul Alam and Aziz Osmani have also just opened a Brooklyn Heights branch of their Curry Leaf restaurant | British invasion. The Spotted Pig, a cheeky new gastro-pub in western West Village, is the concept of former music exec Ken Friedman, with input from culinary tastemaker Mario Batali. Friedman hired English expat chef April Bloomfield, fresh from London’s River Café, to cook Italian-inflected dishes such as bresaola with raw artichokes and arugula, and panzotti with roasted pumpkin, goat cheese, and marjoram, complemented by an extensive wine list. And, of course, the obligatory Irish stout | Until Jacques Torres’s new chocolate factory and shop in western SoHo opens, we’ll continue to get our fix at his shop in Dumbo, Brooklyn | Music to your children’s ears. Jazz Standard, the music lounge below Blue Smoke, is offering jazz brunches for children. Hearty eats come from the restaurant, music from the Jazz Standard Youth Orchestra. Donations help public school jazz programs | New York abounds in restaurants serving food from Latin America, Europe, and Asia, but the cuisines of Africa are largely a mystery here. Get a delicious West African culinary education at Yolélé, a new Senegalese bistro in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. The cooking of chef/owner Pierre Tham will transport you with exotica like mafe, the nation’s signature peanut stew; lamb didi haoussa, skewered, peanut-marinated lamb with spicy tomato purée; and whole roasted sea bass with zesty onion relish | Their loss, our gain. Ian Chalermkittichai has left the Regent Hotel in Bangkok to set up in New York; he is taking over the former Thom space in Soho’s 60 Thompson Hotel and plans to open Kittichai, designed by David Rockwell, in late spring. Chalermkittichai has cooked all over the world, which is apparent in his Thai fusion dishes. With his televised cooking show, he is a well-known personality in his native country | The Big Easy comes to the Big Apple in the form of Jacques-Imo’s NYC, a replica—swamp mural and all—of the beloved, eccentric N’awlins original. Proprietor Jacques Leonardi will commute between the two, but the man behind the Columbus and 77th Street stove will be Steven Manning (ex-Bayou). Now if only the Upper West Side looked like the French Quarter…


Proving that great minds think alike, a pair of Michelin-three-star chefs have opened casual restaurants just minutes from Nôtre Dame. Within weeks of each other, Guy Savoy opened Atelier Maître Albert on the Left Bank and Antoine Westermann brought his famed Alsatian cuisine to Mon Vieil Ami on Ile Saint-Louis | Delicabar, “Le Snack Chic,” is “le brainchild” of Hélène Samuel, who worked with Alain Ducasse to create Spoon, and Sebastien Gaudard, former pastry chef of Fauchon. Located above La Grande Epicerie in the 7th arrondissement, the full menu is served at all times, so you can have dessert for breakfast, or breakfast for dinner: no one will make you finish your spinach before you can have your mille-feuille au chocolat | Philippe Starck’s latest Paris creation is his most luxurious and most imaginative: Maison Baccarat, the legendary crystal house. Taking up two floors of the former Noailles mansion in the 16th arrondissement, there’s a boutique, museum, and restaurant, Le CristalRoom, where Thierry Burlot’s dishes are served beneath a suite of chandeliers | Belgian chocolatier Pierre Marcolini has opened a sleek shop on rue de Seine, close to Gérard Mulot’s beloved pâtisserie. Makes for sweet strolling.


The Big Burrito Restaurant Group has hired away Greg Alauzen from the Steelhead Grill, in the Marriott City Center hotel, to become executive chef of an as-yet-unnamed new restaurant. Derek Stevens (ex-The Duquesne Club, Casbah) is sous-chef. The 150-seat modern American restaurant will open in the former Strip District space of Valhalla. Executive chef Donato Coluccio (Ramada Plaza Suites) replaces Alauzen at the Steelhead Grill | Meanwhile, Daniel Mosedale resigned as executive chef of The Original Fish Market in the Westin Convention Center Hotel to join Big Burrito | Beer emporium The Sharp Edge has hired executive chef Mindy Heisler (ex-Valhalla) to concoct such beer-based recipes as shepherd’s pie laced with Guinness, and beef stewed in dark German Doppel Bock | Antonio Pereira expanded his Mallorca empire by replicating that Spanish concept in Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Cincinnati. Now he’s sold the Ohio shops and bought Shootz Café and Billiards, an up-market pool hall across the street from his original restaurant. Directly next door to Mallorca, he’s also developing Ibiza, a wine bar, with an international tapas menu | Restaurateur Toni Pais (Baum Vivant, Café Zinho) has opened Café Zao, a white-tablecloth brasserie in downtown’s Cultural District. Chef Carl Lashley is corporate chef | Mark Broadhurst, son of Eat ’n Park CEO James Broadhurst, has returned to Pittsburgh as the company’s first director of product development. He’s developing a casual restaurant in the Cultural District | Executive chef Gloria Fortunato has resigned from Café Allegro on the South Side. Corporate chef Joe Nolan returns to steer the kitchen day to day.


The new chef at Nectar in the Gaslamp Quarter is Matthew Herter, formerly of the Gaslamp Hilton | The new chef at Dakota, also in the Gaslamp, is Aaron O’Mara, formerly of the Paradise Point Resort in San Diego | Stephane Voitzwinkler is now behind the stoves at downtown’s landmark Bertrand at Mr. A’s. He came up the hill from Sally’s, the signature restaurant at the Grand Hyatt | Fabrice Poigin, formerly of Bertrand at Mr. A’s, came down the hill to fetch a pail of water, no, er, to land at Chive in the Gaslamp and the Kensington Grill. He is executive chef of both spots | Greg Ische is the new executive chef of the Hotel Del Coronado. He comes to San Diego from the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort and Spa up the coast in Orange County.


Shelley Lindgren and chef Christophe Hille are opening A16 on Chestnut Street, concentrating on the cuisine of Campania and its capital, Naples | Mark Mitcheltree and chef Michael Selvera (ex-Yabbies Coastal Kitchen) plan to open Cafe Maritime on Lombard Street, modeled on a New England seafood shack, but with more panache | Kitty and Luke Sung (Isa) will open Lux around the corner on Chestnut Street in the space of the now-closed China Village Seafood & Vegetarian Restaurant | Gerald Hirigoyen has been concentrating on Piperade but now turns his attention to Bocadillos, which he will open on Montgomery Street next to the Bubble Lounge. Nothing on the the sandwich menu will be priced over $12 | Robert Curry, chef at Domaine Chandon in Yountville from 1997 to 2002, wanted to return to Wine Country. For the last few years, he was working in Orlando for the Disney organization. Now he’s the executive chef of the CIA’s Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant in St. Helena. He replaces Pilar Sanchez, who left last year to open her own restaurant in Napa | Meanwhile, Ron Boyd is the new chef at Domaine Chandon. He replaces chef Eric Torralba, who left before the holidays to pursue his own project in St. Helena | In Berkeley, Christopher Lee has bought the former Ginger Island. For the last nine years, Lee has been co-chef of Chez Panisse. The restaurant is to be named Eccolo (“here it is” in Italian) | Mark Purdy has left Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg | Ben deVries has left Andalu in the Mission | Gregory Willis is gone from 231 Ellsworth in San Mateo | After years of struggle, mc2 has closed on Pacific Avenue. Chef Todd Davies, who came to the restaurant from Lark Creek Inn, says the cause was “roller-coaster business.”


Crave, brainchild of chef/owner Robin Levinthal (Deux Tamales, Cyclops), has opened on lower Capitol Hill. It claims to be the only place in town that still serves blintzes | Marco Casas Beaux (Buenos Aires Grill, Gitano) and Angel Tejedor have opened Madrid 522, a nightclub and restaurant in the Wall Street Tower. Clara Gutierrez, a native of Spain, created the Basque and Portuguese dishes | BluWater co-owners Bart Evans and Dan Anderson bought the old Leschi Lakecafe from Mick McHugh and plan to renovate | Bruce and Sara Naftaly have opened an offshoot of their Le Gourmand. It’s named Sambar, for their son, Sam. The French bistro features local organic products | La Medusa is now owned by Julie Andres, a veteran of this Sicilian-inspired restaurant. Joining her in the kitchen is her husband, Evan Andres, who comes from Dahlia Bakery, Macrina, and Tall Grass Bakery | Dan Thiessen has been appointed corporate executive chef of three Salty’s locations.


After his lunch-only restaurant in the Royal Ontario Museum was closed because of renovations, Jamie Kennedy opened Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar on Church Street downtown. Nothing on the menu costs more than $11 | Modern French restaurant Perigee in the newly developed Distillery District combines dinner with a show. The kitchen is in the middle of the dining room, all the better to watch chef Pat Riley (ex-Avalon) prepare the likes of grilled tuna interleaved with foie gras and drizzled with truffle sauce. Guests are encouraged to ask questions | Also reborn is the Drake Hotel, a former flophouse on Queen Street West that’s now home to executive chef David Chrystian (ex-Patriot, Accolade). The dining room serves cabbage rolls and flat-iron steak | Restaurateur Johnny Katsuras is back from a short hiatus with Johnny K: The Restaurant in Leslieville. The menu cribs from his previous restaurants Lolita’s Lust and Gus with Greek-influenced feta scalloped potatoes and grilled fig salads.


Two alumni of The Inn at Little Washington are planning to open a high-end bar and restaurant featuring French/Indian cuisine. Jay Coldren, former Director of Hospitality and Dining at the Inn, and Uday Huja, former chef at the Inn, are scheduled to open IndeBleu on G Street across from the MCI Center in late summer. Coldren will be GM and Huja is to be chef de cuisine | Christopher Neylon is now executive chef of Rosa Mexicano in Penn Quarter.


Las Vegas
Get guidance on your ganache and tutoring for your torte at the World Pastry Forum Recreational Program!
The 2004 World Pastry Forum Recreational Program will be held in Las Vegas on July 5 and 6, 2004. It is a series of six, two-hour classes taught by successful luminaries of the pastry world, including Biagio Settepani, of Bruno Bakery and Pasticceria Bruno in New York City and Jenifer Witte, Executive Pastry Chef at the AAA Five Diamond Award-winning Renoir, at the Mirage Hotel, Las Vegas. Participants will receive tickets to the 2004 Inniskillin Icewine World Pastry Team Championship on July 7 and 8. For more information and enrollment go to

The Fat Duck, outside London, where chef Heston Blumenthal pushes the culinary and philosophical envelope, was recently awarded its third Michelin star. England now boasts three Michelin-three-starred restaurants: Gordon Ramsey’s (London) and Waterside Inn (Bray-on-Thames) are the other two.