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   July 2004


The namesake drink flows at the new Sangria Restaurant and Tapas Bar, where the menu delivers dishes from more than 20 Latin countries. “The tapas style of eating on small plates is becoming the ‘new sushi’ in terms of popularity in the States,” says executive chef Jason Paskewitz (ex-Pump Room, Signature Room, Wave) | Sean Eastwood is running the kitchen at the new Isabella’s Estiatorio, a Mediterranean eatery in west suburban Geneva. Eastwood, a native of England and a former Relais & Châteaux “Chef of the Year” who trained with Paul Bocuse, was previously executive chef at Kokkari Estiatorio in San Francisco. Before coming to Isabella’s, he spent several months studying Mediterranean cooking in Spain, Portugal, Greece, and France | John Ayaleanos, former corporate chef at Marche, is beefing up the kitchen at Carmichael’s Chicago Steak House in the West Loop. He replaces former executive chef Nick Zarzecki | Curtis Giszczynski, of the late Soul Kitchen, is opening chef at South City Tavern, a casual South Loop eatery with an American menu. Meanwhile, Platiyo has opened in the old Soul Kitchen site in Wicker Park. This is the second Chicago location for the Mexican eatery, owned by Scott Harris and Kevin Karales | David Burns (ex-La Sardine) is the new executive chef at Cerise, the French dining room in Le Meridien Hotel | Fortunato has closed. Chef/owner Jennifer Newbury says she is looking for less demanding work | Although Marco Conti turned off the ignition on his Ferrari restaurant at the beginning of the year, he’s on the road again with Pearl, a supper club and lounge he opened in the same spot. His menu represents a “best of” selection from his other former restaurants, La Locanda and Marco, including wild-boar ravioli and three nightly risotti | Noah Bekofsky has taken over the mantra of “culturally inspired, comfortably American” cuisine as executive chef at Aria in the Fairmont Hotel, replacing James Wierzelewski, who is now at the Hyatt Regency in Miami. Bekofsky was most recently executive chef at Kapalua Bay Hotel and Ocean Villa in Kapalua, Hawaii.


The eagerly anticipated but long delayed Beacon: An Asian Café has opened in the historic Helms Bakery complex in Culver City. The executive chef is Kazuto Matsusaka (ex-Chinois on Main, ZenZero); his wife, Vicki Fan, is general manager. The co-pastry chefs are Rochelle Huppin Fleck (ex-Granita) and Lorraine Tajiri (Cakes to Die For) | Rouge Bistro and Bar in Fashion Island in Newport Beach is the latest venture for David Wilhelm’s Culinary Adventures. The bistro menu is partly inspired by those of two of Wilhelm’s other restaurants, Chat Noir and French 75. Chimayo Grill, Wilhelm’s Southwestern concept, previously occupied the site | With the launch of Alessio Ristorante Italiano in Westlake Village, San Fernando Valley restaurateur Tony Alessio has expanded his operations to Conejo Valley. The executive chef is Mario Gonzalez (ex-Mi Piace, Calabasas). The design pays tribute to the resort town of Bellagio on Lake Como, Italy | The Auld Dubliner at The Pike at Rainbow Harbor is Long Beach’s first genuine Irish pub where the food is as important as the libations; its fixtures are imported from Dublin. Chef Matt Hewitt (ex-Christy’s) prepares such traditional fare as boxty, an Irish potato pancake | Pizza patriarch Frank Buono has branched out from the original casual Buono’s Authentic Pizzerias to open Buono’s Authentic Pizzeria in downtown Long Beach, a full-service restaurant with pastas, salads, and sandwiches | Pioneering Cilurzo Vineyard & Winery, established in 1968 in the Temecula Valley, has been sold to Bella Vista Vineyard. The winery has been renamed Bella Vista Cilurzo Vineyard & Winery.


Aldo Marcon replaces the flamboyant Goffredo Fraccaro in the kitchens of La Riviera. Fraccaro remains involved | Basil Leaf owner Kelly Hotard is busy with her newest restaurant, Shell Shucked Seafood & Oyster Bar in the former Carrollton Avenue home of Lebanon’s Cafe. She is turning out fantastic twists on New Orleans cuisine | Vegas Tapas Café on Metairie Road has a new owner. Manager-turned-owner Glen Hogh has changed the decor and the menu, bringing a Latin influence into both | Dickie Brennan’s Creperie has opened in Bourbon House. Modeled after the ubiquitous food stands in Paris, this window serves savory and sweet crêpes to munch while strolling on Bourbon Street. At the same time, Café de Mello crêperie has opened at the French Market; owner Steve Kudelich says he was inspired by his last trip to Paris.


Brasserie Les Halles Bastille Races and festivities have become an annual summer tradition of family, fun, and food. This year the street party will take place on Wednesday, July 14 on John Street from noon – 9:00 PM and will feature food, music and entertainment including Cancan dancers, portraiture, historic characters, Lady Liberty, a live DJ, and the famous “Bastille Races.” Festivals will also take place in Miami, FL on Friday, July 9 and in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, July 10. For more information, call (212) 571-2100 ext. 13, or visit | For years, Christian Delouvrier earned rave reviews at Les Célébrités, his epicurian boutique at the Essex House hotel. Now he has been named executive chef at Alain Ducasse at the Essex House, the New York Times four-star restaurant that succeeded Les Célébrités. Between the two gigs, Delouvrier delighted New Yorkers at Lespinasse and found time to publish a cookbook. He spent the past year planning two restaurant projects, which went unrealized | End of an era. After 43 years of haute service and haute cuisine, La Caravelle has closed its doors; current owners Rita and André Jammet decided not to renew their lease. Opened in 1960 by Fred Decré and Robert Meyzen, in its heyday La Caravelle was frequented by the famous and the powerful. Roger Fessaguet was the first of a long line of well-known chefs to cook there. His successors included René Verdon, Michael Romano, David Ruggerio, Tadashi Ono, Cyril Renaud, David Pasternack, Julian Alonzo, and Troy Dupuy. La Caravelle joins Lutèce and La Côte Basque, two equally formal, correct French dining grandes dames that shuttered this year | Laurent Tourondel (BLT Steak) Is adding another project to his already busy schedule. Look for Viet Café, a casual Vietnamese place in Tribeca, later this summer | Julian Clauss-Ehlers has left Link to oversee the stoves at Steakhouse at Monkey Bar. His replacement at Link is Shay Geraud Ohana, who describes the new menu as “South of France with Asian accents” | Ice cream shop Mary’s Dairy has opened in the West Village with many intriguing flavors such as white chocolate with mint, and chocolate with pistachio halvah. There’s also classic vanilla, ice cream cakes, and the low-fat soft-serve Lickety Lite | Ice cream lovers seeking even more exotic flavors should check out Vosges Haut Chocolat in Soho, where owner Katrina Markoff’s new line ranges from Red Fire Chocolate (dark chocolate with chile and cinnamon) and Golden Naga (white chocolate sorbet with curry and coconut) to Pandan (Thai pandan leaf) and Australian wattleseed, all made by Ronnybrook Farm Dairy in upstate New York | Complications of construction and a fire delayed the opening, but Zak Pelaccio’s much-anticipated Five Ninth Avenue in the Meatpacking District is now open. At his last home, Chickenbone Café in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Pelaccio established a loyal following for his cheeky, idiosyncratic menu (think kielbasa and pickle bruschetta). Expect similar, well-crafted cooking at Five Ninth, with dishes such as sea trout with fava bean sambal, and black bass with young ginger | Jane gets a sibling. (No, it’s not Dick.) Glenn Harris and Jeff Lefcourt, the proprietors of Jane in Soho, have opened Neptune Room, a seafood restaurant, on the Upper West Side | Also new to the Upper West Side is Bettola, with chef Francesco Buitoni, whose family owns a pasta company by the same name | Among the changes when MOMA reopens its doors in Manhattan at the end of this year will be The Modern, a fine-dining restaurant to be run by Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group. Gabriel Kreuther has left his post at Atelier at The Ritz-Carlton to oversee the kitchen | Sirio Maccioni, patriarch of the legendary Le Cirque 2000, has confirmed the rumors in the New York Post. He announced that he will close the eatery early next year to relocate, because of escalating rent. Le Cirque 2005?? | After much anticipation—not to mention wild speculation—among both foodies and industry professionals, The New York Times has named Rome bureau chief Frank Bruni to succeed Times restaurant critic William Grimes. Grimes left the job in March after nearly five years; Marion Burros and Amanda Hesser have filled in as interim critics | Noche restaurant is now serving weekday lunches in its no-longer-private Penthouse. Diners can enjoy Ramiro Jimenez’s Modern Latin cooking—Peruvian seafood chowder; seared tuna with boniato purée and chayote-beet salad; seafood tacos with tuna, mahi-mahi, and shrimp—while sitting amid palms and orchids in an unlikely lush, tropical oasis above Times Square. There’s outdoor seating when the weather is good | Don’t wait until August to dine in the diminutive West Village eatery of the same name. A charming, new European bistro, August makes its oven the main point. From its depths emerge bass à la grecque with fennel, orange, and olives; spaghetti carbonara; salt-cod fritters; and—when the weather turns cold—a succulent duck, pork, and lamb cassoulet | People are talking about Wylie Dufresne and his cerebral Lower East Side restaurant, WD-50. But did you know the new chef at Dufresne’s former haunt, 71 Clinton Fresh Food, is turning out some newsworthy dishes, too? We’d walk a mile to eat Jason Neroni’s crispy skate wing with sour rhubarb and braised Swiss chard and his Tasmanian trout tartare with pickled mustard seeds, charoli nuts, and quail egg | V Steakhouse at the much-ballyhooed and much-delayed Restaurant Collection in the Time Warner Complex has finally opened. New York magazine called Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s eatery “unabashedly rococo.” The menu is pure Vongerichten—his usual assured take, this time on traditional steakhouse fare: gently cooked shrimp with cocktail sauce accents, chunks of baked potato tempura with lemon zest, and a deconstructed lemon meringue pie. The steaks and Dover sole filleted tableside require no tinkering | Julian Medina, ex-Maya and Pampano, is now executive chef at Zócalo on the Upper East Side. He has changed the menu to reflect his more modern Mexican sensibility. His colorful dishes—tuna ceviche marinated in sour orange, habanero peppers, and cilantro; lobster quesadilla with goat cheese, poblano rajas, and pineapple-avocado sauce; and tres leches cake with prickly pear sauce—suit to a T the festive, art-filled restaurant and patio | Nobu North. Or at least, North-er. The owners of the perennially popular Tribeca classic—restaurant impressario Drew Nieporent, celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa, and investor Robert De Niro-plan to open Nobu 57 in Midtown next spring. Architect David Rockwell will design the 13,000-square foot bi-level space; he also designed the original | Plenty o’ pasta. The Livanos family, proprietors of Oceana, Molyvos, and other restaurants, along with their partners and Molyvos executive chef Jim Botsacos, plan to open an Italian restaurant in Midtown this fall. Abboccato will be housed in the space that once was home to Castellano. Taking inspiration from the Italian side of his family, Botsacos will oversee the menu | The new Gavroche, a rustic French bistro in Greenwich Village, showcases the cooking of Philippe Roussel, whose previous addresses include Park Bistro and Chelsea Bistro. The garden is a lovely spot for a chilled glass of Lillet | Former Beard House maître d’ Dino Redzic has opened Butcher Bros. Steakhouse in Astoria next door to his Italian restaurant, Amice Amore I. The steakhouse, which ages its own meat, specializes in Black Angus prime, dry aged porterhouse. Like Amice Amore I, it is open seven days a week for dinner. This summer, customers can get 30 percent off any bottle on the wine reserve list | A colorful eatery in the Flatiron District with broad Mexican appeal, Ixta is the domain of Linda Japngie, who plied her trade at Jimmy’s-Uptown and Downtown-before venturing out on her own. Named after a Mexican volcano, Ixta serves up such fare as crab and chipotle-stuffed shrimp and seared tuna with blood-orange–margarita reduction. Don’t miss the evocatively named Tears of a Cloud, a frothy pina colada cocktail with seltzer | Religious experience. The diminutive, new Trinity, just off the Church Lounge in the hip Tribeca Grand Hotel is a deluxe study in serious Asian-American cooking. Chef Franklin Becker (Cucina, Capitale) caters to diners with white asparagus velouté with spring onion foam; grilled langoustines brushed with chorizo oil and served with fennel, mint, and pomelo; and salmon with Moroccan gremolata and pickled beets | We’re Brooklyn-bound, and you will be too once you try a slice from Franny’s in Park Slope/Park Heights. Owners Andrew Feinberg and Francine Stephens, veterans of SoHo’s Savoy, are as committed to local sustainable agriculture as to artisanal thin-crust pizza. The menu also features salads, vegetables, small pasta plates (such as ricotta gnocchi with nettles, butter, and parmesan cheese), and dessert | Back in Little Italy, the pizza competition has heated up with L’Asso (“ace” in Italian), where a handsome, wood-fired brick oven produces excellent pies. Look for such unexpected ingredients as zucchini blossoms and truffle oil alongside the standards | Pan Latin in Battery Park City is both the concept and the name of an ambitious new cafe/takeout shop. Freshly baked breads contribute to some of the best sandwiches in the City, including a not-to-be-missed Cubano. Tropical batidos (Latino fruit milkshakes), an elegant Spanish cheese and charcuterie plate, and dulce de leche and guava sandwich cookies, are just some of nibbles that have locals and visitors going loco | Smith & Vine is a lovely new wine shop in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Between them, husband-and-wife owners Michele Pravda and Patrick Watson boast some serious restaurant and wine experience (Lupa, Raoul’s, Blue Hill). Their pet-friendly store has Sunday hours, and regularly scheduled food and wine tastings with local chefs.


Todd Atcheson is the new executive chef at Hillcrest’s California Cuisine. He comes to San Diego from Columbus, Ohio | Hotshot chef Cory Neff has left the La Costa Spa after a very short stay. No replacement has been named | Yulanda Santos is the new pastry chef at Georges at the Cove in La Jolla. She comes to the newly remodeled restaurant from Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen in Sebastopol, California.


George Morrone (Aqua, Fifth Floor, Redwood Park) is partnering with former Kimpton Group operations director Aabi Shapoorian to open Tartare in the former Elisabeth Daniel space on Washington Street. “This is my own thing, my place,” Morrone says. “It’s gonna be explosive. People will say ‘wow’ after dining at Tartare.” In keeping with the restaurant’s name, fish, beef, vegetable, and maybe fruit tartares will be served. Chef de cuisine Steven Fretz is a longtime Morrone staffer | Pat Kuleto is planning two restaurants on the Wharf, one with a seafood theme, the other a steakhouse with chef Jan Birnbaum. The restaurants are scheduled to open in late 2005. Kuleto is also going ahead with construction on Nick’s Cove, his Tomales Bay project | Ben Chu is ready to open Roe, a three-level restaurant-club on Howard Street. Roe chef Herman Chin offers Burmese, Japanese, and Chinese dishes in an upscale setting | Chef/owner Donia Bijan has sold her Palo Alto restaurant L’Amie Donia to San Jose couple Duane and Jillian Hooton | Presidio Heights restaurant La Table has closed | Evidently, Martin Yan can’t, at least in El Cerrito Plaza. After just 18 months, his Yan Can Restaurant closed. The semi-self-service restaurants remain open in Pleasant Hill, Milpitas, and Santa Clara.


Matias Lagos was promoted to chef de cuisine at Ortanique downtown | Catherine Carp (ex-Clyde’s Restaurant Group) is now pastry chef at the Kennedy Center | Perry’s in Adams Morgan has hired John Cochran and Sidra Forman to run the kitchen. This husband-and-wife team were chef/owners of Rupperts on 7th Street | Sahir Erozan will open Leftbank at his Cities location in Adams Morgan. What was once a lively restaurant and dance club will now be a bistro and lounge serving a fusion American menu.


Garrison, New York

Room with a view. The tiny Valley is the beautiful new restaurant at The Garrison, a 300-acre Hudson River-view resort in the Hudson Highlands. Tony Chi designed Valley, where chef Jeff Raider is making an American menu that relies on ingredients from local farms and from the restaurant’s own garden.

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

Marina del Rey, CA

The Second Annual Umami Dinner will be held on Thursday, July 22, 2004 at the Jer-ne Restaurant + Bar at The Ritz-Carlton in Marina del Rey, CA. At the “Umami of Tofu” dinner some of the world's best chefs will create a selection of imaginative dishes using House Hinoichi Tofu and soy products. The event includes a sake cask-breaking ceremony and cocktail reception featuring specialty hors d’oeuvres and Rogue Brewery’s Morimoto beer. Thursday, July 22, 2004 at the Jer-ne Restaurant + Bar at The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey, CA. Event begins at 6:00 PM. Participating Chefs include: Troy N. Thompson, Jer-ne Restaurant + Bar, Marina del Rey, CA; Masaharu Morimoto, Morimoto Restaurant, Philadelphia, PA.; Hidemasa Yamamoto, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Washington DC; Takashi Yagihashi, Tribute Restaurant, Farmington Hills, MI; Hiroshi Noguchi, Renaissance Orlando Resort at Sea World, Orlando, FL.; Michael Laiskonis, Le Bernardin, New York, NY. Tickets: $175/person; $150/person for James Beard Members. For reservations call 310-823-1700.

Ridgewood, NJ

After the untimely death of her business partner Tom Goodman, co-chef/owner Linda Schmitt shuttered Village Green. She’s now back with a new co-chef, Art Toufayan (Bacari Grill). Open for dinner only, Village Green features a selection of tasting menus. The cooking is contemporary American, but takes some inspiration from France.

Department of Corrections

We’re excited to welcome back St. Regis, Houston chef Toby Joseph and his crew, who are generously hosting a second Friends of James Beard Benefit for us this coming September. And while we’re on the subject, may we take the opportunity to correct a mistake that we made in the spring 2004 issue of Beard House magazine. Our photograph in that publication of the chefs who made last year’s benefit a success failed to give Joseph credit for orchestrating the event. Without Host Chef Toby Joseph (third from the right), the October 3, 2003, benefit at the St. Regis, Houston, would not have been possible. Please look for details of this year’s benefit, on September 11, 2004, in future Beard Foundation Calendars or call the hotel directly at 713.403.2624.

Good news!! René Bistrot is very much alive and well and living in New Orleans. We mistakenly reported last month that chef/proprietor René Bajeux’s terrific French bistro was shuttered. We’re thrilled to stand corrected and eager to return to New Orleans for what Times-Picayune critic Brett Anderson termed Bajeux’s “scrupulously authentic, rib-sticking food.”

You’d think with 11/2 Canadians working in this office, we might know something about the geography of our neighbor to the north. Apparently not. In last month’s Calendar, we mistakenly placed Moncton, a city in New Brunswick, in a nearby but entirely separate Maritime Province, possibly proving what most Canadians think about Americans—that we know next to nothing about their country. We know this: the feast at our June 14 Festival des Fruits de Mer de l’Atlantique, prepared by a group of talented chefs from NEW BRUNSWICK, was extraordinary.