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   October 2004


Vine has planted itself in Virginia Highlands. Owner Paul Jordan remodeled the former Tibourn Grille and installed David Maini (ex-Brio’s) in the kitchen, where he’s cooking up an American bistro menu | Gerry Klaskala (Aria) has opened Che’ in the former Blais space in Buckhead with partners George McKerrow Jr. and Ron San Martin (We’re Cookin’ Inc.). Carvel Grant Gould (ex-Canoe) offers tapas and Latin entrées | Don Diem, former executive chef of Merlot in Buckhead, has moved to the 60-seat Bitter End Seafood in Roswell | Coming this fall is France’s Au Pied de Cochon brasserie in the new Intercontinental Hotel on Peachtree Street near Lenox Square. The 24-hour restaurant will feature French cuisine | Recent closings include Commune in Midtown, Casbah on North Highland, the Brooklyn Café at the Forum, and the landmark Jim White’s Half Shell in the Peachtree Battle Center | Nicolas Romo (ex-The Ritz-Carlton Buckhead) is chef of the new Café at East Andrews in Buckhead.


Following the departure of chefs Sarah Stegner and George Bumbaris from The Ritz-Carlton, the hotel’s award-winning pastry chef, En-Ming Hsu, has also resigned. Hsu, who recently got engaged, has followed her fiancé, also a chef, to Las Vegas. Stegner’s replacement is Chicago native Kevin Hickey of the Four Seasons Atlanta | Dale Levitsky has taken over the helm at Trio, replacing Grant Achatz. Levitsky was most recently head chef of La Tache. He’s being joined by pastry chef Mary McMahon, who has spent the last 12 years at Vivere. Achatz amicably walked away from his stupendous three-year run at Trio and is looking forward to opening his own restaurant, to be called Alinea | Paul Virant has opened his own restaurant, Vie, in Western Springs, the first to serve liquor in that suburb since Prohibition. Virant, whose stellar credentials include Charlie Trotter’s, Ambria, Everest, and Blackbird, calls his food “seasonal contemporary American cuisine.” Offerings include home-pickled asparagus, mushrooms, and sour cherries, pan-fried walleye pike, and warm chestnut spice cake with walnut-caramel ice cream | Irish eyes are smiling on the recently opened Grace O’Malley’s Restaurant & Pub on south Michigan Avenue, named after a female pirate from the 1500s. Jack Kennedy is dishing out such fare as Dublin cheese steak, and Guinness and Irish cheddar soup.


The Regent Beverly Wilshire hotel in Beverly Hills plans to turn The Dining Room into a classic American steakhouse by the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group next June. Bruno Lopez (ex-Raffles L’Ermitage Hotel) now runs the kitchens, replacing 13-year veteran Urs Balmer. The renowned Richard Meier will design the space | Alex Scrimgeour has closed Alex in Hollywood after two years to return to Great Britain to open a restaurant in the Battersea Power Station district of London. Tim and Liza Goodell (Aubergine) are taking over the site | Gingergrass, featuring Vietnamese cuisine, has debuted in Silver Lake. Stirring the pho is Mako Antonishek, fondly remembered for her time at the short-lived Le Colonial branch in Los Angeles | Akwa Cal Asian Restaurant & Sushi Bar in Santa Monica is a new venture for Jeff Peterson (Geoffrey’s in Malibu), with executive chef Fortunato Garcia (ex-Jozu) and fourth-generation sushi chef Hirotaka Fujita. Akwa replaces Peterson’s Union | Angelenos were saddened by the sudden closing of Leo’s, a barbecue shack of great acclaim in the Crenshaw district. The good news is that ace pit-meister Mr. Phillips of Phillips’ Barbecue has assumed stewardship of the location and retained most of the staff. It remains takeout only | Gorikee in Woodland Hills serves a Cal-Asian menu with touches of French, Italian, and Japanese cuisines. Chef/owner Tsuji Atsuhiro is a veteran of Chaya Venice | Michi Takahashi has added a sushi bar to Michi in Manhattan Beach. Sushi master Nick Nishi (ex-Chaya Venice) is in charge | John Cuevas is the new chef de cuisine at The Loft at Montage Resort & Spa in Laguna Beach | After cooking in London for five years, Chris Minutoli has returned to JiRaffe Restaurant in Santa Monica as chef de cuisine | Since the Tam O’Shanter Inn opened in 1922 in Los Feliz, it has had a mere handful of executive chefs. New to this exclusive club is Wally Mogollon (ex-Marmalade Café and King’s Seafood Co.).


Matthew Guidry and James Conte have opened the Meauxbar Bistro on North Rampart Street | Nearby, Big Shirley’s has reopened after a short hiatus and gets rave reviews for its fried chicken | For the big breakfast eaters, Blue Plate Café is now open on Prytania Street featuring pumpkin pancakes and portobello mushrooms caps with scrambled eggs | Attorney Alex Kelly has returned to New Orleans to open The Bank in the Marigny Triangle, featuring art by Chuck Connelly and a menu by Daniel Esses (ex- Peristyle, August).


Looking for a fun Halloween activity for your kids? Eleven Madison Park in New York City's Flatiron District will be hosting a "Halloween Kids Cooking School" taught by Chef Kerry Heffernan and Pastry Chef Nicole Kaplan on Saturday, October 30th, from 11am-2pm. Located at 11 Madison Avenue at 24th Street. For additional information call 212-889-0905 | The Hearts for Hope Gala to benefit City of Hope Cancer Center will take place on Thursday, November 4, 2004, at Capitale,130 Bowery, New York City, from 7 pm to Midnight. VIP Tickets, $250 in advance or $300 at the door. VIPs will feast on culinary delights prepared by Chef Eric Francou of Mad 28 and Chef Joseph Macri of Candela. Gala Tickets, $150 in advance or $200 at the door. The evening's entertainment includes live cabaret, bands, DJ provided by Q104.3, dancing, raffles, silent and live auction. Black-Tie Optional. For additional event information visit or contact City of Hope at 212-645-3800 or 800-732-7205 | Experience the creative forces of seven up-and-coming chefs at an elegant dinner at Oceana restaurant in New York City. Participating chefs include Cornelius Gallagher and David Carmichael of Oceana; Wylie Dufresne of WD-50; Brad Thompson of Mary Elaine's at the Phoenician; Shea Gallante of Cru; Brian Bistrong of The Harrison; and Johnny Iuzzini of Jean Georges Restaurant. Tuesday, October 19, 2004 at Oceana - 55 East 54th St. Multi-course tasting menu, including wines is $175 per person. Call to reserve at 212-759-5941 | Delete the “De.” Chef Sam DeMarco has sold DeMarco’s Room. The new owners, Barbara and chef Marco Martelli, have brightened the space and renamed it Marco New York. The menu, now Tuscan, is new too | Meanwhile, DeMarco has also closed his hip First in the East Village, and he is no longer involved with District in the Theater District, where Robert Curran (Lotus Club, Adrienne in the Peninsula) has been promoted to executive chef | Passage to India. Former D’Artagnan restaurant space has been transformed into Darbar, an elegant new venture from the owners of Indian Taj in Jackson Heights. The menu offers traditional Indian dishes and what New York magazine dubbed “trans-ethnic” preparations, for example, Indian-spiced potato croquettes stuffed with goat cheese | A new East Village trattoria worthy of a special trip, Cacio E Pepe is named for a legendary Roman dish made with pasta, generous shavings of Pecorino, and black pepper. Chef/partner Salvatore Corea serves it to customers to full dramatic effect from a hollowed-out 25-pound wheel of Pecorino. Alessandro Peluso, his partner and a native Roman, helps to maintain the regional authenticity while at the same time allowing Corea to branch out. Other excellent dishes include lardo-wrapped grilled shrimp with cannellini beans, and skewers of mussels served with artichokes and monkfish saltimbocca | Rêve is the setting for the culinary comeback of chef Renaud LeRasle, who was last seen dishing up mounds of caviar and buckets of borscht at the legendary Russian Tea Room. The decor at his new home on the Upper East Side may not be as unforgettable as at his last (what could be?), but his Asian-inflected French menu is. Try the lobster salad with yuzu jelly and summer melon, and the roasted duck marinated in honey and miso with corn pancakes and duck confit dumpling | It’s named Texas Smokehouse BBQ and Bourbon Bar, but it’s very much in Manhattan. Chef/owner John Lewis, who learned his considerable pit skills in Texas and Louisiana, offers barbecue flavors from several regions, but his specialty is Texas-style beef ribs and brisket, dry-rubbed, slow-cooked, and finger-lickin’-good | At the new UKNEWYORK, in TriBeCa, chef Fiona Carmichael recreates classic English dishes such as beef Wellington, black pudding with seared scallops, and toad in the hole with Stout gravy. Customers can wash it down with a rye vodka martini, whimsically named Thatcher in the Rye. Carmichael, who hails from London, worked in several other fields before joining the restaurant industry, among them law enforcement, butler services, and catering | Last month, James Beard Award-winner Scott Conant (L’Impero) opened Bar Tonno, a casual raw seafood place in Soho, where he is focusing on Italian raw fish dishes, or crudo, such as fluke with porcini and seaweed salad, and anchovies with marinated eggplant. His partners in Bar Tonno are Christopher Cannon and Jane Eptsein, also from L’Impero, and Frederick Twomey, who, along with Cannon, owns the chain of hip Bar Veloce’s around town | Another steaks a claim. Capital Grille, an Atlanta-based company with some 15 locations nationwide, recently opened in Manhattan, adjacent to the Chrysler Building in Midtown. The menu is standard steakhouse and seafood fare, with a lengthy wine list | Alain Allegretti has left the executive chef job at Le Cirque 2000 to become the chef at Atelier in The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park. Allegretti replaces Gabriel Kreuther, who is now working for Danny Meyer’s restaurant group on the restaurant that is scheduled to open in the renovated Museum of Modern Art next month | Peripatetic chef Gavin Citron, former chef of such popular watering holes as Aja, Celadon, and Aleutia, opened One in the Meatpacking district to much fanfare, but then packed up his knife kit again. His latest venture is Citron in the West Village, where he’s turning out a modern American-fusion menu | Buenas Noches, Time Square. After a two-year run, the Latin-themed restaurant, Noche, closed last month. Partners David Emil and chef Michael Lomonaco offered live music and vibrant cooking, but the leaseholder is looking for a high-volume (dare we say, chain?) restaurant for the space. Emil and Lomonaco will concentrate on their new acquisition, Guastavino’s under the 59th Street Bridge, which they intend to close in January in order to retool. Lomonaco will act as director and executive chef. Lomonaco, by the way, is scheduled to cook at the Beard House on October 26. (See page 30 for details) | James-Beard Foundation Award winners Mario Batali, David Pasternack, and Joseph Bastianich are expanding their restaurant collection. Later this fall, they will add Rue De Vent, literally “windy street,” near their successful Esca. The menu will highlight specialties from southern France | New noodle bar of note. The high-tech Karim Rashid—designed Nooch in Chelsea, one of a Singapore-based chain, offers an assortment of Japanese and Thai noodle dishes, plus cool cocktails | Who doesn’t harbor a fantasy about being the restaurant critic for The New York Times? Well, a few people have actually held the post, and the person who held it the longest was the unflappable Mimi Sheraton. Sheraton has written a delicious memoir that covers her years at the country’s paper of record and much more. Sink your teeth into Eating My Words: An Appetite for Life (HarperCollins) | Adieu to a friend. Leslie Revsin, the first woman to achieve the title of chef at the Waldorf=Astoria, died in August at age 59 after a one-year struggle with cancer. New Yorkers will also remember Revsin for her own Restaurant Leslie in the West Village and for kitchen posts at 24 Fifth Avenue, Bridge Café, and Argenteuil. Her last restaurant job was at the Inn at Pound Ridge in Pound Ridge, New York. Revsin’s cookbooks include the 2004 Beard Foundation award-nominated Come for Dinner: Memorable Meals to Share with Friends.


Michael Weik (Yangming, Mandarin Garden) and Scott Morrison (Tango, Basil) have opened Nectar, a bi-level Asian fusion restaurant in Berwyn. Patrick Fuery, late of Suilan at the Borgata, Susanna Foo, and Le Cirque, is executive chef. Wo Quin Huamng (fomerly of Yangming) is the chief Chinese chef. The sushi chef is Sano Sherpa | Verge, a stylish new indoor/outdoor restaurant overlooking Kelly Drive and the Schuylkill River, features the eclectic modern American food of Shawn Dolan | Avram Hornick (Lucy’s Hat Shop, Loie) has opened Amedeo, a kosher Italian restaurant on the site of the former Taj Mahal on Chestnut Street. The menu features homemade pasta, grilled fish fillets, and “raw” food | Gene Betz, the chef who tweaked the classic Italian menu at The Saloon, has left to be chef at Twenty Twenty-One, a dramatic new restaurant in Commerce Square. Jerome Palumbo replaces him | Kevin von Klause (White Dog Café) is partnering with Wendy Smith Borne and James Barrett (Metropolitan Bakery) to open Farmacia, on the site of Bruce Coopers’ (Jake’s) recently closed Amedeo | Sean Sollberger (ex-Davio’s) has opened Blue Horse Restaurant & Tavern in the former Marabella’s in Blue Bell.


Alain Pizzutti has hired chef Michelle Volte to change his Shadyside restaurant Eno into tapas spot Pamplona | Jason Gulisano (ex-Lespinasse) recently arrived as executive chef at Glendorn, a Relais & Château hotel near Bradford, Pennsylvania | The Art Institute’s Culinary Arts Program has opened a restaurant, Taste of Art, where student chefs practice their skills for the public at lunch, Monday through Wednesday | Melanie Evankovich (ex-big Burrito Group) has opened Gypsy Café on the South Side. Meanwhile, fellow big Burrito alumnus Rob Reese opened the Red Room Café and Lounge in East Liberty | Kristian Holbrook (ex-Magnolia Grill) is revamping the menu at the historic Green Gables Restaurant in Jennerstown. He replaces Ray Hornet, who moved on to Hidden Valley Ski Resort.


Arterra in the Marriott Hotel in Carmel Valley has welcomed pastry chef James Foran. Foran comes to San Diego from the Bellagio in Las Vegas (Arterra chef Carl Schroeder will be cooking at the Beard House on October 15. See page 19 for details) | MaryJo Testa has left her post as executive chef at downtown’s Laurel | Vicki Lucas has sold 150 Grand Cafe in Escondido to chef Carlton Greenawalt and his wife Stephanie. Lucas will retire to Puerto Rico | Josh McGinnis has resigned as executive chef of downtown’s Prego and is looking for a new spot in San Diego | Tom Atkins, longtime executive chef at L’Auberge Del Mar, has moved to the Boise Center on the Grove in Boise, Idaho.


After 2 ½ years, the revolutionary raw food fine-dining restaurant, Roxanne’s in Larkspur, has closed. Chef/owner Roxanne Klein won tremendous critical praise and the enthusiastic support of Charlie Trotter, with whom she collaborated on a cookbook. The take-out shop, Roxanne’s To Go, remains open. The restaurant was losing money. | After opening Tartare earlier this year, George Morrone (ex-Aqua, Fifth Floor) is set to open an Argentine steakhouse in Novato, in Marin County. The space is the former Ristorante Orsi on Ignacio Boulevard. Morrone’s mother is Argentinean, and he has visited the country many times. He says it has been his dream to open this kind of place | The PlumpJack Group is set to finish turning the short-lived Two B on Second Street into Jack Falstaff | Executive chef Erik Cosselmon has left Cetrella Bistro & Cafe in Half Moon Bay to take over as executive chef at Kokkari Estiatorio, the Greek restaurant on Jackson Street | The Cliff House plans to reopen with Sutro, situated in a new two-story wing with floor-to-ceiling windows affording an ocean view on Point Lobos Avenue | Lorenzo Petroni has sold Basta Pasta to Chris Foley and his wife, Chalerm “Aom” Foley (Koh Samui and the Monkey). The couple plans to open the Grant Street space as a dual-concept Thai restaurant: sit-down venue Citizen Thai and noodle house Monkey Bar | Morgen Jacobson, who owned Quince in Manhattan a few years ago, is now the chef at Moose’s | Caffe Malvina, a 35-year-old North Beach institution, has closed.


After leaving Wild Ginger and traveling the world, Beard Foundation award-winner Jim Han Lock has returned to open the 200-seat Jeem Asian Restaurant in the Redmond suburbs | Filling the space of the Wolfgang Puck Café that closed six months ago is the Ipanema Brazilian Grill, another Marco Cassas Beaux restaurant | Ludgar Szmania has turned his Szmania restaurant into Jager, a hip Euro-tavern | Jim and Joe Buchanan have opened the upscale southern restaurant Alexandria’s on 2nd in Belltown | Jeff Fike has closed his Pioneer Square bistro Bandol after less than a year. Sister restaurant Cassis also closed.


Black Market Bistro in Maryland’s Garrett Park is a new venture from pastry chefs Barbara Black (Black’s Bar & Kitchen in Bethesda) and Allison Krzyminski (Addie’s in Rockville) | Jeff Ramsey, who created the sushi menu at Signatures in Penn Quarter, is moving to Café Atlántico to work with José Andrés | Robert Decoste is now executive chef at Olives restaurant at 16th and K streets, NW. He replaces Steve Mannino, who returned to Las Vegas to take over the kitchen of the newly renovated Olives in the Bellagio Hotel.



Beard Foundation award-winner Robert Kinkead (Kinkead’s in Washington, D.C.) and his brother David Kinkead (The Olive Group) are opening Atelier 505 in the South End this fall. A two-sided menu features David’s cuisine on one side and Bob’s on the other. The condo development will also include a second restaurant, overseen by pastry chef Rick Katz (Legal Seafoods). Nicolas Valencia, a steward since the early days at UpStairs on the Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts, died in a car crash in late July. Valencia was a native of Columbia, and a beloved restaurant colleague; his co-workers described him as “a deeply gentle man, an increasingly accomplished hand at delicate stuffed pastas, an enthusiastic eater, the possessor of countless phone cards and, strangely, the wildest work pants on our staff.” In September, UpStairs on the Square held a fundraiser to benefit Valencia’s surviving family—he had five children. Donations are still being accepted to the Nicolas Valencia Fund. Send checks to UpStairs on the Square, 91 Winthrop Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.

Charleston, SC

Zinc Bistro & Bar has opened in Patriots Point, with a seafood menu by Tony Pope (ex-Hank’s Seafood). Fredericksburg, Texas Kelly Rogers (ex-La Casa Sena in Santa Fe) is now chef at Bejas Grill & Cantina, a 100-seat restaurant in Texas Hill Country.


Michael Bloise is the new executive chef at Wish, replacing Michael Reidt, where his menu draws on his mixed Vietnamese and Italian heritage | Chris Tapper has moved from Citarella in New York City to 1220 in the Tides Hotel, where his New American menu includes such dishes as seared foie gras with macaroons and candied kumquats, and shrimp with pigeon pea ragoût.

Providence, RI

L’Epicureo is moving from its Federal Hill location to the new Hotel Providence downtown, letting chef/owners Tom and Rosann Buckner expand.

Ride for the Brand

It ain’t no ordinary cookie who’ll be wrestlin pots-‘n’-pans for cowpokes on the long, lonesome trail West this month. Nope, chef Tim Love of the Lonesome Dove Western Bistro is at it again. Love will be riding his pootin’ pony from his home in Fort Worth, Texas to the Center Club in Costa Mesa, California to cook on the American Express® Celebrity Chef circuit (see page 50 for details). Along the way, he’ll make chuckwagon stops in three states, where he’ll join several other Foundation friendly chefs to make food far, far better than any buckeroo ever did eat. Proceeds from the dinners (listed below) will go to Spoons Across America, a program supported by the Beard Foundation that provides culinary education to children. Avoid the stampede—reserve early. Ride ’em cowboy!

Monday, October 11, 6:30 p.m.
Mark Miller
Coyote Cafe, Santa Fe
$125 | Reservations: 505.983.4792

Tuesday, October 12, 6:30 p.m.
Robert McGrath
Roaring Fork, Scottsdale, Arizona
$125 | Reservations: 480.947.0795

Wednesday, October 13, 6:30 p.m.
Michael and Wendy Jordan
Rosemary's Restaurant, Las Vegas
$125 | Reservations: 702.869.2251