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Miami - Fratelli Lyon, the new venture of Slow Foods-oriented caterer Ken Lyon is now open in the Design District. The fresh, clean Italian cuisine showcases ingredients from small purveyors in Italy and South Florida.
Las Vegas: Ludovic Lefebvre's new place Lavo is opening at the Palazzo hotel, hopefully next month. From the two-story kitchen, Lefebvre's team will send out Mediterranean-influenced small plates. There are 300 seats and he expects to do about 1000 covers a day.
Palm Beach: Jennifer left Café Boulud Palm Beach a few weeks ago. She is starting her own business called The Sugar Monkey ( which will start online and eventually become a pastry shop. The Sugar Monkey will have French and modern American pastries, wedding cakes, and the like.
Avon, Colorado: Michael Regrut is no longer at Larkspur in Vail, though he is still working with Larkspur owner Thomas Salamunovich. Together they are opening the family style Restaurant Avondale at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa in Beaver Creek. Avondale is slated to open mid-August, and the dining room will have three glass walls for spectacular views of nearby Eagle River.
Miami- Lou and Debbie DiBono (owners of China Grill and Suva), have transformed Louie's Brick Oven Grill Rotisserie Bar into DiBono's Italian Cafe. The new menu will feature "Philadelphia-style" Italian favorites, cooked from the Dibonos' family recipes.
New Orleans
Soulful Chris De Barr of New Orleans, the Chef's Chef, has just left The Delachaise. Who will catch him next?
Elizabeth Belkind has opened an online business called Cake Monkey, (not to be confused with Jennifer Reed of Sugar Monkey). She does specialty cakes and remakes of classic pastries like yodels and pop tarts.
Chef Alain Giraud and owners Mike Garrett and Tommy Stoilkovich opened a new Santa Monica brasserie, Anisette. Breakfast service began at the beginning of June, and now in the second full week, lunch service is available. Expect Giraud's French modern classics, like moules frites, croque monsieur, crepes, and a raw bar.
David Myers will open another branch of his Comme Ca brasserie in Costa Mesa this November. The new location will be much larger than its twin in Melrose at a whopping 322 seats.
Steven Arroyo's American bistro Goat closed on Saturday and will reopen as a third Cobras and Matadors to ring in the beginning of June. Michael Ruiz, who just closed his gourmet shop and tasting restaurant, Ingredients, has been brought on to revamp menus for all three Cobras and Matadors locations.
San Francisco
Boris Portnoy had joined the good ship CandyBar. He's the new chef/partner at the funky dessert bar.
Dennis Leary (Rising Star 2005) has recently opened The Sentinel, a SoMa breakfast and lunch nook. He'll continue to man the kitchen for dinner service at Canteen.
The old Pizza Azzurro space on Second Street will be occupied by Elements, Chef Charles Weber's small-plate restaurant in August. Chef Weber will cook a variety of Mediterranean-inspired dishes, all with suggested wine pairings.
New York
After a minor DOB scuffle in April, Darren Wan has opened Chinatown's newest fusion restaurant. Red Egg will feature fine Chinese cuisine, select Peruvian dishes, and dim sum.
Florent Morellet's eponymous French diner will close June 29, after Pride Week celebrations. The restaurant is being pushed out by rent increases. Devotees of Florent will have the chance to attend 5 closing shows on each Monday in June, as well as the Saturday June 29. Morellet has mentioned taking the Florent experience to a new locale, possibly an airport, but has made no definite announcement. No word yet on what will become of the old R & L Restaurant space on Gansevoort Street, though it is currently for rent.
After putting in time at L'Impero, Alto, and Providence, Tim Butler is opening his own dessert bar in July. But even bigger news, Butler says, is that he has, "access to mangosteens and all the equipment needed to get them through customs!"
Maximo Tejada of Rayuela is opening a new restaurant, Macondo next week. It is on the corner of Houston and Allen.
Angelo Sosa has recently found a place downtown that he hopes to open in the fall. He's keeping quiet about the partners and concept, but has promised to fill us in when the time is right.
Gary Robins has left the Russian Tea Room to head the kitchen at the new West Village restaurant, Sheridan Square. To the re-designed Central Kitchen space, Robins brings his "progressive American" cuisine, along with a cherrywood-burning oven and grill. Sheridan Square opens in early June, with sidewalk seating available later in the month.
Bill Kim (Rising Star 2008) has left Le Lan to open a noodle shop in Logan Square. His new casual BYOB restaurant is called Urban Belly, and will focus on Kim's ambition to break the noodle stereotype and show that there's more to Asian noodles than just ramen. Urban Belly is set to open mid-June.
Graham Elliot Bowles' new "bistronomic" endeavor, graham elliot, is now hosting BYOB preview dinners for regular diners, beginning May 30, 2008. Regular service begins June 3, 2008.
"Global dim sum" arrives at the Next BYOB space on South Street, courtesy of Ben Byruch's new restaurant, Sonam. Byruch has served in Pod,Trust, the Desmond Hotel, and the Brickside Grille. After a two-year stint in food sales, he's eager to be back in the kitchen, creating a fusion of Asian, Cajun, and African flavors.
Four well-known New York restaurants are extending their reach into Atlanta. Spice Market and Maxim Prime have already opened, and Craft and BLT Steak are on their way.
Eric Banh's Monsoon will branch out into the Porcella Urban Market space in Bellvue. The menu at the new outpost will be less conservative than at the Capitol Hill location. Banh is seizing his opportunity to focus on the dining experience as a whole. He is working closely with a mixologist to develop a drink menu unlike any other in the area, and hopes to capture the spirit of restaurants he has visited in Hanoi and Saigon.

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