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New York
Matt Ridgway (2004 Philadelphia Rising Star) will be leaving Atlanta with Joel Antunes and coming to New York's Oak Room and Oak Bar at the Plaza hotel as chef de cuisine.
A certain Las Vegas pastry star is moving to New York City with plans for a new dessert-driven project with pastry and wine. Stay tuned...more to come soon.
From the mouth (and mind) of Pichet Ong: "In the coming month, you can also take a little sweet treat home with you from our soon-to-open retail shop, Batch, which is conveniently located right next door to P*ONG."

Atlanta actor, rapper and soon-to-be restaurateur Chris Bridges, aka Ludacris, who purchased Spice last year, will unveil his new concept this April. Straits Restaurant, featuring a "modern Singaporean" menu, will open in partnership with chef Chris Yeo. Atlanta's The Johnson Studio will transform the interior, giving it some subtle Eastern features. The 215-seat restaurant will open for dinner starting this spring in the former Spice space.
Jean-Georges Vongerichten is bringing Atlanta a branch of his New York restaurant Spice Market. The restaurant will open in the W Midtown.
After nine years, executive chef Todd Gray and wife/co-owner Ellen Gray are redesigning the restaurant and the menu at Equinox. Todd Gray's ambitions are two-fold. Besides a structural update, the chef is replacing the Chef's Tasting Menu with a Market Table Menu, which represents the varying availability of produce, meats and fish almost daily.
Bobby Varua is the new executive chef of 701, bringing with him plenty of experience. His previous jobs include stints with China Grill, Nougatine, Aureole, Daniel and The Plaza hotel in New York City. Joining Varua is pastry chef Christine Plante.
Georgetown's eating options are looking better and better, as Barton Seaver's Tackle Box is gearing up to open soon. The next door neighbor to Hook (on M Street in Georgetown - formerly the Georgetown Bagelry) will be a fish n' chips-style spot, featuring a variety of fish, simply prepared, served with your choice of sauce and side.
Sixteen has opened at the Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago. Located on the 16th floor, the restaurant features the modern American cuisine of chef Frank Brunacci, who has helmed the kitchens at The Ritz Carlton, New Orleans; The Dining Room at The Ritz Carlton, Buckhead; and L'Auberge de Sedona Restaurant.
San Francisco
Thomas Keller's longtime dream to open his own burger joint in Yountville may finally come true this summer. The French Laundry chef had initially intended to open Burgers and Half Bottles in the space now occupied by ad hoc, but the new plan is to add on to the building so that the two restaurants can share the kitchen while maintaining separate entrances and seating areas.
Michael Mina and wine director Rajat Parr are slated to open a new restaurant and wine bar in the Millennium Tower in SOMA. The name will be RN74, for the highway that crosses the region of Burgundy. The tower is still under construction, and the restaurant won't be opening until spring 2009 or later. The space will be designed by the New York firm AvroKO that is behind Public and The Stanton Social restaurants in New York, and will feature an enomatic tasting machine.
Craig and Anne Stoll are opening a second Pizzeria Delfina by May in the Fillmore District. It will be moving into the Zao Noodle Bar space, and will have about 44 seats and a wood-burning oven.
Personality Hotels has signed a deal to partner with Food Network culinary star Tyler Florence to open a restaurant in Hotel Vertigo (currently the York Hotel). This will be Florence's first restaurant, and is scheduled to open this summer in the hotel's former Empire Plush Room space. The 97-room York Hotel is currently undergoing a $5 million renovation spearheaded by L.A.-based Thomas Schoos Design, Inc., and upon completion in Summer 2008, the York Hotel will be renamed Hotel Vertigo after Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 classic (Novak's character lived in the York Hotel during the last half of the film). 940 Sutter St. at Leavenworth Street, San Francisco.
The owners of Isa in the Marina, Luke and Kitty Sung, will be opening Domo on March 18 in Hayes Valley. The casual neighborhood spot will feature a menu of traditional sushi. Luke's high school friend, Ku Wa, will be the sushi chef. The petite place will have 20 seats, with room for eight at the bar. Look for lunch and dinner six or maybe even seven nights a week, and hours for now are 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Domo, 511 Laguna St. at Linden Street, San Francisco.
New Orleans
Ruth's Chris Steak House will return to New Orleans proper for the first time since the hurricane, in first one then another of Harrah's hotel properties near the foot of Poydras Street.

It will be unusual among Ruth's Chris locations in serving not just dinner, but breakfast and lunch, too, as the hotel's main restaurant.

The long-term location of Ruth's Chris will be in one of the buildings between Fulton Street and Convention Center Boulevard, which is now primarily a parking facility.
Taste of the South End 2008, a culinary event that allows diners to sample food from more than 40 of the South End's restaurants, is coming to Boston on Tuesday, March 11.

Taste of the South End is a charity event that helps raise money for the AIDS Action Committee.
Restaurateur Steven Arroyo, owner of Cobras & Matadors, 750 ml and Goat, expects to open a classic French brasserie called Church & State in April at the base of the Biscuit Company Lofts building. Chef Greg Bernhardt, formerly Neal Fraser's chef de cuisine at Grace, be at the helm.
Chef Nobu Matsuhisa is opening another Los Angeles location of his famed chain, Nobu. Located in the former L'Orangerie space in West Hollywood, the restaurant is expected to open in March.

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