Deep Dish: July/August
Valerie Gladstone / July 2013
New York City
Paul Liebrandt is opting for more casual fare with the newly opened The Elm in the King and Grove Hotel in Williamsburg—or at least more casual than he creates at the highly refined Corton, where he’s exec chef/partner with Drew Nieporent. He’s also responsible for room service and poolside service at the hotel. • Chef/owner Matt Lambert, formerly of the AvroKO hospitality group, brought his native New Zealand spirit to town in May with The Musket Room (265 Elizabeth St.). Nathan Wooden, formerly at Per Se, serves as gm. • Ed Schoenfeld and Joe Ng cloned their wildly popular RedFarm in the space that previously housed Fatty Crab on the Upper West Side. They are also planning to open Decoy, a restaurant and bar in a former laundromat downstairs from RedFarm in July. “We gave it the address 529 1/2 Hudson,” says Schoenfeld, “and we’re not going to touch the front. It goes along with our name—Decoy.” The new restaurant specializes in Peking duck. • Owner James McGown collaborated with chef Samm Dimakis on the menu at his One Twenty-Two First Avenue (122 First Ave.), which opened in May. McGown also runs South Brooklyn Pizza and Buschenschank. Dimakis comes from Dos Caminos, and Michelle Morgan, previously at Beauty & Essex, serves as gm. • Exec chef/partner Florian V. Hugo (yes, a descendent of the Victor Hugo) and Serafina Restaurant Group owners Vittorio Assaf and Fabio Granato teamed up to launch Brasserie Cognac East (963 Lexington Ave.) in May. The trio also own five year old Brasserie Cognac. • David Buico serves as exec chef at Old School Brooklyn (520 Court St., Brooklyn), the brainchild of Alessandro Peluso and partner Pasquale Failla, who worked together at Peluso’s restaurants Cacio e Pepe and Bocca. It opened in May. • Robert Moorman is the new exec chef of Krescendo (364 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn). He serves a Southern Italian menu, in addition to pizzas from the 900 degree Acunto brick oven imported from Naples. • MooLife Group founder and owner Heathe St. Clair sold his two Sunburnt Calf restaurants to his longtime employees, Tim Harris and Matilda Boland. They are introducing the spaces as three new dining and nightlife destinations under a new restaurant group, Southern Cross Hospitality: Hawker Bar, a Southeast Asian restaurant, in the former Brooklyn spot at 611 Vanderbilt Ave. in June; Burke & Wills, in the former Manhattan location at 226 W. 79th St. in July; and the Manhattan Cricket Club, an Old World cocktail lounge, will launch above Burke & Wills, in September. Stan Matusevich, previously the corporate chef for the Michael Psilakis Group’s MP Taverna and FishTag, is their chef. • Tae Strain wears the toque at Manon (407 W. 14th St.), which the Maison Dellos Group established in May. He was most recently at Demi in Baltimore. Beth Bosmeny, formerly at Eleven Madison Park, serves as exec pastry chef. Another Eleven Madison Park veteran, Aaron Polsky, takes charge of the cocktail list.
New York State
Zakary Pelaccio of Fatty Crab fame established Fish & Game (13 S. Third St., Hudson) in a 19th century blacksmith shop, collaborating with friends and family—his wife/co-owner Jori Jayne Emde; business partner, film, and TV producer Patrick Milling Smith; and architect/interior designer Michael Davis. GM Scott Brenner created the craft beer list.
The Diving Horse (2109 Dune Dr., Avalon) reopened in May for its four month season, with exec chef Eli Collins and chef de cuisine Palmer Marinelli helming the kitchen. Owners Ed Hackett and Dan Clark joined forces with Philadelphia’s BOLLE Design and Providence Architectural Salvage to re-create the atmosphere of a modern farmhouse. • Exec chef David O. Utley presides over the kitchen at the Sax Lounge and Restaurant (9601 Third Ave., Stone Harbor), which opened in May. He brings experience from Intercontinental Hotels Group.
Restaurateur Ashok Bajaj launched NoPa Kitchen+Bar (800 F St. NW), his eighth restaurant in the nation’s capital. The name represents the location just north of Pennsylvania Ave. Greg McCarty, who opened Nobu 57 in NYC, reigns as exec chef. • Katsuya Fukushima wears the toque at Daikaya (705 Sixth St. NW), a May newcomer. He spent 15 years at ThinkFoodGroup by José Andrés and held the position of head chef at Café Atlántico.
A venture of their company, Social Dining Concepts, chef Jamie DeRosa and Michael Reginbogin’s Tongue & Cheek (431 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) opened in May. DeRosa formerly served as exec chef of the now-closed Tudor Hotel, and Reginbogin held the post of director of operations at Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill. • Restaurateur Maurizio Farinelli dons the toque at Strada in the Grove (3176 Commodore Plaza, Coconut Grove), slated to open in August. He worked with Antonio Tettamanti, formerly at Osteria del Teatro, and Andrea Raines, chef at Dolce Italian in Miami Beach, to create the menu. • J. Christopher Windus became exec chef of The Alfond Inn (300 E. New England Ave., Winter Park) in June. He most recently held the same post at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel in Orlando.
Chef Tim Graham opened Travelle in the new Langham Hotel (330 N. Wabash Ave.) in July. He last established Paris Club for Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises. • The Bentley (2834 N. Southport Ave.) started serving customers in June, offering a menu designed by chef Ian Flowers, who worked at Lokal. • Chef/owner Don Clements opened the vegan restaurant Kitchen 17 (613 W. Briar Pl.), replacing recently shuttered Matto Fornaio. • Brewer John Laffler, previously with Goose Island Brewery, and Dave Bleitner, former chief of cellaring at Two Brothers, started offering exotic brews at their Off Color Brewing (3925 W. Dickens St.) in May. • Chef Joe Farina of Rosebud Restaurants brought Centro (6 W. Hubbard St.)—out of business since 2001—back to life in May. • Gari Sushi & Asian Bistro (2020 W. Chicago Ave.), which opened its doors in May, serves the creations of chef Alfredo Cruz. He was previously at S@kura. • Mixologist Benjamin Schiller left the Boka Restaurant Group to take care of cocktails and drinks for the Fifty/50 Group (2047 W. Division St.), where he will have the same duties at Homestead and the Berkshire Room in the Acme Hotel. The Fifty/50 Group also reopened the West Town Bakery in the Acme Hotel, giving Chris Teixeira the position of exec pastry chef. He previously worked at Sixteen. • Another sweet arrival, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams (3404 N. Southport Ave.), will launch its newest location in August. • Owner Paolo Acuña established Belmont Pour House (1113 W. Belmont Ave.) in May, awarding the toque to Omar Rodriguez. It took over the space that was originally Cuna. • Brandon Wolff mans the kitchen at Tre Soldi (212 E. Ohio St.), which opened in June. He and the exec chef from Coco Pazzo, Federico Comacchio, collaborated on the menu. Wolff has worked at the Signature Room. • Zingerman’s Roadhouse’s new Plum Market (1233 N. Wells St.), which opened in June, offers the Ann Arbor, Michigan–based food company’s breads, pies, and pastries, as well as cheeses, gelati, sorbets, and candy. • After closing its former location in January, La Farine Bakery & Cafe moved to a much bigger space on 2909 N. Milwaukee Ave. in May.
Diversified Restaurant Holdings launched its new Bagger Dave’s Legendary Burger Tavern (241 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids) in May.
Sean Brock’s Husk is now up and running in Rutledge Hill in a historic carriage house. Like its Charleston sister, it focuses on such fundamentals of Southern cuisine as seed-saving, heirloom husbandry, and in-house pickling and charcuterie programs. • Josh Habiger is leaving The Catbird Seat. Erik Anderson will carry on at the cutting-edge counter. “Erik is going to run the show, and I’m going to open something else.” says Habiger.
The Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group (3500 Las Vegas Blvd. S.) appointed Kamel Guechida as its new director of pastry in May. He oversees the dessert and bread programs at the restaurants of the WPFDG, which include 21 restaurants around the country, plus international locations in Singapore and London. He last held the post of exec pastry chef and consulting pastry chef at Robuchon Restaurants at MGM Grand.
Nicole Grimes will helm the kitchen when Rao’s Restaurant Group opens its third location in Hollywood this summer. Grimes is currently chef de cuisine at Rao’s Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. • Valerie Gordon of Valerie Confections opened Valerie at Grand Central Market (317 Broadway) in May, with a modern lunch/coffeeshop counter. • Adam Crocini was appointed gm for Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air (701 Stone Canyon Rd.) in May, taking on the responsibility for the f&b operations in the hotel’s restaurant, as well as the bar and lounge. He recently served as gm for CUT by Wolfgang Puck in Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore. • Andrew Wong and Andrew Chiu, who recently shuttered their El Guapo, designed the Chinese menu for the Peking Tavern (806 S. Spring St.), the street food concept that became a brick-and-mortar in July. Bartender Cari Hah, formerly at The Varnish, creates the cocktail list.
James Beard Award-winning outstanding pastry chef for 2010 Nicole Plue, most recently at the shuttered Cyrus in Healdsburg, is now director of pastry arts at San Francisco Cooking School, where she teaches the professional pastry certificate program. • Owner Anamika Khanna launched the second location of her fast-food Indian spot, Kasa (4001 18th St., San Francisco) in June, bringing in Mark Bright from Saison as sommelier. • Owners Tim Carlon and Sarah Nasgovitz opened Stella Nonna (1407 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley) in May. They previously ran a catering firm by the same name. Pastry chef Mitchell Hughes, from Spun Sugar, takes care of desserts. • Alice Waters has reopened Chez Panisse. The iconic Berkeley restaurant closed for reconstruction following a fire in March.