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Birth Announcements: November

Juliet Glass / November 2012

PORTLAND, OREGON
In September, Vitaly and Kimberly Paley, the husband and wife team behind Paley’s Place Bistro & Bar, opened Imperial in the former Typhoon! space in the Hotel Lucia. The 110 seater’s design is laid-back campfire chic, a fitting stage for Paley’s homage to the culinary roots of the Northwest. Guests are greeted by views of chef Paley and executive chef Benjamin Bettinger presiding over the kitchen’s wood-fired grill and rotisserie. Bettinger has returned to the Paley fold after stints at Beaker and Flask and Clyde Common and is also top toque at Paley’s newly minted Portland Penny Diner. Desserts are the work of Michelle Vernier, pastry chef at all three Paley venues. Apps ($9 to $15): steamer clams with house-made linguiça sausage and pepper stew; duck meatballs with prunes, aromatic spices, and orange gremolata. Mains ($12 to $35): fried rabbit with semolina corn cake, barrel-aged hot sauce, pickled watermelon rinds, and honey; rotisserie-roasted quail with oyster stuffing, grilled stone fruit, and mustard.

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA
In September, Shore Hotel launched its first on-property restaurant, the Mexican coastal Blue Plate Taco. This is the third venture by the Santa Monica–based Blue Plate Dining Group (Blue Plate and BP Oysterette). Executive chef Scott Garrett comes by way of Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills. Seating 90 indoors and out, the beachy design includes a woven basket chandelier overhead and splashes of color from Spanish and French ceramic tiles. Apps ($4 to $15): lobster/truffle taco; salmon chilaquiles with salmon belly, shaved egg, ground masa, cilantro, lime, paprika, and chorizo oil. Mains ($16 to $32): marinated and grilled Jidori chicken with homemade tortillas and salsa; butterflied and fried loup de mer.

ST. LOUIS
Chef Gerard Craft and Craft Restaurants unveiled a fresh spin on traditional Italian fare with the September opening of Pastaria. The 124 seater is located in the new Centene Plaza building at 7734 Forsyth Boulevard in Clayton. (Niche, Craft’s signature fine dining spot, is moving to Centene later this fall.) The low-key family-friendly endeavor sports a bar made from Midwestern limestone and a wood-burning pizza oven. Inspired by the osterias of Southern Italy, Pastaria highlights house-made pastas and wood-fired pizzas. Apps ($7 to $11): shaved kale salad with creamy anchovy dressing, pecorino, and bread crumbs; crispy risotto balls with mozzarella, Parmesan, and aïoli. Mains ($11 to $21): pistachio ravioli with lemon/mint brown butter and Parmesan; salt cod braised in olive oil with potatoes, parsley, olives, and lemons.

NASHVILLE
Deb Paquette, former chef/owner of the lamented Zola, is back at the stoves with Etch, which opened in September at 303 Demonbreun Street. Partners are local restaurateurs Doug Hogrefe and Paul Schramkowski, who together own Amerigo, among others. A completely open stainless-steel kitchen reflects the 150 seater’s chef-centric attitude. Apps ($6 to $19): salad of beets, blackberries, cranberries, ginger-flavored goat’s milk cheese, dates, balsamic vinaigrette, and pistachio pesto; chile-spiced seared tuna with eggplant, avocado, radishes, green onion, smoked tofu, chicken skin, and sake/ponzu vinaigrette. Mains ($24 to $32): Moroccan-spiced duck breast with ginger grits and carrot/pear sauce; Japanese-style panko-crusted braised short ribs with Korean noodles and sesame/shrimp aïoli.

Edited by Juliet Glass. Send news to julietglass@gmail.com.