Honey Salt offers a relaxed setting, inspired by the travel and dining experiences of owners Elizabeth Blau and Kim Canteenwalla.
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Birth Announcements: December

Juliet Glass / December 2012

Las Vegas
In November, Sin City tastemakers Elizabeth Blau and chef Kim Canteenwalla, husband and wife principals at the Las Vegas–based Blau & Associates, opened their first independent venture, Honey Salt, at 1031 South Rampart Boulevard. The 150 seater reflects Blau and Canteenwalla’s culinary life at home, with a relaxed setting and robust farm-to-table menu. With whitewashed brick, citrus green banquettes, mismatched vintage chairs, and antique chandeliers, the family-friendly eatery is at once sophisticated and homey. Apps ($8 to $16): shrimp cocktail with tomato/horseradish jam; kale Caesar salad with black garlic dressing, Parmesan, and white anchovies. Mains ($15 to $32): turkey alla Bolognese with organic farro pasta, Parmesan, and basil; pork schnitzel with roasted beets and citrus salad. Desserts ($8): warm bread pudding with Bourbon/toffee sauce and honey/salted whipped cream; triple layer cake with chocolate fudge, roasted bananas, cardamom, cocoa nibs, and brown sugar buttercream.

New York City
Co-owners Jeff Bartels and chef Alex McWilliams, who hit it off while working together at The Dressing Room (Westport, CT), joined forces and conceived the Italinate Chió (117 Columbia Street) in Brooklyn. Opened in September, the 50 seater strikes a rusticated pose with reclaimed wood paneling and benches fashioned from split logs nestled around communal tables. In the kitchen, McWilliams uses meat and fish sparingly and flatbreads and pasta dishes replace main courses on his produce-heavy menu. Apps ($6 to $12): chestnut polenta with rosemary, honey, and mascarpone; caramelized baby carrots, Sardinian fregola, and herb salad. Mains ($14 to $20): potato/Tuscan kale flatbread with pancetta and ricotta; farro risotto with fava beans, butternut squash, and oyster mushrooms. Desserts ($9): lavender-scented goat’s milk cheesecake; white truffle/Valrhona chocolate soufflé cake.

In October, executive chef and managing partner Michael Lomonaco opened Center Bar in the Time Warner Center (10 Columbus Circle), a small plates spot with Mediterranean leanings ($11 to $32). Located on the fourth floor, just steps away from his acclaimed steakhouse Porter House New York, the 52 seater offers peerless views of Central Park. For the design, Jeffrey Beers International took inspiration from the styling of a yacht; chocolate brown floors with alternating inlaid stripes of natural oak evoke a deck. Enhancing the sophisticated mood is live music played on a Baldwin baby grand piano. Wayne Harley Brachman, pastry chef at Porter House, is also handling sweets at Center Bar. Meat: braised Berkshire pork belly with pistachios, aged Port, endives, and pear mostarda; quail with chanterelle mushrooms, blackberries, and pan juices. Fish: Moroccan-spiced slow-roasted halibut with sweet yellow lentils, tapenade, and a coriander tuile; roasted Mayan prawns with salsa of cilantro, garlic, yellow tomatoes, and red peppers. Desserts: coconut panna cotta with mango conserve and five spice syrup; Bourbon/vanilla rice pudding with honey gelato and brandy/raisin smash.

Chef Laurent Tourondel and the New York City-based Tao Group teamed up for the November launch of the Arlington Club at 1032 Lexington Avenue (the old Payard space). The 200 seater showcases Tourondel’s signature take on steakhouse standards, this time enhanced with a smattering of top-notch sushi. The bi-level, Beaux Arts–inspired space has brick-vaulted ceilings, soaring steel arches, gold finishes, and custom chandeliers. Apps ($10 to $18): clams casino with herbs, garlic, and prosciutto; yellowfin tuna belly with dashi, nori salt, and shiso. Mains ($32 to $55): 28-day dry-aged côte de boeuf for two; Dover sole “modern meunière” with preserved lemon, capers, and fresh herbs. Desserts ($9 to $19); banana cream pie with rum ice cream and hot Nutella fudge; warm sticky date pudding with kumquat toffee and ginger ice cream.

In October, the San Francisco–based Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants unveiled the sparkling new Hotel Monaco Philadelphia, home to the 115 seat Red Owl Tavern and Stratus Lounge, the latter being Philly’s largest rooftop venue. Red Owl Tavern, which owes its rustic Americana look to distressed redwood salvaged from an old barn, offers enviable views of Philly’s historic Old City neighborhood. Guillermo Tellez, executive chef of both venues, enjoyed a stellar career at Charlie Trotter’s and later at Starr Restaurants before joining the Kimpton family. He is also executive chef at Kimpton’s Square 1682 in the Hotel Palomar and oversees catering and events at both of Kimpton’s Philadelphia properties. Apps ($6 to $12): roasted marrow bones with parsley, pickled lamb’s tongue, preserved shallot, capers, and grilled toast; Port-poached pear salad with Gorgonzola cheese, arugula, and sweet potato chips. Mains $12 to $25): pork confit with papardelle pasta, sweet peas, roasted pearl onions, tomatillo sauce, and Parmesan; Denver-cut steak with tomato/almond sauce and crispy zucchini.

The Columbus, Ohio–based RockBridge Capital and Seattle-based Noble House Hotels & Resorts nabbed the shabby old Radisson near the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus, gave it a radical geek chic redo, and opened The Beacon Public House in the newly named Commons Hotel, Minneapolis in November. Industrial yet cozy, the 117 seater features exposed rafters and sexy sunken leather booths. Executive chef Roly Cruz-Tuara (recently of The Biltmore Miami-Coral Gables) presides over the kitchen, integrating regional ingredients into his robust gastro-pub menu. Apps ($6 to $16): Maytag blue cheese–stuffed dates with brandy and toasted almonds; burrata with bacon preserves, oregano, and Belgian endives. Mains ($13 to $34): Cabernet-braised short ribs with cauliflower mousseline, garlic chips, and glazed carrots; slow-roasted pork shoulder with peppers, onions, new potatoes, and fontina cheese cream. Desserts ($8 to $9): Poplar Hill goat’s milk cheese panna cotta with rhubarb jam, toasted peanuts, and local honey; saffron crème brûlée with fresh berries and sesame strudel.

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