Denver newcomer Tavernetta, which Turning Tables announced earlier this year, had been open only eight days when a kitchen fire broke out during dinner service in September. No one was hurt, but it did cause the new restaurant to close for repairs. Seven weeks after the blaze, Tavernetta is ready to reopen in its Union Station home.
"We were so excited about Tavernetta's original opening, and now, even after an unfortunate event like this, our team is stronger, even more enthusiastic, and has shown a united effort to get the restaurant back open," general manager Justin Williams told Wine Spectator via email.
From the team behind Boulder fine-dining destination and Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence winner Frasca Food and Wine, helmed by Bobby Stuckey, Tavernetta aims to be an approachable, authentic Italian wine and dining experience. The Frasca group's wine director, Carlin Karr, created the 225-selection, nearly all-Italian wine list representing several regions up and down the boot. The list will also highlight verticals from producers such as Emidio Pepe and Giuseppe Rinaldi. The only non-Italian region on the list is Champagne. "Denver needs a great spot to drink Champagne," Karr said.
While Frasca focuses on Friulian cuisine, Tavernetta uses ingredients and techniques from all over Italy. Executive chef Ian Wortham (previously the chef de cuisine at Frasca) developed a menu that includes traditional housemade pastas and secondi offerings like pollo girarrosto (rotisserie chicken, potato and greens) and maiale Milanese (Berkshire pork shoulder, lemon and capers). Sharing plates offer more tastes of different Italian regions, like the charcuterie selections and raw seafood platters.—L.W.
From Nov. 13 to 19, more than 140 restaurants from the Bay Area and across the country will join forces for ChefsGiving, a week-long event to support the Tipping Point Emergency Relief Fund and Restaurants Care, in the wake of California's devastating wildfires. Restaurants will offer special menus, pop-up dinners and other fund-raising initiatives.
Chef Dominique Crenn is the event's "chef chair," and will offer two dinners at her Best of Award of Excellence winner Atelier Crenn and at Petit Crenn. "We are working on the menu, from caviar to turbot, from Krug Champagne to special wines from Sonoma and Napa," Crenn told Wine Spectator via email.
Nicolette Manescalchi, chef of Best of Award of Excellence winner A16, is preparing an à la carte menu highlighting mushrooms and other products from Wine Forest, a wild-foods company that was affected by the fires. California wine pairings will be offered, like a velvet pioppini mushroom and fennel pollen pizza matched with the Scribe Carneros Pinot Nouveau 2017. Over at SPQR, chef Matthew Accarrino is creating a pasta tasting menu.
Foreign Cinema is offering a California wine flight for $37, which will include Massican Annia Napa Valley 2016, Navarro Pinot Noir Anderson Valley Méthode à l'Ancienne 2013 and Enkidu Cabernet Sauvignon North Coast High Mayacamas 2013.
The fund-raising week will end with the Nov. 19 ChefsGiving Gala, which will feature a live auction and pours from more than 50 wineries. Through the week's events, ChefsGiving hopes to raise more than $1 million. For more information and tickets, visit chefsgiving.org.—V.S.
Danny Meyer, the restaurateur behind Union Square Hospitality Group, was named the 2017 recipient of the Julia Child Award during an Oct. 26 ceremony. The award, now in its third year, is given by the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts and honors people who have shaped food and beverage in the U.S.
Meyer's culinary empire includes seven Restaurant Award winners in New York City, including Grand Award winner the Modern.
"His innovative approach to dining and hospitality, like that of Julia, has been both groundbreaking and influential in changing the way America eats and drinks," said Eric Spivey, chairman of the foundation, in a press release.
Recipients of the award get a $50,000 grant to give to a culinary nonprofit of their choice. Meyer said he immediately chose Share our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign. "The organization has a fantastic mission to end childhood hunger across the country—something I believe Julia would have approved of," Meyer said in a statement.
Jacques Pépin won the award in 2015, followed by Rick Bayless in 2016, owner of Award of Excellence winners Frontera Grill and Topolobampo.—J.H.
Table 10, chef Emeril Lagasse's Award of Excellence–winning restaurant in the Palazzo Hotel in Las Vegas, will close after service on New Year's Eve.
"Over the past 10 years, we've had an incredible experience here and I'm proud of our amazing staff for their hard work and what we have accomplished," Lagasse said in the statement. The closure follows the hotel's major remodeling effort, which recently removed escalators leading from the casino floor to the entrance of Table 10.
Olivier Flosse will join Quality Branded Nov. 15 as new wine director. The hospitality group has six Restaurant Award winners across the country, including outposts of Quality Italian and Smith & Wollensky.
"What I've seen so far is wine for absolutely everybody, from the inexpensive with still very good quality to people who want to spend more money on a single bottle," he said. "I'm extremely, extremely excited to be part of this big group."
Flosse was previously the beverage director for the Marlon Abela Restaurant Corporation, where he earned a Grand Award for the now-closed A Voce Columbus in 2012. A Voce Madison, also in the group, shut its doors last month.—J.H.
Katherine Bayle joins restaurant and wine shop West Coast as its new head chef. The restaurant holds an Award of Excellence for its 285-selection wine list, which exclusively offers wines from California, Washington and Oregon.
Owner and wine director Chris Wanner told Turning Tables that the restaurant is expanding to a second location, which will open early next year in downtown Mill Valley, Calif. It will feature the same wine program as the original location with a smaller menu. Stay tuned!—J.H.