The Cameron Mitchell Restaurants group, based in Columbus, Ohio, is debuting two new concepts this month in the city's Short North Arts District: Del Mar SoCal Kitchen, a full-service restaurant, and Lincoln Social Rooftop, a cocktail lounge.
Andrea Hoover is overseeing both wine programs; she is the newly promoted director of beverage for Cameron Mitchell, which has 19 Wine Spectator Restaurant Award winners across the country, including 13 Ocean Prime locations.
Del Mar SoCal Kitchen opened April 16 and serves California-inspired cuisine by executive chef Sonny Pache. The 93-selection wine list offers mostly domestic and French labels, with most bottles priced under $100 and more than two dozen wines available by the glass. Hoover sought out wines that complement the vegetable and seafood–centric menu, which includes dishes like roasted shishito peppers, crispy skate, and a miso cod bowl.
Lincoln Social Rooftop, opening April 30, will feature about 30 selections available by the bottle or by the glass. Hoover will highlight sparklers and white wines—"all items that would be delicious on a rooftop," she told Wine Spectator via email. Pache will helm the kitchen for this concept too, serving light bites like lobster corn dogs and barbacoa tacos, as well as shareable snacks like pizza with forest mushrooms.—J.H.
Michaël Engelmann has moved on from his position as wine director of Grand Award winner the Modern in New York City to pursue a new upcoming project in Hudson Yards. Engelmann spent five years with Union Square Hospitality Group, which also includes Restaurant Award winners Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, Maialino and Marta.
Engelmann was brought on at the Modern in 2014 when it held a Best of Award of Excellence. He significantly grew the wine program, now at 2,900 selections, and the restaurant earned a Grand Award for the first time in 2016. Engelmann told Wine Spectator he's excited for a new challenge, but the move is bittersweet. "It's just been the most amazing platform, restaurant, team, I've worked with," he said.
While the group searches for a replacement, associate director of wine Jenni Guizio will oversee the wine program.—J.H.
Michael Dorf, CEO and founder of the wine, food and music venue, is excited about the new facility. While the restaurant's 1,400-selection wine list will remain the same, winemaking equipment and barrel storage will be a centerpiece, visible from both the street and entrance. "You're going to not be able to miss the fact that we're in a true working winery, that this is happening right here," said Dorf.
The current Tribeca location will close in August. During the five-month closure, Dorf revealed to Wine Spectator that he will be opening City Winery Tasting Room, a 150-capacity, smaller-scale music venue and restaurant that is slated for August or September in Union Square. "If it works well, which we think it will, this is something we plan to roll out to about 70 cities over the next 10 years in North America," said Dorf.—B.G.
Joe Bartolotta, who ran the Milwaukee-based Bartolotta Restaurants group with his brother Paul, has died at 60. The Bartolotta brothers built their dining empire from the ground up, going from opening their 55-seat Ristorante Bartolotta in 1993 to running 17 restaurants and catering venues, including Restaurant Award winners Bacchus, Bartolotta's Lake Park Bistro and two locations of Mr. B's Steakhouses.
"We've become very passionate," Joe told Wine Spectator in a recent interview. "We've gotten a lot better at educating the guests, because when you educate the guest, that creates an emotional connection; they feel they've gotten some knowledge and some hospitality. I think that's really the strength of our company."—B.G.
Altamarea Group opened a second location of its seafood-focused Italian concept, Marea, in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The New York original holds a Best of Award of Excellence for its 1,000-selection wine list managed by wine director Francesco Grosso.
Head sommelier Petra Peternel is running the Dubai program with guidance from Altamarea's corporate beverage director, Hristo Zisovski. The opening list has about 125 selections, which they plan to double by the end of 2019. "I think it's a very sophisticated, knowledgeable clientele," Zisovski said. "We're excited to make it happen and grow it."
Italian wines are the heart of the list, rounded out by France, California and some international staples. While the program offers plenty of benchmark bottles, Peternel and Zisovski hope to bulk up the Italian sections and introduce guests to the country's small, lesser-known producers.—J.H.
The Dutch, located in the W South Beach hotel in Miami Beach, Fla., will close April 30 and reopen the next day as simply the Restaurant at W South Beach. It will maintain much of the same team, including general manager Antonio Ulloa, who will oversee the wine program. There will be a new menu and an updated wine list based on the Dutch's Best of Award of Excellence–winning program, which offered 435 selections with an emphasis on California and France. Ulloa plans to incorporate more rare, boutique wines, and add selections from places like South Africa and New Zealand. There will be 30 wines available by the glass, including 12 via Coravin.—J.H.
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