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EX-CHAMP, CHEF MARC RANDAZZO, GETS ROCCO DISPIRITO'S JOB ON TV SHOW AND IN REAL LIFE
Chef Marc Randazzo, a former prizefighter from Chicago who opened Randazzo's Little Italy in Coral Gables, a little over a year ago, sealed a deal with restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow. He will replace celebrity chef Rocco Dispirito at Rocco's 22nd Street in New York, and at the NBC reality show "The Restaurant." "Chodorow came in for a tasting and said: Marc's meatballs are better than [Rocco's] Mama's," said his wife Elena, who defines Marc's cuisine as Italian American Soul food. Elena has designed a line of uniforms for the restaurant with the logo "Randazzo Little Italy," and rhinestone-studded shirts and caps which already sell in the restaurant and will soon be available in New York. The homey 50-seat restaurant with checkered table cloths, great music, and plasma screens running scenes from the Godfather and Restaurant Show where Chef Randazzo prepares his special recipes in front of an audience (Seafood Salad ($16) with shrimp, tender calamari, mussels and clams with lemon sauce; Sausage escarole and beans Frank Sinatra ($16); and the famous Meatballs) is open for lunch Mondays through Friday from 11:30 to 2: 30 pm, and for dinner Monday through Thursday from 6 to 10 p.m. and till 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Sunday closed. 150 Giralda Ave., Coral Gables. 305-448-7002.
TURNBERRY ISLE CHEF TODD WEISZ IS NOW CHEF/PARTNER AT BUSH'S GROVE IN ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI.
Mid America also wants to eat well. And so it will when Todd Weisz, the Executive Chef and Food & Beverage Director at the luxurious Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort & Club for 13 years, takes over Bush's Grove in Ladue, an upscale suburb of St. Louis, Missouri. "If I could do it at Turnberry Isle I can do it at Bush's Grove, where the clientele is definitely upscale, similar to that of Turnberry," said Mr. Weisz at a farewell party given by his long-time friend Executive Chef Robbin Haas at Chispa, Coral Gables. Mr. Weisz joins entrepreneur Lester Miller as a partner, COO and Executive Chef at Bush's Grove, a landmark restaurant in St. Louis since 1870, which closed about 3 years ago. Lester Miller spared no effort to rebuild it from scratch, investing about $ 8 million, and hiring the famous restaurant designer David Rockwell, and the architect Diego Grola, who designed Azul at the Mandarin Oriental.
"We'll focus on creating a great seafood restaurant,"said Chef Weisz, whose coast-to-coast career has included positions at The Pierre Hotel in New York, the Copper Kettle Restaurant in Aspen, and Ernie's Restaurant in San Francisco. "We're going to position as a destination restaurant for locals and tourists,"said Mr. Weisz of the 280-seat restaurant with two bars, two lounges and a climatized wine library to house over 5,000 labels. When Mr. Weisz leaves on August 9th with his wife and two young children, his position at Turnberry will be replaced by two people: the Acapulco Fairmont executive chef and the F&B; from the Bermuda Fairmont. Executive sous-chef Louis Pous will continue running the high-end restaurant The Veranda, as he has beein doing for the past two years.
EXCLUSIVE CELLAR CLUB AT THE BILTMORE TO REOPEN AUGUST 1ST
After the decision to move the actual Cellar Club premises on the Biltmore Hotel's 7th floor to the ground floor Bar was met with concern among members eager to maintain the Club's exclusivity, Cellar Club Director Yvonne Roberts has announced that "the Biltmore Management and ownership has chose to recreat a private Cellar Club in the space that was formerly The Corkscrew Bar on the Lobby Level." More than 100 wines-by-the-glass will still be featured, along with a full bar. Members will enjoy even more exclusive access, by swiping a Cellar Club Key Card, which members will soon be issued. The new Cellar Club will be open to members daily from noon to midnight. The Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Ave3nue, Coral Gables. For more information call: 305-913-3203.
STARTING IN AUGUST MIAMISPICE RESTAURANT MONTH.
In its third consecutive year, the fine dining program MiamiSpice offers specially-priced lunches at $20.04 and dinners for $30.04, excluding tax and gratuities, at some of the finest restaurants in town. For an updated list on participating restaurants and their menu, go to: www.miamirestaurantmonth.com
In addition to donating part of the proceeds to Taste of the Nation, American Express will donate $0.10 of each American Express Card purchase at participating restaurants to United Way.