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Left Bank to Left Coast

Wednesday, Mar 21 2001
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East Meets West Harry hears that culinary guru Jean Louis Palladin met with Gordon Drysdale of Gordon's House of Fine Eats and Bill Upson of Real Restaurants to express a keen interest in our city's neighborhoods and business climate. Palladin's inquiries included questions on behalf of his good friend, French celebrity chef Alain Ducasse, who enjoys San Francisco and the wine country. It wouldn't be a stretch to imagine a West Coast addition to Ducasse's restaurant regime, which currently includes dining rooms in Paris, Monte Carlo, and New York. If the two friends make a move in our direction that'll make the second major chef relocation Harry's heard about this month: Word is Charlie Palmer's moving the family from New York to the NorCal countryside and opening a restaurant called Dry Creek Kitchen at the Hotel Healdsburg (previously projected for an April opening but now delayed).

The Kimpton Group Shuffle The next time you try to name-drop your way to a reserved table at the ever-hopping Harry Denton's Starlight Room, keep in mind that the Kimpton hotel group's staff is playing musical restaurants. Manager Dana Forrar, who has been at the Starlight for four years, moved up the block to manage the Monticello Inn's Puccini & Pinetti restaurant. Stepping into his shoes is Maxmillian Francois, moving on up from Absinthe's ground-level locale to the Sir Francis Drake's 21st floor. Jon Rader, the Starlight's general manager, will take the elevator down to Scala's Bistro, where he will assume a comparable role. Rader's position at the Starlight has not yet been filled.

Isn't It Grand Hotel Monaco's Grand Cafe boasts a new kitchen darling, Victor Scargle, who at age 28 got last year's Chronicle Rising Star nod while doing opening duty at Pisces in Burlingame. Scargle also paid his dues at Aqua in San Francisco and Las Vegas. He claims that his current mission is to create "food that makes sense, [and] is delicious and wonderful to look at." Gee, Victor, could you share that idea with some of the other chefs around town? The dining public would be grateful.

Too Fly It felt very New York at Butterfly on Monday, Feb. 26, when a clubby restaurant-staff crowd arrived for the art opening by local boys/MoMo's employees Eric Boardman and Michael Parton (no relation to Dolly). During the one-night show Eric displayed photographs from recent travels and Michael exhibited large faces painted on wood. Fellow restaurant folk and family waxed artistic while the DJ spun.

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Harry Coverte

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