Urbain 40, the restaurant with the French spelling that wants to be known as an American brasserie, is looking for a new chef again. Tim Keating, Urbain’s director of culinary operations, has left the Dellagio Plaza restaurant after a little more than two years. I have one side of the story of why the split took place but cannot share it without speaking to the other side. Keating did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Urbain’s principal, Rashid Choufani, said that he has sold shares to two men who have worked with him in the past, including opening the restaurants at Epcot’s Morocco pavilion. Hassan “Sam” Erroudani and Tony Kostali have taken over day to day operations, Choufani said. Choufani did say that Keating was offered a position as consultant with the company but, “He said he’d rather keep doing what he loves the best.” Keating had previously been chef de cuisine for Flying Fish Cafe at Disney’s BoardWalk but that relationship ended while the seafooder was closed for renovations that included cutting the cafe off of the name.
Choufani also owns Paradiso 37 at Disney Springs, one of the holdover restaurants from the Downtown Disney and Pleasure Island days. He said that after 10 years the restaurant, which is named for the 37 cuisines of the countries of the Americas, is ready for expansion. Expect an announcement of a new location soon.
The Wine Barn is not closed. That was the note I got from the owner, Andrés Montoya, who said he wanted to dispel the rumors circulating around town. I hadn’t heard such a rumor, and I’m usually the one to start them. Did I say Montoya was the owner? Should have said former owner. He has sold the Winter Park business but is staying on as a wine consultant. The Wine Barn, he said, will continue as a wine retailer and restaurant. Its pizzas, cooked in a wood-fired oven in an old fire truck, are its forte.
Harry’s Poolside Bar & Grill at Rosen Centre will offer Harry’s Sip & Savor Pairing Series throughout the year. The first, on March 22, will feature a multi-course dinner paired with craft beers from Gainesville’s Swamp Head Brewery. More details at HarrrysPoolside.com.
Pier 36 Fish Camp in Casselberry, which I reviewed in January, has closed. Don’t look at me like that — it was an ok review.
Boxi Park, a restaurant and entertainment complex built with shipping containers, has opened in Lake Nona.
Artisan’s Table has moved to West Church Street from its obscure Pine Street location.
Tre Bambine, an Italian restaurant, is now serving in the former Lake Eola Yacht Club/Spice Modern space.
La Femme du Fromage, the tiny cheese monger in East End Market, has announced plans to open a second location in North Quarter. Presumably it will have enough room to offer cheeses larger than mini camemberts.
Hermès had a splashy uber elegant soirée to celebrate its entry into Central Florida and the opening of a new store at Mall at Millenia. Normally I wouldn’t mention a clothing and accessories retailer, but it’s worth noting that for its posh sit-down dinner, Hermès brought in an out-of-town caterer. Hey, Herm, way to embrace a new community.