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September 18th, 2002 Caryn B. Brooks | Miss Dish
 

Economic Indicators: Pshaw!

     
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Taqueria Nueve chef Billy Schumaker is going way down south for some cooking classes.
GENTLE READERS,
Lest you faithful readers begin to believe that there is but gloom and doom in the local restaurant biz these days, take a bite out of this bit of info: Taqueria Nueve (28 NE 28th Ave., 236-6195) is closing down Oct. 5, not because business is bad but because it's so great they're doing a redesign and expanding into the space next door. Billy Schumaker, chef and co-owner, tells Miss Dish that when TN reopens in early November there will be a more contemporary style and 30 or so more spots for the hungry. Litmus Design, who also helped chisel Oba, Southpark and Higgins, is on board to help craft the blueprints. While TN is undergoing its expansion, Schumaker plans to expand his own repertoire by taking a culinary tour of Mexico, where he will steep himself in intensive cooking classes. Schumaker says menu changes are planned for his return with a focus on family-style dining. But don't think that with all this evolution everything will change: Prices will remain within the same range. "One reason we've been successful is that people can come here once or twice a week; with other restaurants people tend to schedule it for special occasions," says Schumaker.

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If you heard there was a fire at Brasserie Montmartre downtown, it's true. But fear not: It was small kitchen blaze that kept the place closed for one day to clean up. As Miss Dish went to press, she learned that BridgePort Ale House on Hawthorne was felled by a kitchen fire--it will be closed for at least a week.

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While all eyes are on Vivid, the new Andrew Sugar venture that's slated to open Sept. 23 in the Pearl, what's happening over at Sugar's Lush? The upstairs will morph into a late-night-loving sushi restaurant called Electrofish in October. Want a sneak peek? "One thing on the menu will be Build Your Own Sushi," says Sugar. "You'll be able to make your own combination from a list of ingredients."

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Yet another experienced restaurant hand is branching off on his own to experience the exciting world of culinary entrepreneurship. Scott Dolich, who was most recently spinning out the small plates at Tapeo but has also done time at Higgins, Wildwood and Zefiro, plans to open his own place. Dolich tells Miss Dish he's got his eyes on two spots in Northwest but hasn't signed on the dotted line yet; the space he gets will determine the direction of his menu. Check here as the story unfolds.

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In the latest ish of Food and Wine, E&R Wine Shop on Macadam gets a nod as one of this country's best stops for Italian vino. Alas, Oregon gets snubbed in the rest of the special wine issue--where Washington wineries get much attention, Oregon producers are completely ignored.

 
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