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December 12th, 2001 12:00 am Caryn B. Brooks | z-Miss Dish

Well Hello, Sala


One thing Lenor and Eugen Bingham nailed with Il Piatto, their hallmark eatery in Southeast, was the concept of a neighborhood establishment. They picked a nondescript storefront in a sludgy section of town that no one could call the epicenter of epicurean delights. And they turned their slice of off-Burnside into a homey, warm Italian restaurant that beckoned those who usually trekked downtown to stay in the 'hood to chow. This kind of charmed aura is hard to create and even harder to replicate. So, it's good news that their new place, Sala, which is set to open at 3200 SE Milwaukee Blvd. on Friday, Dec. 14, has different goals from their first venture.

"Il Piatto feels Tuscan-like...Sala is brighter, like you could be in a bar. It's elegant without being austere," Lenor Bingham told Miss Dish. Lenor also told Miss Dish that Sala, which means "living room" in Italian (but in Hindi, our intern Scarth points out, can be an insult equivalent to "I'm sleeping with your sister"), "will be mid-range. Not a cheapie, cheapie place. Although there will be lots of sides to choose from." Eugen, the chef at Il Piatto, plans to split his time between the two restaurants, spending more time at Sala in the beginning. Both places will feature Italian cuisine, but Lenor reports that Sala, which occupies the spot previously filled by LuLu's Diner before becoming vacant for about a year, will use a grill--a piece of equipment that Il Piatto doesn't have. One other difference between the two restaurants is that there will be a full bar, which, of course, always makes a neighborhood place so much more neighborly. Call Sala at 235-6665.


Was that Dayton's most famous restaurant, the Joel Palmer House, that you saw profiled on the ABC Nightly News with suavemeister Peter Jennings? Most likely. Jack Czarnecki, the czar of this mushroom palace, told Miss Dish the show's producers read about the restaurant in Sunset magazine and sent a team led by Brian Rooney (Andy's son!) to film a segment that included the group foraging for chanterelles in the snow. Due to the recent rise in more urgent current events, the Joel Palmer segment has been bumped from the broadcast a few times and hadn't yet aired when this item left the Dish desk.


Miss D. recently learned that, while in New York strutting their stuff at the Beard House, Bo and Steve Kline of Typhoon! were approached by a Food Networker who's interested in featuring Bo in a show on ethnic cooking.


After PCC pulled some eminent-domain action that affected their cafe, the Go Fish, No Fish fellows have found a new spot at Southeast 40th Avenue and Hawthorne Boulevard and plan to settle there in January. Congrats to these good soup makers.


The economy has caught up with Bluehour. Following Saucebox's lead, the pearl of the Pearl District is discontinuing its lunch service after Dec. 21.


Whoops! Last week Miss D. claimed that hot chocolate shop Teuscher was charging $100 a pound. Clearly she was on something that costs even more than that: The actual rate is $50 a pound.

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