News of the Week: Friday, June 22nd 2007
Love him or hate him, Top Chef's "Top Sommelier" Stephen Asprinio is back on TV, this time with his own show! Asprinio will host Wine Television’s "Wine Chefs" where he will "feature fine wines and pair them with his extraordinary and avant-garde approach to the culinary arts with the hopes of creating a cultural shift and how people feel about wine & food." And being the marketer that he is, Stephen will be hosting the show from his restaurant, Forte di Asprinio.
The OWH has an interview with Clayton Chapman, from V. Mertz about their new tasting menu and wheather Omaha is ready for a fine dining experience like the restaurant Tru in Chicago.
They also had an interesting interview with Jennifer Shallenberger from the West Omaha Olive Garden about her week long "immersion training" in Tuscany, Italy.
Moving news. Instead of waiting for Children's Hospital to kick them out, El Basha Mediterranean Grill & Wraps and Sakura Bana Japanese Restaurant have both moved to their new locations and are open for business. O Casual Dining & Lounge has not yet moved and plans to remain open in it's current location until at least September.
We've updated some past posts that you might be interested in checking out again.
First we've updated our Taste of Omaha coverage to announce the winners of the Iron Chef Metro competition.
We also updated our review of Liberty Tavern to include a link to
the OWH's review. It's interesting to compare the two, but I think they shared more opinions than not. It's also interesting to see the difference a year makes. In mine I called Liberty Tavern "a new favorite", yet I haven't been back since. I think the competition is definitely heating up in Omaha with restaurants like Darwin and V. Mertz gunning hard for some of that upper echelon limelight. If I can find the time and money, maybe I'll do a Tasting Menu Showdown between the three :-)
Speaking of Darwin, I had a conversation with Executive Chef Paul Urban a little over a week ago. Besides the fact that he's updated their menu to include such things as a foie gras torchon appetizer and house made ricotta gnocchi with quail, he's also decided to join the Slow Food Movement. No this does not mean it will take 3 hours to get your food. In a nutshell...
Slow Food is good, clean and fair food. We believe that the food we eat should taste good; that it should be produced in a clean way that does not harm the environment, animal welfare or our health; and that food producers should receive fair compensation for their work.
I also had a chance to speak with Paul Kulik who was one of the judges at the Iron Chef Metro competition. The two pieces of news that I gleaned from him are a) His new restaurant, The Boiler Room, isn't likely to be open until late November/early December, but it sounds like it will be worth the wait. b) In the mean time, he plans to stage in Europe for awhile to pick up some new tricks.