Georges Perrier of Le Bec-Fin, who launched the more casual Brasserie Perrier almost four years ago, will be returning to haute cuisine basics with Le Mas Perrier, in the wealthy suburb of Wayne. Observers say Perrier was stung when Le Bec-Fin's decor rating dropped a point below the Fountain's in the latest Zagat tally, so look for excruciating attention to detail in his new digs. (503 W. Lancaster Ave., Wayne; 610-964-2588) Nightclub impresario-turned-restaurateur Stephen Starr, who started the hip dining scene in Old City, is moving to a new frontier: University City, the area around the University of Pennsylvania. For his futuristic adventure in Asian fusion, Pod, he hired New York designer David Rockwell to create an interior straight out of 2001, with a space-age lounge, a sushi conveyor belt and private little eating areas, i.e., pods. (3636 Sansom St.; no phone at press time)
When chef Stan Frankenthaler closed his acclaimed fusion restaurant in Cambridge, Salamander, early this year, Boston despaired of ever seeing his black-tea-soaked chicken again. Now he has signed a lease on Copley Square. The new, improved Salamander will have a chef's table, a satay bar where you can watch skewers of meat cooking on the grill and, of course, that black-tea chicken. (1 Huntington Ave.; 617-451-2150) Chef Andy Husbands is taking over the space next door to his Tremont 647, in the South End. He's calling it Sister Sorel after his sister, Sorel. He promises it will be cheaper and a little more casual, which is saying a lot, since Tremont 647 is famous for its pajama brunch. (645 Tremont St.; 617-266-8588) Rene Michelena,a 1998 F&W Best New Chef, landed on his feet after a hasty departure from La Bettola. He plans to open a pasta spot in Cambridge (720 Massachusetts Ave.; no phone at press time) and an Asian restaurant in the South End. (99 St. Botolph St.; 617-266-3030; both still unnamed)
Charlie Trotter, who fanatically controls every aspect of the dining experience in his restaurant, is opening a takeout shop in the DePaul area called Trotter's to Go. Now you can bring his food home and do all the things Trotter doesn't allow, like drink martinis and light candles. (no address or phone at press time) The address of the late, lamented Gordon has been acquired by the Nahabedian family. Carrie Nahabedian, last seen at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, is cooking Mediterranean-influenced food; her cousin Michael is managing; his brother Tom is designing the interior. The three have given their name, or part of it, to the restaurant: Naha. (500 N. Clark St.; 312-321-6242) Richard Melman, the city's leading restaurant mogul, has landed a Chicago location for Miami institution Joe's Stone Crab. Serving a few new items, it's called Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab. (60 E. Grand Ave.; 312-379-JOES)
Named after the daughter of chef Scott Staples, Restaurant Zoë will feature seafood, Staples's specialty during his time at the Third Floor Fish Cafe. The cooking will be sophisticated, but Staples promises that you can wear jeans; every day is casual Friday in Seattle. (2137 Second Ave.; no phone at press time) Chef James Drohman is launching a very French cafe called Le Pichet. He wants it to be open from 7 a.m. until midnight or later, he intends to shop Pike Place Market, and he'll do all the cooking himself. To survive this regimen, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays he'll serve coffee, and not much more. Who knows--maybe he'll even let someone else man the espresso maker. (1933 First Ave.; 206-256-1499)
NEW YORK CITY
Tom Colicchio, a 1991 F&W Best New Chef, has long wanted his own restaurant, but his partner, Danny Meyer, didn't want to let him go. So they struck a compromise: Colicchio will keep cooking at Gramercy Tavern, but he'll also oversee the kitchen at his new place, Craft. It's conveniently located back-to-back with Gramercy, so that he can run out the kitchen door of one place, across an alley and in through the door of the other. Insiders are betting Colicchio is serious enough about his food to keep this routine from turning into an I Love Lucy episode. (43 E. 19th St.; 212-780-0880) Down in TriBeCa, Karen and David Waltuck plan to open a casual brasserie called Le Zinc. For 20 years, the couple have been quietly refining their French-derived repertoire at Chanterelle; maybe they feel they've finally gotten it right, because Le Zinc will be their first spin-off. (139 Duane St.; 212-513-0001) Terrance Brennan of Picholine, a 1995 F&W Best New Chef, is opening Artisanal on the former site of La Coupole, and designer Adam Tihany plans an interior that pays homage to the legendary restaurant. Brennan will be overseeing a kitchen that specializes in classic bistro dishes, cheese (there will be a retail cheese shop) and--get ready for a flashback--fondue. (2 Park Ave.; no phone at press time)
One of the most anticipated projects in town is the long delayed arrival in the hot South of Market area of Bacar, owned in part by the team behind five-year-old Eos. Chef Arnold Eric Wong's cuisine is described as "San Francisco modern brasserie." Wine director Debbie Zachareas will establish a by-the-glass program featuring no less than 100 different choices at a time. (448 Brannan St.; 415-904-4100) North of the city, in Marin County, Bradley Ogden is building on the long-running success of the Lark Creek Inn, in Larkspur, with a seafood shack next door called Yankee Pier. (286 Magnolia Ave., Larkspur; 415-924-7676)
Reporting by Maria Gallagher (Philadelphia), Mat Schaffer (Boston), Lisa Futterman (Chicago), Mauny Kaseburg (Seattle), Lily Barberio (New York City) and Michele Repine (San Francisco).