Word Around Town
Los Angeles Formerly known as Ginza Sushiko, Urasawa is offering the same extraordinary—and expensive—sushi, thanks to Ginza's former chef's-assistant, Hiro Urasawa. The restaurant at the legendary Chateau Marmont has always been a joke—until now. The dining room has been redecorated, and chef Mohammad Islam has been imported from New York City's Mercer Kitchen, along with his wife, Malika Ameen, a former Balthazar pastry chef. At the new Cinch, Chris Behre serves dishes with strong Asian influences that reflect his training at Sydney's Tetsuya's and London's Mju.
Chicago Gabriel Viti (an F&W Best New Chef 1991) is opening Miramar, a bistro near his original Gabriel's, in Highwood, in early 2004. Jacky Pluton, a fixture from Highland Park's venerated Carlos, is opening his first downtown restaurant, Pluton. In the ever-gentrifying Fulton Market area, Moto will feature the avant-garde cuisine of Homaro Cantu, a Charlie Trotter's veteran.
Boston A pair of classics are shutting their doors: Tony Ambrose has shuttered Ambrosia and will reopen it as Blackfin, a seafood restaurant and chophouse. Maison Robert will close on Valentine's Day.
Houston Jean-Georges Vongerichten's upcoming restaurant at the Hotel ICON, in a 1911 bank building, is tentatively being called Bank. At Rouge on Westheimer Road, chef Edelberto Goncalves is serving the city's best French-American food.