Table Talk + This Week's Edible Events
Ken Oringer has no shortage of big news to share. New baby? Four weeks away. New hotel restaurant? Earth at Hidden Pond in Kennebunkport, Maine to be unveiled in early June. New awards? His partner Jamie Bissonnette was crowned “The People’s Best New Chef” by Food & Wine magazine last month. So what could possibly be next? His 14-year-old fine dining institution Clio, along with its younger sibling Uni, get a major design overhaul, set to start construction around July 4th.
Oringer admitted to us last week that it was time: “I’m done with the formal, upscale portion of my life. When I go out to eat, I want to be comfortable, I want a funky, creative environment. It’s time for a change.” To that end, he’s enlisted designer Thomas Schlesser (Má Pêche, Bar Boulud) to help rid the restaurant of its wrought iron/marble/dreary carpet decor and replace it with more modern details like a stainless steel bar and glass everywhere as well as a new wardrobe for the staff (this blog’s Ricardo Rodriguez and Bodega founder Jay Gordon are consulting on the look). Uni’s interior gets a full floor-to-ceiling makeover (a distressed walnut bar; new wood on the walls and ceilings) and the menu there gets an update too, with sashimi offerings taking on more worldly twists (hamachi with cubanelle peppers; wagyu beef with miso-goat butter) and a short list of Asian street food options (look for Japanese fried chicken). Oringer hopes these changes will return the sashimi den to its former glory, saying, “I want to take the seriousness out of it and make it a fun, bar-like atmosphere again.”
As for Clio, the bar menu will get an update and innovative bartender Todd Maul will continue to wow with his impressive drink list but otherwise, diners will find the same fine-tuned French/Asian cuisine Oringer’s been playing with for years. Because we’re guessing he’s got enough on his plate.
This Week’s Edible Events:
4/12 – La Morra Pop-Up Dinner
A small fire in early March closed La Morra for service but the restaurant pops up at the Boston Wine School this week for a four-course meal (keep an eye here for the restaurant’s reopening). ($75, 6:30p.m. Boston Wine School, 1354 Commonwealth Ave., Allston. For reservations, email [email protected]).
4/12 – Celebrate Seafood Dinner with Chef Peter McCarthy
Dine on sustainable seafood in the midst of thousands of live fish; chef Peter McCarthy of EVOO serves location-appropriate courses. ($65 for members, $75 for non-members, 6:30p.m., New England Aquarium, 1 Central Wharf, Boston. Tickets online.)
4/13 – An Evening with Jasper Hill Farm
Vermont’s Jasper Hill brothers, Mateo and Andy Kehler visit No. 9 Park for a reception, followed by dinner, featuring their cheeses and others. ($35 for the reception, $95 for dinner, No. 9 Park, 9 Park St., Boston. For reservations, call 617-742-9991).
4/14 – Taste of the Nation
Over 70 restaurants and 30 wineries take part at Share Our Strength’s annual fundraiser blowout. ($150 VIP, $90 General Admission, 6:30p.m. Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston St., Boston.Tickets online.)