The new year brings lots of new dining news in town. Pho Paris, Jean-Robert de Cavel's Vietnamese-French fusion restaurant, is moving from Oakley to Covington at the end of January. They'll be in the former space of Scalea's and the Continental Lounge, two doors down from the Greenup Café. Pho Paris, started as a joint venture between de Cavel and the Le family of Song Long's, opened in Oakley in 2004.
Jim Demaree has transmogrified his Northside carryout Potluck into The Hideway, offering sit-down service and a menu that includes sandwiches and entrées like beef brisket, roasted chicken and a create-your-own pasta option. Just down the street on Blue Rock Road, Boswell Alley has a new owner, Mike Bigler. Look for new dinner specials like king crab legs and a revamped patio area this spring with 22 tables and a new cabaña.
The Federal Reserve Restaurant and Piano Lounge on West Fourth Street downtown has new owners as well, and they're sporting a new lunch menu. The venue offers a light dinner menu as well as events like wine-tastings every Tuesday and a "Meet Your Neighbor Block Party" for downtown residents every Saturday.
After brief hiatuses that included working with Norman Van Aiken in Florida, Jeff Ruby's roving chef, Jimmy Gibson, has re-joined Tropicana's staff. He and executive chef Sam Gillivan unleash a new menu with "some ass to it" in January.
Gibson says, "It'll still be a Jeff Ruby steakhouse, but it's going to be the most diverse. I'm sneaking in a lot of Spanish influences." The new menu will include "tapa tizers," such as Pato tacos (duck confit with mango and Monterey Jack cheese on soft flour tortillas with fresh pineapple salsa) as well as some Spanish-inspired entrée choices.
Cumin, which moved into a new space last year, will also be offering a new winter menu later this month.
A few months after opening, Vinyl has a new chef. Owners Michael Spalding and Roula David have hired Steven Hubbell, most recently from Detroit, to completely revamp the menu. Hubbell, a member of the Slow Food Movement, believes in environmental responsibility, respectful relationships with farmers and getting back to the basics of food.
According to a sign in the window, a new Thai restaurant is scheduled to open soon in the space formerly occupied by Kun Ying, the Thai restaurant on Vine Street downtown.
CONTACT LORA ARDUSER: larduser(at)citybeat.com