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We learned today that Chef Wil Frenandez-Cruz, the exec chef at the 10-week old The Restaurant at The Cheshire, has moved on. Details were sketchy and still are. We now know this, however, just ripped from the SLM teletype:
January 17, 2013
The Restaurant at The Cheshire and Executive Chef Wilfrin Fernandez-Cruz have parted ways. We have an outstanding culinary team in place at The Restaurant, an excellent corporate chef in Rex Hale who has been involved from the start, and an amazing talent in Basso Executive Chef Patrick Connolly, a James Beard Award winner, who will take on a larger role. For now, we are not interviewing any chef candidates. We will let the dust settle and keep empowering our team to do exceptional work. We believe The Restaurant at The Cheshire – and the entire complex – is a special place that is quickly becoming (once again!) one of the best restaurants in St. Louis.
Reading between the lines, it appears that Rex Hale and Patrick Connolly will steer the Tudor ship for the time being.
Supplemental thought: I like the restaurant; our critic Dave Lowry did, too. Here's an excerpt from his review, to be published in the March issue of SLM:
"The Cheshire Inn, once a landmark hotel, abandoned and forlorn for many a year, then expansively and expensively remodeled by locally-owned LHM Group, is again a stellar hotel—The Restaurant here is, in its own right, an estimable place for dinner." And this: "Scallops are the size of lug nuts, seared to a juicy, caramelized sweetness. With shaved Brussels sprouts flavored with bacon and drizzled with brown butter, this may be the best dish on the menu." (The most recent scallop iteration is depicted above.)
The Restaurant is a 200-seat beast with a private dining area that can handle an equal number for a seated dinner. For it to remain "a special place that is quickly becoming (once again!) one of the best restaurants in St. Louis," it needs a dedicated captain.
Photograph by Kevin A. Roberts