Oregon Hill's food rep gets a boost this summer when chef-owner Todd Manley, partnering with Robert Windsor, Tina Manley and Shane Logan, opens Pescados China Street down the block from the pioneering Mamma 'Zu.
The partners are importing the Latin-Caribbean vibe of their suburban Pescados to a city corner with a colorful past. For years it was the decrepit Chuck Wagon, notorious for gunplay, beer and occasional sightings of roving reporter Mark Holmberg. Later it was recast -- in a nod to the neighboring cemetery as Hollywood Grill, where a pool table and beer outpaced the menu and students packed in for live music and cheap tacos.
Now the building requires a serious scrub-down along with the labyrinthine "This isn't Chesterfield" city-approval hurdles, but Manley's not complaining. He's been looking forward to cooking Sunday brunch at the place since well before it was a done deal that's his favorite creative outlet. Chef Logan, 29, will prepare voodoo shrimp and enchilada Acapulco among other entrees at dinner. The French Culinary Institute grad worked with "Iron Chef" contestant Kitti Chai in New York City before becoming Pescados' sous-chef under Manley. Logan's fiancée, Kim Cole, will oversee service in the 50-seat house.
Pescados China Street will be non-smoking, serving dinner nightly except Mondays, at 626 W. China St. One of its first customers is likely to be City Councilman Marty Jewell, a seafood lover who knows it's not easy, even for an experienced operator, to open a restaurant here. "We're trying to streamline the process, but it's just god-awful and I know we can do better," he acknowledges. "I've heard so many horror stories, it's troublesome. I don't presume to know what the full problem is, but I know that this particular project is a win-win for the neighborhood, and Todd's got damned good credentials to make it happen."
"Dear Short Order:
So a friend of mine on MySpace sent me these pics of XXXX (works at XXXX) with one of the cooks. The pictures are on the XXXX MySpace page. I expect this kind of behavior at XXXX, but not XXXX. Please don't use my name for anything, but if you log into MySpace anyone can see these pics. It looks like the back kitchen to XXXX restaurant and they are both naked and in the dish wash sinks. It freaked my friend out. In my friend's words 'but it's f--- ing wrong and unbelievable and childish and stupid.' So maybe you would want to write something about it, about the permanence of the Internet."
No name please
You're right. We rushed to the site, XXXXXX, and found all those photos, just like you said, and will forever order our beer in bottles, not glasses.
On the Menus
Rowland Fine Dining A five-course dinner paired with Italian wines, March 27 at 7 p.m. John Grimsley of Grappoli Imports hosts. $75 per person, plus tax and gratuity. 2132 W. Main St. 257-9885.
Black Hand Coffee Now serving sandwiches, salads, pastries and house-made soups, hummus, pesto, dressings. Latte art from house-roasted beans. Morning through evening daily. 606 N. Sheppard St. 855-0800.
Legend Brewing Company Now smoke-free before 9 p.m., and offering Sunday brunch with Southern-style eggs Benedict, signature breakfast burrito and more. 321 W. Seventh St. 232-3446.
Avenue 805 Wine Wednesdays feature discounted bottles and menu specials. Also Sunday brunch, cheap date nights and a new Web site, www.avenue805.net. 805 N. Davis Ave. 353-2505.
Acacia Relocation to former Hauke Press building at 2601 W. Cary St. in progress. The restaurant's former Carytown space is being expanded to include a side patio; despite the sign out front, a new tenant is not yet secured.
Cuppa Tea Co. Mini-indulgence teas, dim sum and other edibles; Lurline and Allan Wagner celebrate a year in the tearoom business at 1 N. Morris St. with special events for spring. www.cuppateacompany.com. 254-8322.