A former sous chef at Prune and the chef and owner of Uovo, Matt Hamilton, will be running the kitchen at Belcourt (84 E. 4th St. at Second Avenue), which is slated to open next month.
Items on Mr. Hamilton's Mediterranean-inspired draft menu include starters such as oil-poached octopus with cardamom pickled carrots, salsify, coriander dressing, and olive crisps; lemon and garlic marinated grilled sweetbreads with flatbread, roasted garlic butter and Champagne grapes; and boudin blanc dogs with house-made mustard, sauerkraut, and wild pepper potato chips. Main courses include slow-roasted pork belly and sausage with house made sauerkraut, and lavender spätzle; and preserved rabbit legs with fennel, mushroom, and chestnut sugo. The restaurant's owner, Mehenni Zebentout, also owns Cucina di Pesce and Nomad nearby.
Gavin Portsmouth has been promoted to executive chef at Sapa (43 W. 24th St., between Broadway and Sixth Avenue, 212-929-1800), replacing Patricia Yeo, who is focusing on her responsibilities as executive chef of Monkey Bar (60 E. 54th St., between Park and Madison avenues, 212-838-2600). She has been overseeing the kitchens of both restaurants all summer, but her departure from Sapa was reportedly amicable. Mr. Portsmouth, who is working on a new menu, has been the restaurant's chef de cuisine since Sapa opened in November 2004. "We are excited to be taking Sapa in a new direction," the owner, Brian Matzkow, said.
GARDEN OF EDEN
A former chef at 66 and Xing restaurants, Josh Eden, is taking over as chef and owner of Goblin Market (199 Prince St., between Mac-Dougal and Sullivan streets, 212-375-8275) from Richard Pelz, as of Labor Day.
Los Dados (73 Gansevoort St. at Washington Street, 646-810-7290) opened yesterday, serving tortas, tacos, enchiladas, ceviche and other mostly Mexican fare by Sue Torres, chef-owner of Sueños. Backing her are David Rabin and Will Regan, the team behind Lotus and the Double Seven. A late-night taquería attached to it is reportedly in the works, to open in a few weeks.
As first reported on a Web log, Eater, Dévi (8 E. 18th St. at Fifth Avenue) has closed. Chef Suvir Saran, who worked alongside chef Hemant Mathur, said there were "operational differences between the restaurant's owner and our staff."
Bottle Rocket Wine & Spirit (5 W. 19th St. at Fifth Avenue, 212-929-2323) is holding its last singles night of the summer tomorrow. Between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., the liquor store is serving free wine and cheese while encouraging young, unattached people to get to know one another better.
Mr. Thorn is food editor of Nation's Restaurant News. He maintains nrnfoodwriter.blogspot.com.