Scene in the Tropics

Matt Damon returns to Cafe Prima Pasta

 

lank@aol.com

Matt Damon, whose North Bay Road home is on the market for $20 million, returned to his old Miami neighborhood mainstay Saturday night to fulfill his craving for authentic Italian food from Café Prima Pasta, which he and his wife frequented weekly while living in Miami. Damon ordered almost one of everything to-go — more than 15 dishes. He also took home a bottle of Ferllen Malbec from his wife’s native country of Argentina. Damon was in town promoting his latest movie, Elysium.

Mexican Latin Grammy Award winner Ana Barbara was seen Saturday night at Zuma’s sushi counter, sharing maki rolls with producer Ricardo Moreno.

Acclaimed head Top Chef judge and chef/restaurant emperor Tom Colicchio will oversee and operate the food and beverage programs of 1 Hotel & Residences along with the launch of a new signature restaurant concept, according to an inside source. Located in the space formerly known as the Gansevoort South and The Perry, 1 Hotel & Residences has been taken over by Starwood Capital’s Barry Sternlicht along with Richard LeFrak of the LeFrak Organization and Invesco. The team has infused more than $150 million in renovations to bring the place up to par for hotel/condo-dom and expects to reveal all sometime in May of 2014. Colicchio has restaurants in NYC, Bridgehampton (NY), Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Foxwoods (CT). It’s expected that Colicchio will tap Landy Labadie, Director of Hotel Food & Beverage Operations for the Topping Rose House to spearhead the Miami launch, restaurant and day-to-day F&B operations at 1 Hotel & Residences. Labadie is no stranger to the Miami restaurant scene, having launched, revamped and reprogrammed hotel F&B projects at places such as Grove Isle, The Tides, and Hotel Victor. Tim Nardi, previously of the Morgans Hotel Group, will head up the project for Starwood Capital as Managing Director.

In other chef news, Jeff McInnis has fled the coop and left Yardbird Southern Table & Bar. McInnis, who launched the restaurant, is replaced by Baltimore’s Clayton Miller, who assumes the newly created position of executive chef and culinary director of Yardbird’s parent company 50 Eggs. “We’re thrilled to have Chef Clay Miller on board,” says CEO and Founder John Kunkel. “Clay is a rare culinary talent, and as Yardbird enters its third year of business, he is precisely the type of chef that will take our success to the next level.” As for the departing McInnis, who is said to be leaving for “personal reasons,” “We’re a close-knit family here at Yardbird, so it’s always sad to say goodbye. We respect Chef McInnis’s privacy and thank him for his hard work over the last three years,” Kunkel said.

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