4.13.2009

Todd English Out At Cha

After welcoming a celebrity crowd during the inauguration in January, the Donovan House's restaurant Cha, originally pitched as a Todd English property, has stretched its "soft opening" into April. There's not even a sign outside. Something didn't seem quite right.

Then I got a few emails suggesting English had pulled out. When I called the celebrity chef's headquarters about a month ago, a woman who answered the phone said Cha was still a Todd English restaurant and directed further questions to Cha's number.

Now, Zagat Buzz is reporting that plans have changed, English is out, and chef Susur Lee of the same hotel group's Shang restaurant in Manhattan will likely take over. A spokesperson for English confirmed to Metrocurean that he is no longer involved with Cha.

During a trip to New York in February, I dined at Shang, where the host greeted us not with a hello but with a full-fledged diatribe about that morning's review in The New York Times. That of course has no bearing on Lee's cooking, which takes a global spin on Chinese cuisine. We had some very tender curried lamb chops and a nice soup with braised oxtail dumplings. Zagat Buzz says we may be seeing some of Lee's dishes on the Thomas Circle restaurant's menu this week.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

It looks like Thompson Hotels' is splitting with Mr. English. Word also leaked out today that English is no longer helming The Libertine, the restaurant inside Gild Hall, another Thompson property in NYC.

Anonymous said...

Cha does no longer belong to Todd English. The restaurant now belongs to the Thompson Hotels. They will continue to serve only sushi for the next month until the new "celebrity" chef comes into town to begin with the full menu. In the meantime, don't expect much from the place since most of the staff is gone, and soon the sushi guys will follow ...

Dusty said...

I had an pretty fab meal at Shang in February. Hope the concept comes to DC!