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.