Santo Restaurant & Lounge has just appointed Cory Smith, former sous chef at Pacific Time, to be their executive chef. The new menu will debut this Saturday, July 7th.
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The Back Story (maybe):A couple of weeks ago I met John Mariani, longtime food editor for Esquire Magazine, at Santo Restaurant. He was in town to check out new restaurants, and was finishing his meal when I joined him for a short chat. I didn’t ask about his just-completed dinner, but a couple of cryptic comments led me to believe he was less than impressed. While I didn’t try any of the food, I did look over the menu and eye the dishes being served at other tables. After Mariani left, I talked with a friend of the restaurant proprietors, and was rather blunt in my assessment: If Santo wanted to be the type of restaurant that would be taken seriously by people like John Mariani, they would have to hire a serious chef. I have no idea if my words ever reached the owners’ ears, but Cory Smith is just the sort of talented, experienced pro I was referring to. -- Lee Klein