While the Murphy bed had yet to be installed, the rest of Rumi was indeed finished enough to open last week, only about ten days later than announced. Invitations for the opening festivities -- Romero Britto-designed martini glasses, numbered and signed -- were hand-delivered, a luxe touch no cosmo-lovin' gal in her right mind can resist. So naturally, even sans the queen, plenty of princesses (Tara Gilani from Channel 6, Suzy Buckley from Ocean Drive) showed up for the handful of media dinners and a lots-of-liquor debut splash. As a result of playing hosts to 500 of their closest friends, hovering club kids-cum-restaurateurs Alan Roth and Sean Saladino (the latter of whom looks as though he's dropped about five pounds for each million dollars injected into the place) have sharpened their loungitude and are now ready to dish to the public.
•From the Shore Club files: It's open! It's open! It's open! But don't run over to sample the goods at Sirena, the other restaurant on the premises aside from Nobu that currently is serving breakfast and about to launch lunch. That is, unless you stop at the bank and take out a second mortgage first. My sources tell me eggs Benedict will run you $24, and a side order of toast goes for $14. Those are some pretty pricey chicken embryos, my friends. Let's hope they're at least jumbos.... Meanwhile the dish on Nobu is that it is expected to debut come season -- and this time it looks as if it will actually happen, as Matsuhisa the Man Himself has been in town personally to see to the operation.
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•Changes on the China Grill Management (CGM) front: Rumors are swirling over the departure of main man Robert Oliver from SUVA. The dirt suggests Oliver was fired and retreated to the South Seas to lick his wounds, but the official public-relations line is that he and Jeffrey Chodorow are still on good terms. Oliver remains a consultant chef to the restaurant while he pens a cookbook or some such gastronomic tome. Meanwhile NOA finally has gone DOA, though the credit-card machine retains the NOA insignia. The restaurant is now a Mexican joint, and a pretty decent one at that. Perhaps it'll be the first CGM eatery in that spot to be more than a poor relation....
In other imperial news, the Biga bakeries have gone bye-bye. Pancakes also have gone the way of olive breads, as Clarke's Diner in the historic coral house on South Beach has likewise bitten the, ah, sand. But don't think Nemo has joined the ranks of the ravaged. Although the restaurant will be closed for most of August, it's only because Michael Schwartz and Myles Chefetz will be on vacation. And stirrings of season are promising: Recently there has been some interest in the Casa Salsa spot on Ocean Drive, said to be on behalf of Efrain Veiga and Billy Bean, the Mayya boys of summer.