In two weeks, the intimate Buena Vista bistro the Embassy will close for renovations. The restaurant, which opened in 2012, features chef Alan Hughes' blend of globally inspired plates paired with live music most nights.
Hughes tells New Times he isn't going anywhere. "We're just cleaning up a bit and taking a break. We're going to restructure a bit. We're changing chairs, stools. We might do a few changes with tables."
Hughes says he's also playing around with some concept changes, although nothing is etched in stone yet. Possibilities include hosting live late-night music sessions Fridays and Saturdays, brunch, lunch service, or even a new identity. "We're still deciding," he confides.
What is known is that the renovations won't take months. Though the chef won't pinpoint a timeline, saying he doesn't want to disappoint people, he says the work is expected to take weeks rather than months. Hughes is also looking forward to a little time off. "It's been an interesting season, so I thought instead of taking a break for the summer, let's take a break now."
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The Embassy's Buena Vista location is just a short stroll from the tony Design District, where designer shops like Louis Vuitton and Prada have taken over most of the real estate. Asked if that was one of the deciding factors in a revamp of his restaurant, Hughes says it played into the decision. "I've been here quite a while, and there are definitely improvements in the neighborhood. It's evident that all the development and improvement of the houses in the neighborhood ties in with the changes in the Design District."
For now, though, there are two weeks left to enjoy food, drink, and music. The restaurant will close after service Saturday, April 11. The chef invites his patrons to dine on old favorites and some new items like braised oxtail with polenta and fried sage ($15); escarole salad with heirloom tomatoes, watermelon, and crisp prosciutto (49); and duck egg with crab and chorizo ($9).