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Area 31 Chef Change: Critchley Out, E. Michael Reidt In

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And that's the news in a nutshell -- or shall we say bombshell? Executive chef John Critchley had established himself as one of the city's culinary stars, but the Boston native has decided to return to the Northeast to be closer to family. He'll remain in the Kimpton clan, soon taking up the executive chef position in one of its properties in Washington D.C. Critchley's last day is this Friday.

It's not all bummerville at Area 31: In naming E. Michael Reidt as John's replacement, the restaurant gets a chef who impressed locals greatly during his stint as exec chef of Wish Restaurant a few years ago. Reidt, also from Boston, is currently heading the kitchen at Kimpton's B & O American Brasserie in Baltimore. As we head into winter, if nothing else we can say Reidt gets the better deal in terms of immediate climate improvement.

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