Image of Vino Paradiso courtesy Terroirists.net
With chef Paul Losch officially joining the kitchen at DOC beginning later this week, Vino Paradiso owner Timothy Nishimoto is taking the opportunity to shake things up. Starting Friday, VP will welcome former Genoa chef Alex Bourgidu, kick-starting a long-term plan to re-brand the Pearl wine bar into a Piedmont-style Italian restaurant — complete with an as-yet-undecided new name. "We have been serious about the food program for several years," Nishimoto says, "but the name doesn't say 'food.'" Nishimoto plans to hold a contest of sorts to help rename the restaurant, with details about that coming
later this summer soon.
But VP's new focus reflects Bourgidu's extensive experience in Italian cooking. Bourgidu, who helmed the Genoa kitchen from 2004-2007, returns to Portland after opening his own (now defunct) North Bend restaurant, Porta, and a stint at Eugene's Osteria Sfizio, where he worked with Marché executive chef Rocky Maselli. According to Nishimoto, VP's transition to an Italian menu will occur gradually. "Alex is super-excited about the focus. The menu will be his, and he's going to be putting his own touches on it for the next six weeks," Nishimoto says. "The structure of the menu will be fairly similar [to its current format], but with definitely more sharable plates along with full entrees." Stay tuned for an official MenuWatch — and more details about that promised contest — when they become available.
· Vino Paradiso [Official site]
· All Previous Vino Paradiso Coverage [Eater PDX]