Recent Ciao Vito chef Jose Chesa — who cooked in many top European kitchens and at Puerto Rico's Compostela before moving to Portland — will indeed be opening his own restaurant in the former Patanegra space. Chesa, along with partner Cristina Baez, has filed OLCC paperwork for the 80-seat restaurant Ataula, described on its official Facebook page as "a tapas-centric style restaurant with a modern and welcoming atmosphere that transports you to the rich and ever-evolving culture of 'tapeo.'" Chesa, a Barcelona native, will vary his menu to feature "regional specialties from different areas of Spain."
Chesa took over the kitchen at NE Alberta's Italian-leaning Ciao Vito in fall of 2012, adding tapas and other Spanish influences to the menu. In a February review, the Oregonian's Michael Russell praised Chesa's influence, writing: "There are times, while going for another bite of the perfect tortilla Española, say, when you might be convinced this is the finest Spanish cooking to be found in Portland."
Image courtesy Facebook