If global fusion fare and white-everywhere decor didn’t send downtown diners flocking in droves to Nu Cuisine-Lounge, maybe a name change and a new hotshot chef can turn the tide. We hear through the grapevine that Keith Hardin is planning on calling the new venture Artesia and that Little Rock native Robbie Lewis will serve as executive chef. Lewis is somewhat of a culinary star in San Francisco. He’s worked at Rubicon, the Village Pub and, for five years — until last October — he was the executive chef at Jardiniere, long regarded as one of the city’s best restaurants. Lewis just took over as executive chef at Bacar, another San Francisco gourmet eatery, so it looks like he’ll be pulling a Scott McGehee-at-Valentine’s-style executive chef gig at Artesia, where he’ll create the menu and oversee the restaurant, but not be on site. No word on when the new restaurant will open.
Other news of note: Scott McGehee and longtime friend and Boulevard Bread chef John Beachboard are looking for real estate to open a wood-oven bistro.