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Restaurant Review: The Lazare You Will Never Know

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lazare1ashxMy review of Lazare went to press on April 27th. On Thursday, May 7th, I wrote a post on SideDish adding some notes and quotes from the interviews I conducted with partner Russell Hayward and then chef David Gilbert that didn’t make it into the review. Innocent enough, right? Wrong.

The next day, Friday, I learned that Gilbert had left the kitchen on the previous Monday, and despite the Thursday mini-review, nobody from Lazare called to inform me of the change. Instead of returning my call, Mr. Hayward talked to Leslie Brenner at the DMN and said he’d decided on a new chef (sous chef Ryan Carbery was named executive chef)  and then he jumped on a plane and headed to Australia for two weeks. I was mad as a wet hen.

So last week when rumors were floating around that the folks behind Lazare were shopping around for professional advice on reconcepting and retooling the restaurant, I called the money behind the project, Bill Hutchinson. He was in Carmel on vacation but he admitted they were looking for help, going to go with more bar food, and perhaps look at doing something completely different. I asked if Hayward was still involved (I’d heard he was on the outs with Hutchinson) and Hutchinson said Hayward was still “in the restaurant every day.”

Who knows, by the time you read this the restaurant could be a Pei Wei and we can all get on with our lives. But for the sake of posterity, I offer you my review of Lazare. Not because we spent a lot of time and money reviewing the restaurant, but because I will miss it. The food was delicious.

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