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Schwartz Bids Farewell to Maple Drive

October 10, 2002|JESSICA STRAND | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

BBQ Venture: Leonard Schwartz has left Maple Drive after 13 years as executive chef and founding partner. He's being replaced by Jeff Perlman, who most recently worked at the now-defunct Restaurant Muse. Perlman will keep such Schwartz classics as the meatloaf and the chili but plans to add his own touches. As for Schwartz, he's joined Michael Rosen, the former executive chef at Reign, and two players in the prime beef arena, Ron and Kirk Gelsinger, to create Zek's Smokehouse, planned as a chain of family-style barbecue restaurants. The first will open in Montrose on Nov. 1.

* Zek's Smokehouse, 2209 Honolulu Ave., Montrose, (818) 957-7045.

New Chef at Casa Del Mar: It's a return trip for Casa Del Mar's new executive chef, Quinn Hatfield. He was sous-chef at Spago Hollywood and chef de partie at the Beverly Hills Spago before heading off to New York to spend four years as a sous-chef at both Bouley and Jean Georges. For the next month he'll be trying out specials that will evolve into a new menu by mid-November. They'll include baked salmon with apple-stuffed endive dressed in hazelnut vinaigrette, and a date- and mint-crusted rack of lamb served with chive potatoes and baby glazed vegetables.

* Hotel Casa Del Mar, Oceanfront Restaurant, 1910 Ocean Front Walk (Pico Boulevard), Santa Monica, (310) 581-7714.

Small Bites: The Bistro Garden will celebrate Oktoberfest Tuesday through Oct. 22 with a German lunch and dinner menu and a unique beer list. For information, call Bistro Garden at Coldwater at (818) 501-0202.... The Grill at the Ritz-Carlton in Pasadena will hold a five-course dinner Wednesday featuring the wines of North Coast winemaker Jed Steele. Steele will be on hand to introduce each wine. Ritz-Carlton chef Craig Strong's dinner is $85, including tax and tip. For more information and reservations, call (626) 568-3900.... Also on Wednesday, Vincente Ristorante in Brentwood will hold a wine-tasting dinner. The wines will be poured from the portfolio of Angeles Wine Agency by sommelier Kenny Crowder. Chef Nicola Mastronardi's six-course dinner will include imported red mullet, wild seasonal mushrooms and gnocchi with a duck ragu. The $125 cost includes wine, tax and tip. For reservations, call (310) 207-0127.

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