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Jean-Georges Vongerichten Opening a Market by
 Jean-Georges at the W Boston Hotel

By Donna Goodison, Boston HeraldMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

August 7, 2009 - The W Boston Hotel, now slated to open in October, has a celebrated, three-star Michelin chef behind its restaurant.

Jean-Georges Vongerichten will open Market by Jean-Georges at the Stuart Street outpost of the trendy hotel chain, according to help-wanted ads on Craigslist.

Vongerichten is best known for his Jean-Georges restaurant in New York City's Upper West Side, which earned a coveted three Michelin stars, and a culinary empire that extends to Paris, London, the Bahamas, Bora Bora and Shanghai.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide partnered with the Alsace-born French chef and private-equity firm Catterton Partners in 2006. Culinary Concepts by Jean-Georges now develops and operates restaurants for Starwood's upscale hotel brands including W, Westin, Le Meridien and St. Regis.

Market will operate under the "culinary vision" of Vongerichten, but a local chef de cuisine will lead its kitchen. Other Markets are located in Atlanta, Vancouver, Mexico and Qatar.

The Atlanta Web site describes Market as a "destination for those who value simple elegance and contemporary dining."

"Emphasizing comfort and creativity, the menu features Jean-Georges Vongerichten's 'greatest hits,' reinventing classic dishes by infusing eclectic flair," the site says.

Vongerichten's spokeswoman did not return calls, and the hotel chain declined comment.

Boston Phoenix publisher Stephen Mindich plans to open a restaurant in the former Boston Billiard Club on Brookline Avenue.

Mindich, whose Phoenix Media/Communications Group is housed in the Fenway building, is buying the liquor license from the club's bank, which foreclosed on the business this year.

The media mogul says plans are still up in the area for the 20,000-square-foot space. "It will be a place that has food and liquor, but the exact menu and precise format are not yet finalized," he said.

"At this point, it's my intention to own and operate it," said Mindich, who noted he has been involved in several restaurants over the years. They include the former Charles Restaurant on Beacon Hill.

Chef Tony DeRienzo, co-owner of the year-old Waterfront Grille in New Bedford, has three more seafood eateries in the works.

Littlenecks Bar & Grill will open next month in South Weymouth, with a menu featuring what the Raynham resident describes as "progressive ocean cuisine."

The 220-seat contemporary restaurant, which will include a sushi bar, will serve seafood with a twist, according to the chef, who cut his teeth in the Boston kitchens of Lydia Shire's Biba and Tony Ambrose's Ambrosia on Huntington.

"It will be a fun, new-American seafood concept with a happening bar scene," DeRienzo said.

Prior to striking out on his own, DeRienzo was corporate chef for Raynham-based Stoneforge Restaurants and co-owner of three of its five locations.

His second new restaurant, Van's Restaurant & Bar, is under construction on Dot's Dorchester Avenue, with plans for a December opening. The restaurant will be similar to Littlenecks, but with an Asian -- particularly Vietnamese -- flair.

"There's quite a diverse crowd in the area, and it's a little closer to (Boston), so I think we can do some different types of items, such as Kobe beef," said DeRienzo, who'll also open Monkey's Island in Dartmouth in March.

The chef, who buys his fish and lobsters straight from the boats in New Bedford -- in full view of his harborfront restaurant -- first developed a love of seafood for health reasons.

"Now I like it because it's never-ending," he said. "You think you know seafood, but every day, you find out about a new fish."

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