Chef News: Per Diem, St. Vincent, Picán

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Matthew Bousqet at Per Diem. Photo courtesy Per Diem.

~PER DIEM~ has a new chef, Matthew Bousquet, previously of Michelin-starred Mirepoix in Windsor. He’s focused on keeping the food “simple and pure,” with almost everything made from scratch. The menu offers some decadent touches, including a bone marrow dish with escargot in Pernod butter ($12), crispy pork belly with roasted grapes, kale, quinoa, sage-pecan crumble, and Banyuls sauce ($12), and lamb sugo with tagliatelle, braised vegetables, and rosemary butter ($19). The classic bucatini bolognese all’arrabbiata remains on the menu, as well—take a peek at the dinner menu here. 43 Sutter St. at Sansome, 415-989-0300.

Back in July, I heard some rumblings that chef Bill Niles was leaving ~ST. VINCENT~, but when I reached out to confirm, I was told that the rumor was false. Wellllll, it wasn’t: Niles has left the restaurant (for now, he’s going to be working with Chris Kronner at his upcoming KronnerBurger, but that won’t be permanent). Scoop reports owner David Lynch has brought on John Thurmond, Nathan Holden, and Stephen Thorlton, a talented trio known collectively as The Other Guys (they have a pop-up), who will be acting like a kitchen team. This week, the restaurant is running more as a wine bar (read: limited food selections) while the kitchen ramps up, and look for a return to dinner service with their new menu on October 6th.

At Oakland’s ~PICÁN~, chef Robert Sapirman is now running the kitchen after Sophina Uong’s departure, East Bay Express reports. Sapirman, who previously worked at Hotel Valencia in San Jose and Vesu in Walnut Creek, hails from Florida and will continue to offer Southern food with an international bent. 2295 Broadway at 23rd St., Oakland, 510-834-1000.

Speaking of Sophina Uong, one of her post-Picán projects was consulting on the menu at ~CAPTAIN & CORSET~ in Oakland. However, East Bay Express reports that not only did Uong leave the project in July, but also that the wine bar and restaurant has closed. Apparently, there were some issues with the team and financial arrangements. No word on what may be moving into the space. 2212 Broadway at Grand, Oakland.