Stopping there the other day, I had a terrific seven-bean soup, quiche Lorraine and an apple croissant. The cozy, five-table joint is owned by Jef Dover, who also opened Garrett's Corner Market with Tucker Graves. That partnership dissolved this summer, and Dover bought out the bakery. He now makes the croissants, breads and buttery pastries with Hong Le, the former head baker at the old Le Bonne Bouche. Dover plans an expansion of his petite dining room this year -- from five tables to, uh, eight.
And on the subject of dissolved partnerships: Dennis Dickey, the longtime general manager of the Grand Street Café (4740 Grand Street), left that restaurant last month to pursue other opportunities. "It was a friendly parting," says Bill Crooks, co-owner of the PB&J restaurant empire. Dickey's departure did lead to a game of general manager musical chairs at several other PB&J venues: Mike Lee returned to Grand Street from Yahooz, Bill Koning went from Paulo & Bill to Yahooz, and Jim Marks became the acting general manager at Paulo & Bill.
In other news, Tom Macaluso, the gravelly voiced owner of Macaluso's (1403 West 39th Street) shrugs off recent stories that he's closing his namesake boite. "Those rumors usually turn up every six months or so, usually right after I piss someone off," he says.
The latest customer contretemps kicked up after Macaluso asked a raucous table of suburban matrons to lower the volume when other customers in the intimate dining room complained about their loud cackles and guffaws. The ladies were apparently offended. "The customer is not always right," Macaluso says. "Especially when people sitting around them have to yell to be heard."
Macaluso says one well-appointed doyenne even snarled, "Fuck you," as she walked out the door. "Nice words from a lady, huh?" he says. "Who knows? Maybe she started the rumor."