December 1, 2010 | 9:42am
Sometimes, you just have to push the reset button.
Just four months after the debut of Vatra Grillhouse
in Arcadia, the restaurant is set to become a much more high-profile presence in the dining scene with the hiring of former Sassi executive chef, Peter DeRuvo
, as well as a new general manager, Bill DeGroot
, who's worked the front of the house at such places as Metro Brasserie and Estate House, and who recently consulted for Quiessence on a menu of farm-fresh cocktails (all the rage in foodie circles these days).
It's a smart move, given the restaurant's frosty early reception from the public.
Now, along with much-needed expanded parking across the street, Vatra promises substance to match up to its style (tucked into the renovated shell of a former auto shop, the place oozes casual glamour, with Camelback views and a cozy patio).
Given DeRuvo's background (he worked with Bay Area notables like Paul Bertolli, formerly of Chez Panisse, and Mike Tusk of Quince), customers should expect a seasonal menu of handmade pastas, grilled pizzas, and rustic meat dishes that take advantage of local produce and artisanal products. He'll roll out the new offerings in January.
Likewise, given DeGroot's cocktailian pedigree, Vatra will likely amp up its beverage program as well.