Chef Comer Smith Takes Over the Cielo Kitchen

There have been big changes at Cielo this week.

Executive chef Donald Lemperle, who led the restaurant's previous incarnations as Fiamma and Asia de Cuba, is no longer working there, and has been replaced by new executive chef Comer Smith.

Smith tells me he's just finalized his "technically sound" new menu, which sticks to Cielo's Italian roots but is "more modern, with Mediterranean and Spanish influences." The new menu will be unveiled on the 28th. He has also revamped the offerings at the Theodore Hotel's pool and bar.

Smith, whose background includes working at Charlie Trotter's in Chicago, La Valencia in La Jolla, and Seasons 142 in San Diego (where he was head chef and co-owner) says the menu leans toward "the fresh side of things," with a more farm-to-table style and "no more than five flavors on a plate." Expect more seafood options.

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