EDT welcomes Steve back from his siesta at Siesta Key, Fla. To no one’s surprise, the news about independent restaurants took no vacation. First up we talk about the closing at Roux in the Highlands, the first of Dustin Staggers’ five restaurants. While Staggers’ concepts got plenty of attention in the local dining scene, none was successful for long. Roux lasted exactly two years. Rick was surprised that the Courier-Journal replaced its restaurant critic, given its record of seizing on the opportunity to eliminate positions when reporters leave the paper. We’re both skeptical about what will happen with the new hire, and we have an update on former critic Nancy Miller. Plus, there’s a chef change at the Silver Dollar worth noting.

Both Rick and Steve spent some time with Bob Hancock at the brand-new Red Hog on Frankfort Avenue, and talked about our appreciation for his passion for the proper preparation of meats, and using the whole animal. Steve’s interview took place a few weeks before the Red Hog opened, which occurred with little fanfare, but it’s already created a stir there.

Four months into Anoosh Shariat’s latest venture, Noosh Nosh, he seems to be living the restaurateur’s dream — overseeing two successful eateries just across a parking lot from each other. Anoosh recently hired Allan Rosenberg to oversee all things culinary there and at Anoosh Bistro. The sister companies employ nearly 100 people. During Rick’s interview, Shariat talks about how much he loves his spectacular red-tiled, gas-flame-fired pizza oven, Maria.

Speaking of Maria, our favorites segment leads with a BBQ Chicken pizza Anoosh whipped up for Rick — with just the right combination of barbecue sauce and chicken, on a superb crust. While he was in Florida, Steve enjoyed some grouper and mahi mahi fresh from the ocean, and pronounced them delicious. He also came upon and shared a rare bourbon in the Sunshine State, while Rick’s fave drink was served in a tilted glass at SuperChefs.  There’s plenty more great eating and drinking news at our web site, www.EatDrinkTalk.net.

Duncan Painter, Jay Denham and Bob Hancock at Red Hog
Anoosh Shariat at Noosh Nosh