The Brass Elephant has closed, according to its Facebook page. The building has been for sale for a couple of months, but I kept hoping this elegant restaurant could hang on. It didn’t.
That’s the fourth restaurant on our 2009 Best Restaurants list to shut its doors. The others are Jordan’s Steakhouse, Ixia, and The Bicycle. And maybe we’ll also have to add The Dogwood, which closed for the month of August.
Although chef/co-owner Galen Sampson said recently that the restaurant will reopen, others aren’t so sure. A commenter on our blog—who said he was a former employee—had this to say, "Most of the front of the house staff is already working elsewhere, and the entire kitchen staff has moved on."
None of this is good, of course. During an e-mail exchange a few weeks ago with Marcus Olson, the chef at The Brass Elephant (and our pick as this year’s best new chef in town), he sounded discouraged. He wrote:
"Trying to do the best in an economy is out of a chef’s control. . . . I’ve never been in a city where the suburbs are more busy with customers than the actual city is! . . . We are a local restaurant and all the chain restaurants seem to be frequented more than independent downtown dining."
But there are bright spots with the opening of Blue Hill Tavern (see my review in our October issue), Taverna Corvino, Pizzazz, and Talara.
There also will be a new restaurant opening soon in the spot once occupied by Tsunami on Bank Street near Little Italy. Called Diablita ("Little Devil"), it will feature Mexican fare. That’s all I know for now. The owners are finalizing the menu and promise to get back to me soon with more information.