In somewhat surprising news, after being open less than six weeks, Bookmakers Cocktail Club is already making chef changes. Even more surprising is that our selection of Best Chef, Sarah Acconcia, from Le Garage—our winner for this year's Best New Restaurant—will be leaving the Hampden hot spot to take over head kitchen duties at the Federal Hill restaurant.
It's not known why previous chef Chris Amendola, who left Fleet Street Kitchen in June to undertake working on the food side of Bookmakers, has moved on, but a recent post on his Instagram page confirmed the changes, with a picture captioned, "what happens when i don't have a job … #freeagent."
We spoke with Bookmakers owner Ryan Perlberg via email about the addition of chef Acconcia, who simply said, "we couldn't be happier having her join our team." Considering the recent rave reviews Acconcia has received at the relatively new Le Garage, we can see why that's a pretty big get—here's to hoping she keeps the ridiculously good confit fried chicken we scarfed down this past Saurday.
Taking over duties at Le Garage will be The Wine Market's chef Kevin Christian.
UPDATE: In a recent press release, co-owner Brendan Kirlin explained that Christian will remain as the director of menu development at Wine Market, with Dan Metz moving up as the chef de cuisine.
For those Le Garage lovers worried about changes to the frites, fear not. Kirlin went on to explain that chef Christian "will make seasonal changes to the menu while keeping certain key items, such as the signature frites, just as they are."