Just when it looked like the turbulence -- a menu revamp just three weeks after opening and a relocation to Redskins territory for the former Denver Broncos football coach for whom the restaurant is named -- atShanahan's
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, the multi-million dollar steakery and seafood house at 5085 South Syracuse Street, had subsided, word comes down that the restaurant's opening chef, Stephen Vice, was cut from the roster yesterday afternoon. "I think Steve is a great guy -- a really nice guy -- but he just wasn't a good fit for the long term," says Marc Steron, managing partner of Shanahan's. "Steve worked hard, and he took us to a certain level, but I just wasn't sure that he was the right person to move us forward."
That person, hopes Steron, is Keith Stitch, the ex-exec chef of Mastro's Ocean Club in Newport Beach. "The concept of that restaurant is very similar to ours, and Keith's experience is more in line with what I want to do, which is really great steaks and seafood dishes," explains Steron, who had met -- and considered -- Stitch for the exec position back when he was looking for a top gun to run his galley.
"The timing wasn't right when Keith and I first talked, but we kept in touch and eventually it all came together," he says of Stitch, who takes over Shanahan's kitchen today. "We're going to tweak the menu -- rework some current dishes, add and subtract some others -- work on our execution and seasoning profiles for the steaks and simplify the plates," adds Steron, who also wants to introduce nightly fish specials.
"At the end of the day, it all comes down to culinary skills, and it's important to have a chef who can create and execute, and with Keith, I feel really good about where we're going and I'm confident that we're heading in the right direction."