Chef Watch: Scott Conant Heads North; Joey Campanaro Heads West; Charlie Palmer Refuses to Head to San Francisco, and More

* The Boston Herald spotlights local chefs Oscar Alvarez of Via Matta and Guillermo Machado of Lala Rokh along with Shelley Som, general manager of Beacon Hill Bistro, who have worked their way to the top at some of Boston’s top restaurants. [Boston Herald]

* José Andrés (The Bazaar by José Andrés, Zaytinya) talks about his diligent path to success. [Washington Post]

* Joey Campanaro, who has wowed downtown Manhattan diners at The Little Owl and Market Table as well as opening-any-minute and much-buzzed-about Kenmare, may be setting his sights westward. [Grub Street Los Angeles]

* Scott Conant (Faustina, Scarpetta) may bring his Miami and Meatpacking district masterpieces north to Toronto. [Eater]

* Executive Chef Joel Dennis has moved on from Adour Alain Ducasse. [Eater NY]

* It’s “Cribs: The Chefs Edition” as Florian Hugo, executive chef at Manhattan’s Brasserie Cognac (and great-great-great grandson of author Victor Hugo), shows off his family’s stylish Upper East Side digs. [New York Post]

* Christopher Kostow (The Restaurant at Meadowood) isn’t resting on his laurels, including the four stars from Michael Bauer or the two from the Michelin Guide. [Grub Street San Francisco]

* New York’s fabled Plaza Hotel is getting a new chef in the way of Willis Loughhead (formerly of Country) to oversee its soon-to-reopen restaurant Palm Court. [Eater NY]

* Charlie Palmer (Charlie Palmer at The Joule) enjoys San Francisco entirely too much to open a restaurant there. [Grub Street San Francisco]

* Like the kitchens featured on “Kitchen Nightmares,” Gordon Ramsay (Gordon Ramsay) has gotten a bit of a nip/tuck. [Grub Street Los Angeles]

* Buddakan NY executive chef Lon Symensma is leaving his post to do hands-on culinary research in Southeast Asia. Nice work if you can get it! [Eater NY]

Restaurant News Roundup: 1834 Bar & Burger Means Business; The French Laundry Is Memorable; Cecconi’s Does Sunday Suppers; Le Gavroche Kicks Off Lobster Festival, and More

Restaurant-News-Round-UpThe latest news about top restaurants on OpenTable…

* It’s not the world’s biggest burger, but 1834 Bar & Burger in New York’s Financial District is serving a 10 pounder for $75. [Eater NY]

* Is Absinthe in San Francisco considering moving to bigger digs? [Grub Street San Francisco]

* Brother Jimmy’s BBQ restaurant is opening a branch in New York’s Union Square because, well, you can never have enough good barbecue, really. [Eater NY]

* Did you ever wish you came from a big Italian family that still ate big Sunday suppers together? Wish no more: Cecconi’s in West Hollywood has added family-style Sunday suppers. And they won’t break the bank at $50 for four people. [Grub Street Los Angeles]

* Double Crown in New York’s Noho is ready to reign supreme again with a new menu and a nip tuck. [Eater NY]

* Chef Scott Conant’s newest hot spot Faustina is now serving lunch. [Grub Street New York]

* The French Laundry cooked revered San Francisco Chronicle restaurant critic Michael Bauer’s most memorable meal, which is really saying something. [SF Gate]

* Home Restaurant & Bar in Atlanta (where “Top Chef” contestant Richard Blaise once worked) is closing at the end of March, opening next month as Coast Seafood & Raw Bar. [Front Burner]

* Lobster Festival returns to Le Gavroche in Vancouver for five weeks, serving a three-course lobster dinner for just $35 per person. [Scout Vancouver]

* On April 1, Manhattan restaurant Matsuri will host a festival honoring, er, um, let’s just say “manhood.” [Grub Street New York]

* Porta Via in Los Angeles has added a swanky bar and lounge. [Eater LA]

* New York City owns the rights to the name Tavern on the Green. The name will carry on, but let’s hope the cuisine does not. [The New York Times]

Celebrity Spotting: Bateman and Arnett; Kelly Bensimon Cooks with Scott Conant; Katie Couric and Matt Lauer Lunch; Where “The Bachelor” Wed His Bride, and More

A round-up of where some of your most (and least) favorite stars have been dining recently…

* A pregnant Amy Adams (Julie & Julia) dined at Napa Valley Grille. [EaterLA]

* Celebrity chef Mario Batali (and his Crocs) greeted fellow diner Morgan Freeman (The Dark Knight) at Comme Ca.  [EaterLA]

* “Arrested Development” costars Jason Bateman and Will Arnett took a meeting with Hollywood execs at Lure Fishbar. [US Magazine]

* Kelly Bensimon of “Real Housewives of New York” got a lesson in making pasta from New York chef Scott Conant of Faustina and Scarpetta fame. Doesn’t Sam Talbot (“Top Chef”) know how to make pasta? [US Magazine]

* Actor/director Edward Burns (The Brothers McMullen) and supermodel wife Christy Turlington hit up Napa’s Bottega. [Tablehopper]

* Someone gave singer Tracy Chapman one reason to dine at DOSA on Valencia. No word on whether or not that someone had a fast car.  [Tablehopper]

* Anchor Katie Couric broke bread midday with former “Today” colleague Matt Lauer at Le Caprice in Manhattan. [NY Post]

* Megastar Tom Cruise dined with CBS/Viacom boss Sumner Redstone at Il Piccolino in Beverly Hills. [NY Post]

* Gitane hosted Green Day’s Mike Dirnt. [Tablehopper]

* “Sex and the City” director/producer/writer Michael Patrick King ate with friends at Chaya. [EaterLA]

* “Parenthood” costars Peter Krause and Lauren Graham made an appearance at Quince in San Francisco. [Tablehopper]

* Super skater Michelle Kwan tucked into a meal at Legal Sea Foods. [Grub Street Boston]

* ABC’s “The Bachelor” lovebirds Jason Mesnick and Molly Malaney got hitched at Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes.  [South Bay Foodies via Eater]

* Oscar winner Mo’Nique attended a luncheon at Philippe. [US Magazine]

* Johnnie’s on the Side hosted the musicans of Muse. [Grub Street Boston]

* Audrina Patridge (“The Hills) and Julie Benz (“Dexter”) supped at Katsuya in Hollywood. [US Magazine]

* Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was spotted at Scampo. [Grub Street Boston]

* On-again couple Pink and husband Carey Hart stopped in for a bite at Geoffrey’s in Malibu. [People]

* Former American Pie ingenue Tara Reid’s beau popped the question at The Little Door in Los Angeles. [People]

* Actor Mark Ruffalo (Shutter Island) lunched at Manhattan’s Brasserie 44. [New York Daily News]

* Precious costars Gabourey Sidibe and Lenny Kravitz attended a luncheon at Asia de Cuba in West Hollywood’s Mondrian Hotel. [US Magazine]

* Anything-but-square designer Christian Siriano (“Project Runway”) was spotted at Upstairs on the Square. [Grub Street Boston]

* Michelle Trachtenberg of “Gossip Girl” sampled the guac at Dos Caminos. [Grub Street New York]

* Kanye West and muse Amber Rose were seen at Lure Fishbar. [Grub Street New York]

* Everyone’s favorite “Golden Girl” (sorry, Rue) and future “Saturday Night Live” host Betty White was spotted at Scala’s Bistro in San Francisco. [Tablehopper]

* Actor-cum-mobile spokesperson Luke Wilson was recognized dining at the Bay Area’s Slanted Door. [Tablehopper]

How Long Does It Take to Open a New Restaurant?

If you’re turning an old restaurant into a new one, not very, according to The New York Times. They check in on Scott Conant, the chef at Scarpetta, as he takes over the space formerly occupied by Table 8 in New York’s Cooper Square Hotel. In less than a month’s time, Conant and his crew have created Faustina, an entirely new restaurant, which will begin service on February 5. Across town, Tom Colicchio and his team have transformed craftsteak into Colicchio & Sons, in a similar span of time. Of course, these turnarounds aren’t nearly as impressive as the six short days it took to transition Venice, California’s A.R. Restaurant Bar & Grill into The Tasting Kitchen.