The Scoop: Ben Poremba to open two new restaurants in Clayton

Editor's Note: Parigi has closed


Restaurateur and chef Ben Poremba is adding to his lineup of area eateries with two new concepts in Clayton — Parigi, an Italian-inspired spot with a Parisian twist, and a soon-to-be-named Jewish deli.

As first reported by Feast Magazine, Parigi is slated to open in November and will be located in Clayton on the Park, a residential high-rise at 8025 Bonhomme Ave. “Since it’s an apartment building I wanted something solid, a place that can be everyone’s favorite,” Poremba said.

Parigi will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, and room service will be available for building residents. Poremba said the dinner menu will feature both extruded and hand-cut egg pastas, as well as steaks, sauces and vegetable side dishes. “We’re working very hard to make things look very simple,” he said. “It’s going to look like it’s just pasta and steak, and there’s no froufrou, but it’s going to take experience and precision to pull it off.”

Breakfast will be counter service, offering a variety of pastries from La Patisserie Chouquette and Blueprint Coffee. Lunch will feature some items from the dinner menu, but will also have faster options for the time-strapped business crowd. Poremba intends to add brunch service a few weeks after the opening.

Josh Charles, a member of Sauce’s 2014 Ones to Watch class, is leaving his post as chef de cuisine at Poremba’s Elaia and Olio to be executive chef of Parigi. “The last couple years at Elaia and Olio have been amazing and I am looking forward to taking my experiences with me to Parigi,” Charles said. “At Elaia and Olio, we do Mediterranean food with a focus on French technique, so I am very comfortable with the flavors and techniques of Parigi.”

Poremba is confident in Charles’ ability to run the Parigi kitchen and execute the menu. “(Josh) almost intrinsically knows my style, my standards and my flavor profiles,” he said.

Aaron Sherman, wine director for Poremba’s Bengelina Hospitality Group, will spearhead the beverage program along with Bess Kretsinger, bar and general manager of Olio. The wine selection will feature an approachable array of French, Italian and American varietals, and Poremba expects Kretsinger to look to early 20th-century Parisian trends for inspiration. There will also be about 10 beers available on tap.

Parigi’s 75-seat dining room will have a sleek, contemporary decor with Parisian influences and accents. A 16-seat private dining room will be available for events, as well as Parigi’s rooftop bar with 360-degree views of the city.

The location for Poremba’s Jewish deli has yet to be finalized, but the concept is slated to open in Clayton next year.

Poremba’s hospitality group includes Elaia and Olio, Old Standard Fried Chicken and Simone Faure’s La Patisserie Chouquette. All of which are clustered in Botanical Heights, which Poremba considers his home and flagship for Bengelina. “Even when the new restaurant opens up, I’ll be spending most of my time here in Botanical Heights,” he said.