Here's a piece of news that the good people of Sydney's leafier eastern suburbs will welcome: the union of one of the neighbourhood's favourite chefs with one of its landmark restaurant sites, as Damien Pignolet steps into the kitchen at Regatta.
The Rose Bay restaurant, once the home of Pier, hasn't hitherto quite set the world on fire with its food, but with Pignolet, a chef best known for his elegant French cooking at Bistro Moncur (which was managed by Regatta's GM, Peter Nield) and Claude's, behind the burners, things could well be on the up. He takes over the kitchen on 1 January.
"You couldn't have a nicer place," Pignolet says. "The owners are really civilised, lovely people, and Peter and I worked so happily together for so many years."
Seafood will remain the principal focus of the menu, but it'll be complemented by steaks (Pignolet's famed sirloin with Café de Paris among them), plenty of salads and seasonal specials. "A game dish in winter," said Pignolet. "And there's nothing wrong with doing a beautiful daube if the weather is appropriate - it's certainly done me well for many years.
"It's a very exciting opportunity, and I just want to produce a good, balanced menu that's accessible and that people will enjoy."
Regatta, 594 New South Head Road, Rose Bay, NSW, (02) 9327 6561