It’s been a year and a half of West Coast Wine & Cheese on Union Street playing little restaurant that could, but everyone has to grow up sometime. Thus, the restaurant will finally be getting a full range with an oven and broiler unit. (Yes, it had somehow been operating with just Bunsen burners until now.) Since it’s just an install, the restaurant will not have to close when it arrives the week of February 22.
With the installation of a stove comes a new executive chef as well. Ethan Spiezer, the restaurant’s founding chef, has decided to move on to another city, and Michael Ocampo will be taking his place. Ocampo was most recently Boxing Room’s executive sous chef, as well as having cooked at Zero Zero, Bourbon Steak and Bar Crudo. “I'm planning on sticking with small plates and having two entrees and maybe share a larger entree for two,” Ocampo told Eater. Like the wine, he’ll take his food influence from Washington, Oregon and California.
Dishes Ocampo is playing with include stuffed morels and chicken liver mousse with roasted apple gastrique and housemade spice bread to serve it on. Desserts will get a helping hand from Zero Zero pastry chef Alexandra Bitker, who also happens to be his girlfriend. “I have a great consultant,” he joked. Until Ocampo’s new menu, which will start Friday, March 4, the restaurant’s food will focus on cheese and charcuterie.