MADE-TO-ORDER ICE CREAM ... Downtown Palo Alto got a new ice-cream shop this week with the opening of Creamistry, a franchise that serves made-to-order ice cream using liquid nitrogen. The new shop, at 164 University Ave., is holding a grand opening on Friday, Sept. 16. Head in from 5-8 p.m. to get a single "premium" ice cream for free.
At Creamistry, customers can choose from several bases to design their own ice cream -- "premium," organic, sorbet, coconut or Greek yogurt -- and then supplement it with more than 70 flavors and toppings. Flavors range from classics like chocolate, French vanilla and caramel to nutella, roasted black sesame, birthday cake, tiramisu, matcha green tea and French Toast Crunch. There are also special ice cream-based based drinks like an affogato (traditionally a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a shot of espresso), floats and “creations” (scoops of ice cream layered with sauces and toppings, served in a large cup). Ingredients are all-natural and organic, according to the Creamistry website.
ARMADILLO WILLY'S IN RECOVERY MODE ... Armadillo Willy's, 1031 N. San Antonio Rd., Los Altos, is temporarily closed. The Texas BBQ restaurant is undergoing kitchen repairs following a recent fire that started in a wall of the restaurant. "We're working as fast as we can and we're planning to reopen on Oct. 4," said one employee. For those who cannot live without, Armadillo Willy's has six other restaurants on the peninsula -- the closest one is on El Camino Real in Sunnyvale.
EXECUTIVE CHEF EXODUS ... Two luxury downtown hotels have lost their executive chefs. The first to go was Chef Clive Berkman, who resigned after three years at Garden Court Hotel, 520 Cowper St. He was the affable, South African, creative genius behind the hotel's popular, monthly communal dining experience, which began in March 2014. Called "520 Chefs Table," the themed dinners offered numerous courses at a fixed price and had built up a loyal following. "The dinners are temporarily on hold, but will return," according to Garden Court general manager Jeffery Phillips. And referring to Chef Berkman's departure, "It was amicable. Everyone reaches a point where it's time to move on," Phillips said.
Lure + Till restaurant, located in the Epiphany Hotel at 180 Hamilton Ave., also has lost its executive chef who had been there since the restaurant's 2014 opening. Chef Patrick Kelly decided to relocate to Denver, according to an industry source. And the rumor mill is still churning out reports that Nobu, a Japanese restaurant with locations in several major cities, may be positioning itself to take over Lure + Till in early 2017. In the meantime, both Garden Court Hotel and the Epiphany's Lure + Till have replaced their executive chefs with in-house staff.