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Dovetail Veteran Alex Aparicio IN at Vegan Hit Avant Garden

For the time being, the restaurant will serve popular items from the opening menu, plus new dishes from Aparicio.

Restaurateur Ravi DeRossi has hired Alex Aparicio to take over the kitchen at his two-month-old critical darling Avant Garden. Aparcio spent eight years working as John Fraser's chef de cuisine, first at Dovetail then at Narcissa. DeRossi notes that Narcissa is "the restaurant that basically started the vegetable forward movement in NYC."

Aparicio will start work in the kitchen on Monday. News of his hire comes one week after opening chef Andrew D'Ambrosi left the restaurant to tackle a new project in France. DeRossi explains that over the next three to four months Avant Garden will be serving many of the dishes that D'Ambrosi created, along with nightly specials from Aparicio. The restaurateur explains: "We intend to make the transition away from our current menu a very very slow process."

So far, the restaurant has received strong reviews from Tables for Two and The Observer. Robert Sietsema loved his first meal there.