By Sara Ventiera
Louie Spetrini, Klime Kovaceski & Gerry Kelly
3 questions with Klime Kovaceski, restaurateur
by Emmalee Antill
When most people hear about the opening of an organic restaurant, images of tie-dye-clad customers sitting on the floor sipping wheat grass often come to mind.
While there is nothing wrong with a wheat grass cocktail, Donna Malbrough’s Café Dominique, located at 8013 Main St., will shatter the stereotypical organic view.
Chauvin native Donna Malbrough says she had a love of cooking from a young age. (As a child she asked for an Easy-Bake Oven instead of a baby doll.) She got her start in the food industry when she opened a small catering company; however, that was put on hold while she helped her husband start his engineering firm. When he sold the company, Malbrough turned her sites back to her passion. When a downtown Houma building entered the market, Malbrough seized the chance to create her vision of an exciting fine dining restaurant with healthy choices.
Due to her children’s health problems, Malbrough has always looked for the healthiest foods to feed her family. Seeing the lack of healthy
Malbrough says Café Dominique will serve a wide variety of free-range meats and local seafood. The menu will change periodically so customers
She also promises a cooking-from-scratch method, stating nothing will be processed. “There will be very few cans opened,” Malbrough says.
Malbrough has employed the services of award-winning Chef Kime Kovaceski to create eclectic dishes ranging from French country to Mediterranean to new American. “We know how to get the fat out,” says Kovaceski. He promises the meals will be comfort foods people know and love, yet with a different and exciting twist. He says his combination of ingredients and culinary techniques will create healthy dishes that are also conversations pieces. “They will beg to be talked about,” Kovaceski laughs. Cafe Dominique hopes to create not simply amazing meals, but a complete dining experience.
Kovaceski also boasts the restaurant will have impeccable service, stating a restaurant can have the best food in the world, but if the service is bad, none of it matters. He ensures each occasion at Café Dominique will be magical.
If the amazing food and quality service is still not enough to shake the stereotype of an organic restaurant, then perhaps the atmosphere will do it. The smell of specialty coffees and pastries greet guests as they walk into the elegant foyer. Inside are three possible dining experiences. The bar area offers some of the best wines and cocktails in the country, owners say, and has an upbeat vibrant feel. A second dining area has a cozy dinner-for-two feel that offers the patrons an intimate dining experience. The back room, which is available for rent, offers a wonderful view of Café Dominique’s patio and Bayou Terrebonne. The French Quarter-style patio is suited for customers to enjoy a glass of wine while watching the bayou laze by. The entire décor offers a high level of elegance and comfort.
With healthy food offerings which are full of flavor and serve as a meal for the eye, the owners hope Café Dominique becomes a restaurant to create wonderful memories for years to come, or at least a place for a relaxing, good time. PoV
January 13. 2008 12:30AM
Restaurant Consultant, Las Vegas, NV - 2006/07
Four-star chef brings culinary talents to Loomis
"Worldwide cook now executive chef at Horseshoe Bar Grill Restaurant"
By: Susan Belknap , Loomis News Editor
Kovaceski, former owner of the award-winning Crystal Café in Miami Beach was recently named the new executive chef and general manager for the Horseshoe Bar Grill Restaurant.
"When I saw there was an opening in Loomis, it appealed to me to be in a small town," Kovaceski said. "After spending 20 years in Miami, a big city, this is something new."
Kovaceski said he's always enjoyed the Bay Area and he is especially fond of being near Lake Tahoe, which reminds him of the lake near Ohrid, Macedonia where he was born. "Before I came here, I spent some time in Seattle but it was too cold," Kovaceski said. "As I traveled south of Seattle into Northern California I decided this was where I wanted to be."
Kovaceski began his culinary career at the age of 14 at the Ohrid Macedonia Hotel where he served for three years. At the age of 21 - the youngest graduate ever from the culinary college - he accepted his first position as executive chef for the Skopje Hotel on Ohrid Lake.
After hearing about a new restaurant about to open in Miami, Kovaceski moved in 1984 to Miami Beach, where he served as executive chef for the restaurant, Jama, for 10 years. In 1994, Kovaceski and his wife, Huguette, who is the new floor manager at the Loomis restaurant, began Crystal Café, also in Miami. Kovaceski's specialty dishes have earned him four-star honors from the Miami Herald, Miami Sun-Sentinel and Mobil and AAA. Since selling the Crystal Café last year Kovaceski has been consulting a variety of restaurants throughout the country.
Kovaceski is looking forward to the unveiling of his menu at the Horseshoe Bar Grill, which he said will change on monthly basis depending on the season. It will feature many of his specialties such as Venison Osso Bucco Provencal. In his cooking for Horseshoe Bar Grill, Kovaseski uses only fresh herbs, and does not utilize a fryer of any sorts. He loves to experiment and is always reading the New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle to see what's cooking.
Even though Kovaceski is adding his own touch and will add a few pasta dishes and more extensive seafood offerings, regulars to the Bar will still be able to order favorites like Caesar salad and beef Wellington.
"This is a simple concept. People will know how much they are going to spend and if they are not familiar with wine, we have four to five to chose from for this dinner," he said.
Familiarity with wines is not a problem for sommeliere Harry Fisher, who has been with the Loomis establishment for four years. He feels Kovaceski brings a fresh perspective and great passion to the restaurant.
BY KATHY MARTIN, Food Editor
New toque in town
By Mike Dunne -- Bee Food Editor
Klime Kovaceski, a Macedonian native whose culinary style developed an avid following in Miami Beach over the past two decades, is the new executive chef and general manager of Horseshoe Bar Grill in Loomis. But that doesn't mean stroganoffs, goulashes, schnitzels and the like are about to replace the traditionally rich French and game dishes that long have been the mainstays of the restaurant's menu. Kovaceski, however, expects to add to the menu several examples of his "new continental cuisine." That would include such staples from Miami Beach as a "seafood osso buco" and pistachio-crusted goat cheese with a reduction of balsamico and raspberries.
Kovaceski sold his Miami Beach restaurant, Crystal Cafe, a little more than a year ago and had been traveling about the United States and Canada as a consultant when he was contacted by David Rosenaur and Karen Fox of Horseshoe Bar Grill. Loomis appealed to him because of its proximity to San Francisco and Lake Tahoe and its attractive real-estate prices. He also appreciates that Rosenaur and Fox are giving him a largely free hand to bring stability to the restaurant, which has weathered a series of personnel changes in the kitchen over the past two years.
He's currently tweaking the menu, with his changes to include a four-course meal with a bottle of wine for two people for a flat $99. His wife, Huguette, who also was involved in operating Crystal Cafe, will oversee the front of Horseshoe Bar Grill, which remains open for dinner only Wednesdays through Mondays.
Kovaceski Sells Crystal Café
Horseshoe Bar Grill closed by family
By: Susan Belknap, Gold Country News Service
A couple of popular area restaurants, Horseshoe Bar Grill in Loomis and Beermann's Beerworks in Lincoln, have closed their doors.
Longtime restauranteur, brewery owner and businessman David Rosenaur recently announced the decision because of plans to formally retire and sell his assets.
Karen Fox, Rosenaur's fiancée, business partner and marketing coordinator for Horseshoe Bar Grill and Beermann's, said the decision came because the couple moved to Southern California and it became too difficult to own restaurants long distance.
"We really, really appreciated the opportunity to serve both communities," Fox said. "We had nine good years in Loomis and we appreciated all the support of our guests. But we never had the support of the Loomis Town Council. There was so much we could have done in Loomis. But I don't think the council ever understood the level of quality we were trying to bring. We put our heart and soul into it."
Klime Kovaceski, former chef of the Horseshoe Bar Grill, said the restaurant's closure was a surprise to some of the 25 employees, but he suspected some change was going to be made because he believed the restaurant was losing money.
"The restaurant could only seat 70 people. Some nights we were refusing customers," Kovaceski said. "We could have fit more, but with the tableside service of Caesar salad and cherries jubilee, there wasn't enough room."
Kovaceski also felt the restaurant's wine list was too long and often a patron's selected wine was not available even though it was printed on the list.
"It was unmanageable," he said. "It took too long to go through, and the waiters wasted too much time going back and forth when the wines weren't there."
Even though Rosenaur plans to sell or lease his businesses in Lincoln and Loomis, one key ingredient in the success of Beermann's is still thriving. Rosenaur intends to keep ownership of Beermann's Brewery in Roseville with plans to expand the open-house tastings.
"We're still brewing beer in Roseville," said George Morales, former general manager of Beermann's restaurant. "Beermann's BeerWerks brewery is still open and brewing all you favorite flavors, including Lincoln Lager."
Morales said the decision to close Beermann's came suddenly to its 54 employees.
"Mr. Rosenaur just came in and told us Jan. 2," Morales said.
Jason Glover, a cook for five months at Beermann's, said he was angry at the restaurant's closing. Just a few months ago Glover said Beermann's was planning some major renovations. The closure has been rough on the employees and their families, Glover said.
"(Beermann's) was making money, very good money, and then for them to close it for no reason, you wonder, 'Why?'"
Closure of the restaurants took patrons by surprise as well.
Tom and Lisa Vacarro went to Beermann's a few weeks ago for a meal and a pint of their favorite beer, only to find it closed.
"I was shocked to see a 'For lease or sale,' and 'Closed' sign on the door," Lisa said in an e-mail.
"We were there for New Year's Eve," Tom said "They had a big party upstairs. They didn't tell anyone they were closing. We were surprised they were closed. They are always packed."
In addition to closing the restaurants, Rosenaur also sold the 63-acre plot he owned at Horseshoe Bar Road and Interstate 80. Rosenaur had wanted to build an upscale shopping center and hotel/business complex named Turtle Island. Abe Alizadeh of Kobra Properties in Roseville has purchased that parcel.
Rosenaur has also sold property in Colfax that used to house Dingus McGee's Restaurant and several properties on Swetzer Road in Loomis have been liquidated as well.
Fox said their Kovika Distributor Company, operated out of Loomis, will soon cease its operation as well and a major regional distributor will take over distributing responsibilities.
Richard Myers contributed to this report.
The Interview With Tea Moderna.Right-Click On The Pic to save a PDF file to your desktop or other folder, then double-click it to open and read. Note that this requires you to have a PDF reader installed, such as the Adobe Reader, available at www.adobe.com.
(Please note that the interview is in the Macedonian language)
The local media has been mourning the demise of Fu Manchu Chinese restaurant on 71st Street in Miami Beach, which shut its doors after a near record-setting 71 year run (only Joe’s Stone Crab has been going longer). Longevity aside, however, Fu Manchu was a pretty lousy restaurant over the last decade at least.
More significant is the closing of Crystal Cafe, concluding a two-part, twelve year run on 41st Street in Miami Beach. Klime Kovaceski and his wife Huguette started the Cafe in August of 1994, and over the next decade built it into one of the most critically acclaimed restaurants in town. When Sal Dicembrino purchased the romantic dining establishment in 2004 he kept much of the New Continental menu intact, but eventually shifted the emphasis more towards Italian food. Kovaceski loyalists weren’t happy, but the business still brought in a steady stream of clientele — enough, in fact, that the optimistic Dicembrino had recently retooled Crystal’s kitchen with new equipment. Sadly, a difficulty in paying the bills led to an abrupt departure at the end of August. Some disgruntled employees are still owed money.
Meanwhile, landlords Norman and Gail Divecht are currently busy meeting with potential new suitors for the restaurant space. Let’s just hope Fu Manchu doesn’t move in.