Napa Rumor Mill: The Latest Rumbling Regarding the Former Martini House Space

In early October, I first broke the news that the Martini House would be closing after its nine-year run in St. Helena. As I had reported back then, Paul Fleming allegedly had a hand in the purchase of the Martini House restaurant space, although the specific concept for a new restaurant was never mentioned. Fleming is the name behind Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and P. F. Chang’s China Bistro, although I couldn’t see either of those restaurants moving into sunny St. Helena (by my understanding, the Chamber of Commerce would sooner see St. Helena burn than allow any chain restaurants to set up shop in town).

Anyhow, about a month ago, I began to hear new rumors that Fleming was no longer involved in any sort of deal regarding the old Martini House space. I actually heard this news from two very different sources, but nobody had any further details. I patiently waited for more information to filter through, hoping for something interesting to report, but I never learned of anything more concrete. Eventually, something will surface.

The best I’ve got at the moment is the recent rumor that Paul Fleming, chef Cindy Pawlcyn and chef Ludo Lefebrve were sharing a table at Oenotri on Saturday night. Now, if that doesn’t cause your imagination to run wild, then I’m not sure what would. Consider that trio, and the amazing things that they might conjure up. Or maybe they just happen to be friends. Either way, Ludo’s December 12th tweet jives with the rumor, at least partially: http://twitter.com/#!/chefludo

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