Even though he's in real estate now, Billy Poll says he feels like he grew up in the restaurant industry. The longtime Schwartz Bros employee is now one of the owners of the soon-to-open Grace Kitchen at the University Village. Poll told me the opening is slated for August; the restaurant is moving into the old Zao's locale.
Grace Kitchen will be an open-all-day affair, offering breakfast, lunch and a full dinner menu of American comfort food: soups, salads, sandwiches and the like.
But here's the kicker: Poppy's Jerry Traunfeld is consulting on the menu. I'm told the menu is still in the early stages at this point, so I can't tease you with any specific dishes (though I'm daydreaming of what Traunfeld's version of tarragon-flecked organic chicken salad, or heirloom tomato soup with anise hyssop, or summer savory- and basil-flecked vibrant green salads might taste like.) There's little doubt that Traunfeld's local-seasonal perspective and wizardry with herbs will breathe fresh life into the comfort food genre.
Eating at the mall just got a whole lot more interesting.