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Kris Morningstar says adios to Casa

February 6, 2009 |  1:22 pm

Casa Exterior In early January, chef Kris Morningstar was all sunshine and roses about newly opened Casa, but barely a month later, he has left the upscale Mexican restaurant "to start a new project" (per the official press release). Both he and and owner Mario Del Pero insist it was a friendly split, but given how integral Morningstar was to Casa's menu and how prominently his name was splashed across every press release about the restaurant, one has to wonder. Per Metromix:

When asked to about his reasons for leaving, Morningstar said: "It's really the friendliest split. I have other things I'm working on."

What, pray tell, are these other projects? Morningstar is jumping on board with George Abou-Daoud (owner of the Bowery, Delancey, Mission Cantina and Tamarind Deli) for a new project at Sunset and Seward. He may be overseeing a few of Abou-Daoud's other locations as well, although it is certain he will not be running Mission Cantina due to legal bindings with Casa.

Casa, which opened in late December, is the last of a trinity of upscale Latin-themed restaurants that have recently sprung up downtown. The other two are Provecho, which opened in late November, and Rivera,  which opened in early December. 

-- Elina Shatkin

Photo: Courtesy of Casa