popped up his Vagrancy Project in Echo Park's casually cool Allston Yacht Club restaurant. And then it, and the restaurant, closed in September. Now both will be back, under a different name, Allumette, with Thompson as executive chef. See, that pop-up-to-brick-and-mortar recipe does work.
Owners Bill Didonna and Charles Kelly opened AYC, one of the first more upscale(ish) restaurants for the neighborhood, in 2008. This change comes after their small-plates concepts sort of worn out its welcome, but they thought Thompson had vision and drive, thus Allumette. The menu will keep his focus on "seasonal, soulful" dishes, things like red kuri with broccoli, vadouvan and carrot, monkfish with sour cherry and chorizo, and rabbit with hazelnut tortellini. This time the bar will be overseen by Serena Harrick, another Harvard & Stone alum. The space is getting a facelift, too, with new dark wood floors and red accents.
About the name: Allumette means 'matchstick' in French, and it references a delicate knife cut. So the owners hope they'll "ignite" the Echo Park dining scene (again), one which has already been transformed a lot since AYC first opened, and maybe slice it open a bit? Look for a debut sometime early next year (1320 Echo Park Ave.).