1/24/2013 12:00:00 PM

Chef Shuffle at Poggio: Peter McNee Goes Solo, Jonathan Benno Protégé Balesteri To Replace Him

Porchetta. Bollito Misto. Ribollita. For the past seven years, Poggio’s top toque Peter McNee has been keeping things interesting. Whether it be tending to the restaurant’s own organic garden, hunting out white truffles in Piedmonte, or rolling out seasonal specialties stepped in traditions, McNee has worked hard to make the gorgeous downtown Sausalito trattoria more than just a pretty tourist stop. Now comes word that McNee, perhaps experiencing the seven-year itch, is flying the coop in search of his own roost, possibly across the bridge in San Francisco.

The Inside Scoop reports that the chef’s last day at will be next week Poggio, February 3. But there’s little chance that the Sausalito Italian, owned by Il Fornaio founder Larry Mindel, will fall into any malaise with McNee’s departure. His successor, Ben Balesteri, the current senior sous chef at Poggio, who left for a while to be the opening sous chef of Thomas Keller’s protégé Jonathan Benno’s modern Italian Lincoln in NYC, has been working side by side with McNee for the past year, which bodes well for a smooth transition and then some. We’re excited to see Balesteri puts his own stamp on the menu in the coming months. Note: the current tableside Bollito Misto cart promotion will continue as scheduled for the remainder of the winter.


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