Restaurant Eugene hires David Sweeney

I’m still in deep mourning over the closing of Dynamic Dish. In my many years as a rapacious eater, professional or otherwise, I’d never found a restaurant that left me feeling so nourished. I will miss it for a long, long time.

But I’m pleased to report that, after closing the restaurant less than a week ago (Thanksgiving was the final feast), DD’s chef-owner David Sweeney was hired by Restaurant Eugene as its production chef and farmer liaison. “Production chef” means that Sweeney oversees the morning crew that preps and makes sauces and stocks for dinner. “Next to their own restaurant, Dynamic Dish was one of [Restaurant Eugene owners Gina and Linton Hopkins’] favorite restaurants in the city,” says Judith Winfrey, the restaurant’s hospitality director. “Everybody is completely thrilled and honored. David is already teaching the staff some new ways to think about vegetables and flavors.”

Sorting through pea shoots on his second day of work, Sweeney said over the phone, “I’m happy to be able to keep my hands in local produce in an inspiring environment.”
True, we still don’t get to taste Sweeney’s cooking directly anymore. But here’s one fleeting opportunity: Sweeney is the guest chef at Restaurant Eugene’s next author series dinner on Monday, December 6. (The arrangement was made before Sweeney announced DD’s closing.) He and Hopkins will prepare a meal inspired by Chez Panisse chef David Tanis’ new book, Heart of the Artichoke. Tanis will be in attendance to sign books and discuss his work.

Highlights from the menu include a celery, radish and watercress salad; baked eggs with harissa; lamb with prunes and almonds paired with potato gratin and beet greens; and red wine-poached pears. The four-course meal includes wine pairings and a copy of the book and costs $115 per person. Call the restaurant at 404-355-0321 for reservations.