It's only been open for a couple of months, but Argent, the new restaurant at the Dana Hotel already has had a shift change. Original exec chef Jackie Shen announced a few weeks ago that she was leaving due to creative differences with culinary director Rodelio Aglibot. But now the restaurant seems to be leveling off with the announcement of a new executive chef.
Argent has brought in Nathan Huntington (L20) to head up the kitchen and he has hired Jason Hedin (L20, Nellcôte) as sous chef. Aglibot said Huntington not only brings a sense of culinary excellence and professionalism to the kitchen, but also some fun and levity.
"His demeanor in the kitchen is really what the restaurant and staff needs," Aglibot said. "[The staff was] yearning for a longterm leader to get them more excited about the dishes and food and Nathan has definitely done that. He's brought a different sense of discipline."
And he'll also be bringing in new dishes as well. Aglibot said that some of the dishes he created on the original menu will remain, but that Huntington will be making more changes, especially with lunch and dinner.
Huntington said he's excited to also be playing around with breakfast it brings him back to his roots; the first place he ever worked was a mom-and-pop type of restaurant that only did breakfast and lunch. He'll be making his own corned beef in house for a hash and is adding more in-house made baked goods and pastries. For lunch and dinner, watch for chimichurri-marinated prawns with grits and celery salad; a summer halibut with white wine Bordelaise and summer vegetables; some meat dishes and moving away from braised and heavy items. He added they're swapping out more of the starch-heavy items for lighter fare like vegetables.
But don't expect too many changes to happen immediately. "We're just trying to get acclimated and organizing the space before we try to make a lot of changes and hit a lot of speed bumps," Huntington said.