Mark and Katie Stern, owners of booze-serving Big Picture movie theaters in Belltown and Bellevue, also own Henry & Oscar's on Fourth Avenue, a spot that channels the memory of supper clubs like Toots Schor's in New York and the Pump Room in Chicago. They've had staple, standby comfort food like beef stroganoff on the menu from the beginning, but that wasn't quite enough. Says Stern: "We're looking for the next level, from good to great. We want the guest to say, 'Wow!'"
On hand as of Tuesday is a new executive chef, Phil Collins, a 35-year-kitchen veteran, most recently chef de cuisine for Artisanal in New York. Collins was born in Carlisle, England, and grew up in San Diego, where his parents owned a charcuterie. Before heading to Manhattan, Collins worked briefly at ViaVita in Bellevue. Says Collins promises local, seasonal and sustainable dishes. "Seattle diners want to know where their food comes from." Kurt Schmidt, who had stepped into the lead spot when H&O's original exec chef Mark Wadhwani departed this summer, will stay on as executive sous-chef.