Chef Chat

Chef Chat, Part 3: Kristen Powell of Simone on Sunset

This week, we caught up with Chef/Owner Kristen Powell of Simone on Sunset, the new Rice Village wine bar that's serving up more than just vino. Check out our conversations here and here. Today, we'll sample some of the menu items.

Chef Powell first brought out some of the Truffle Parmesan Popcorn. She had mentioned the popcorn's popularity, and after one bite, I could see why it's so well-liked. The popcorn represents sophisticated, yet unpretentious bar food--a complete reflection of Simone itself. Scarfing down a bowl, with a nice glass of red wine or maybe a couple vodka tonics, would be far too easy. The combination of the oil and cheese was just too much for this diner to stop at a sample. I forged ahead and had a big-boy serving.

Before I knew it, out came the Smoked Duck and Capri pizzas. With oily hands and all, I dove in. The Smoked Duck Pizza was right up my alley. It was piled high with julienned fresh pears and blue cheese. A distinct cherry glaze, along with nicely portioned slabs of sliced smoked duck, added even more unique flavors to the pie. The thin crust surprisingly held its form under the mountain of toppings.

The Capri Pizza, although having completely different flavor profiles, shares the look and execution of its smoked duck brother. Fresh arugula was topped with prosciutto, sun-dried tomatoes, feta, olives and balsamic oil. I wouldn't order this pizza, only because I am not a big fan of olives. But that is not to say it wasn't delicious. It was, I'd just probably stick with the Smoked Duck Pizza or even the Margherita--a pizza topped with thinly sliced tomatoes, truffle oil and fresh basil.

Everything I tried at Simone on Sunset was excellent. It's a perfect neighborhood spot to relax with a glass of wine or mixed drink paired with a food item from the limited, yet well-designed, menu. The mellow atmosphere and friendly service will keep you hanging out longer than you expected.

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Kevin Shalin
Contact: Kevin Shalin