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

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Drive too fast down Sunset Boulevard, and you'll miss the new, slightly hidden gem that is Simone on Sunset. We recently caught up with Chef/Owner Kristen Powell to chat about one of Rice Village's latest wine bars. As we find out, going just for the drinks might be a mistake. EOW: How long have you been open?

KP: Since December 17, 2010.

EOW: Is this your first place?

KP: Yes, I've been around the block when it comes to wine bars. It's my first place to own and operate, and we're having fun with it.

EOW: Did you always know you wanted to open a wine bar that serves food, or were you more interested in a traditional restaurant?

KP: I had originally wanted to open a traditional restaurant. My first job was at the Taste of Texas, and I learned quite quickly that I never wanted to own a restaurant.

EOW: How would you describe your place to potential customers?

KP: A great cubby-hole in the Rice Village neighborhood that's here to attract people who want to come and have fun. Not so much the wine connoisseur, but people who are out to mingle. I have a lot of singles who come to the bar. They sit here and meet the entire bar. The entire bar ends up becoming friends with everybody.

EOW: How did you go about designing the interior of your establishment?

KP: I wanted all the colors to blend together so you never remembered specific furniture...We showcase different local artists every three months. We rotate all the pieces because I've got ADD, and I like to move all the furniture around.

EOW: What's been the toughest part about starting your own business?

KP: Losing your life. You have no more social life.

Kristen Powell's loss of a social life is your gain. Check back tomorrow as we find out some of the things she's got going on in the kitchen.

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