Former Tuli Bistro chef takes the helm at Capital Dime
Barely one week after the departure of its founding chef, Capital Dime has a new kitchen boss: Stan Moore, who was until recently a chef of Adam Pechal's Tuli Bistro, will take over for Noah Zonca at the Midtown hotspot.
Moore was a sous chef under Zonca for five years at The Kitchen, and prior to working at Tuli, he was a sous chef at Wayfare Tavern in San Francisco, as well as Enotria. He says he’s starting to gradually reshape the menu before moving on to a more significant revamp this spring.
“There’s definitely some room for opportunity and growth here,” Moore tells Sactown. “I want to keep it an upscale diner—American shared plates, but with a little more pizzazz. Just a place where it’ll be a little more fun to eat, and people will want to come in more than once a week.”
Capital Dime co-owner Melissa Sanchez, who continues to oversee the restaurant with her partner Rick Lobley, praised Moore’s experience and versatility as a key asset to Capital Dime’s future.
“The places that he’s worked and helped develop, he’s created something really interesting and innovative but also comfortable,” Sanchez says. “We’re a casual restaurant, so we didn’t want to bring in somebody who is exclusively focused on high-end fine dining. We wanted somebody who has the breadth of experience to do more casual food. So we’re going back to our emphasis on shared plates—our $10 plates—and more of our casual feel, because we’re a neighborhood restaurant.”
Moore has a 20-year relationship with Lobley, including his time at Lobely’s eatery Ink. He is already underway transforming Capital Dime’s menu, starting with a special selection of pairings, flights, small plates and other Beer Week items in cooperation with Out of Bounds Brewery in Rocklin.
Sanchez insists that she and Lobley remain friendly with Zonca. “We still have a really good relationship,” she says. “It’s just that he’s a high-end, fine-dining chef, and the restaurant is focused more on casual [dining]. It almost was like he was constrained, and it’s almost like he’s better doing what he does best.”
Meanwhile, things are quickly turning on—and at—the Dime. Sanchez says that she and Lobley are working on a front patio dining area, and Moore’s spring seasonal menu (a “vegetable-forward” assortment he’s otherwise keeping close to his vest) will be out within the next month, with an emphasis on shared plates. General manager Lonny Abugow—also a sommelier—is working on revising the wine list, while bar manager Rene Dominguez (formerly of Ella and the glitzy Workshop Kitchen + Bar in Palm Springs) will oversee a new array of happy hour cocktail offerings.
“It’s a good camaraderie, back and forth,” Moore says of the new Capital Dime team. “And we’re already talking about other things we want to do. We just want to make sure we get off on the right foot.”