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SANTA MONICA: The Hillstone Group, backers of Houstons restaurants, will finally open R+D Kitchen in July, so says this help wanted ad. The restaurant replaces the short-lived SBE-owned Montana Café and previously Yu Restaurant. Last we looked (in December) the space was completely gutted and reps said they were shooting for a summer debut. But note the name is now R+D Kitchen and not Cafe R+D like others already in operation. More details soon. [EaterWire]
VENICE: Loving this idea: Piccolo Ristorante near the VB boardwalk will hold "Cena al Contrario," or reversal dinner, on June 24. You pick the wines from a pre-selected list and the chef will be offered dishes to pair with them. $60 for three wines, three courses; $100 for five. Reservations are required (310.314.3222). [EaterWire Inbox]
MID-CITY: My how time flies. Michael Cimarusti, Donato Poto and the whole Providence crew celebrates three years this month. To show their appreciation for your appreciation, their rolling back prices for the five- and nine-course tasting menus to $70 and $90 respectively (more with wines) from June 15-21. Unrelated: Cimarusti, chef de cusine Yu Min Lin, and pastry chef Adrian Vasquez make their Iron Chef America debut on July 7. [EaterWire Inbox]