What is going on here?! Earlier this year Walter Manzke announced his separation from Church & State, a restaurant he had single-handedly cultivated with his French bistro fare, drawing in crowds from all across town, rendering C&S a destination foodie must. With his departure came word of plans to debut a solo restaurant, but here we are now months later with still nothing concrete. Manzke did agree to consult in Chicago, then he popped up at Test Kitchen for a few nights of his own cooking. The newest twist in the Walter Manzke saga? Glance up above. Yesterday Culver City's year-old French bistro Le Saint Amour sent out an email to customers announcing that Walter Manzke and John Butler had joined the team. According to the restaurant, Manzke has been on board for a week as chef.
Update, per Manzke: "I was [at Le Saint Amour], observing and tweaking a few dishes in the past two days. I'm working with them one week every month for three to six months. Between myself and Chef John Butler, we're working with Le Saint Amour's team to redevelop the menu and add in some highlights from the farmer's markets and other touches." Manzke says he won't quit working on his own project until it's open. He's committed to continuing his business relationship with Rich Melmen in Chicago as well, hoping they can keep working together even after he opens his own restaurant. Manzke's bottom line? "I'm working on opening my own place, that's my main goal."