Food-news junkies get it hot on Chowhound.com, a widely popular national blog that exists "for those who live to eat." Well, they like to gossip, too. A forum post last week got the Vermont restaurant rumor-mill turning. It read, "I heard Russell Moore might be buying a 2 million dollar restaurant in rural New England. Apparently the last couple who tried to make it work were run out of town by the locals. Someone told me they're related to a chef in Berkeley."
This tidbit was particularly juicy because Moore is a chef at Chez Panisse, the eatery made famous by local-food pioneer Alice Waters. The restaurant referenced is the Lakeview Inn in Greensboro, Vermont. Kevin and Sarah McNamara had fine-dining-destination dreams when they bought the place in 2004. And impressive resumés: She had managed a number of acclaimed San Fran restaurants; he had a motion-picture background. A little more than a year later, though, the couple was gone.
More recently, the Lakeview made headlines when Northeast Kingdom Human Services envisioned the building as a mental-health facility. Greensboro residents ran that idea out of town, too.
Does the Lakeview have a foodie future? Not with Chef Moore. Reached at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, he confirmed that he is, in fact, looking for a restaurant, but in the Bay Area. He's never visited Vermont and has never heard of the Lakeview Inn.
Another Chowhound correction: The inn is on the market for $1.2 million, not 2 - a deal from the Watson Agency.