Todd English hosted a party last night to celebrate the reopening of Olives, English's Charlestown restaurant that closed in 2010 due to a grease fire. Besides the delay, the opening has thus far been a bright spot for the controversy-riddled chef, presenting no additional drama. Earlier this year, English denied that his Fanueil Hall restaurant Kingfish Hall was in trouble, then shut it down, and was subsquently sued for $1 million due to unpaid rent and damages. Most recently, the chef was forced to defend himself against accusations that he vandalized the the former Kingfish Hall space. None of this however was mentioned last night at the reopening of the very first restaurant English opened, back in 1989. English faithfuls and other industry folk were on hand to help celebrate, including chefs Tiffani Faison and Dante de Magistris as well as Jenny Johnson of TV Diner and interior designer Jenn Glickman, who did the design for Curly Cakes, the Beacon Hill cupcake shop owned by English's daughter. Ever the salesman, English used the event to shill for a Chilean olive oil company, holding a private tasting of the oils in a back room of the restaurant just prior to the celebration.
At the main event, guests tasted items from the Olives menu including lobster arancini, artichoke and four cheese pizza, and raw quail eggs served in the shell with olive oil. Later in the evening, desserts were provided courtesy of Curly Cakes. Could the reopening mark a new era in the saga of Todd English? Only time will tell.