In two posts on his Facebook wall last night, Hawthorn chef Riccardo Palazzo-Giorgio announced that the restaurant had closed. Reached for comment, the chef confirmed to Eater than the owner "pulled the plug" but declined to offer any additional specifics about the closure. Partner Jeff Gainsborough had this to say:
For legal reasons we cannot go into details, but we did not want to close. What we would like everyone to know is that we are grateful for the wonderful reviews by the food critics/media that got the word out about Hawthorn, the diners for their love of Hawthorn and wonderful comments and referrals, and most importantly Jason Castle our GM/Sommelier and Riccardo Palazzo-Giorgio our Executive Chef for making Hawthorn what it is and was. To all of you we created something that doesn't exist in the Houston food scene and was loved by all.
While the restaurant had struggled to shed the negative publicity associated with its initial incarnation as private club Dorsia, it looked poised to head into its second year flying higher than ever thanks to winning food from Palazzo-Girogio and a new beverage program from sommelier Jason Castle.
When Chronicle critic Alison Cook awarded the restaurant three stars in November, she praised its "supper-clubby and discreet" atmosphere as well as Palazzo-Girogio's homemade pastas and desserts. Here's hoping the chef lands on his feet quickly.
· Hawthorn [Official Site]
· Hawthorn on Upper Kirby Creates an Old-Houston Ambience [29-95]
· Pay Up If You Want to Enter Members-Only Dorsia [29-95]
· All Hawthorn Coverage on Eater Houston [-EHOU-]
· All The Shutter on Eater Houston [-EHOU-]