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Chef Gator Thompson - Now at Caprino's in Belmont

Melanie Wong Mar 14, 2011 02:27 AM

Well, Chef Glenn Gator Thompson confirmed that he's pulled out of The Grill in San Mateo. Early in his career he was a line cook at Oliveto under Paul Bertolli and he's going back to that style for now. In his own words, the next step in his saga:

"...So with that said, I will be taking on the job of being Ex. Chef at Caprino's Italian restaurant in Belmont. As you know I have put in 29yrs. Of cooking Italian food that's how I started so I want to go back to the comfort foods of Italian. I will be putting in the menu things like braised Brussels sprouts with mirepoix and pancetta over soft polenta, Crab cakes with fresh fennel and fava bean salad & vanilla bean aioli, roasted lamb riblets with roasted garlic Demi & lemon cream, Sweet potato gnocchi  with pecan and Romano cheese sauce, and that's just some of the starter. I really feel at home cooking Italian..."

He's working there already and expects to launch his own menu by March 25. Funny thing is, the current menu includes a couple BBQ items.

The Grill
1855 S Delaware St, San Mateo, CA 94402

Caprino's Italian Restaurant
1000 6th Avenue, Belmont, CA 94002

Oliveto Restaurant
5655 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

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    mikeh RE: Melanie Wong Mar 14, 2011 09:58 AM

    *cough* My only comment is - what did the Bay Area ever do to the South that every venture to introduce its cuisine here is either awful to begin with or flames out in completely oddball ways...

    3 Replies
    1. re: mikeh
      Robert Lauriston RE: mikeh Mar 14, 2011 10:43 AM

      Elite Cafe is decent and has been around for 30 years.

      1. re: Robert Lauriston
        mikeh RE: Robert Lauriston Mar 14, 2011 11:07 AM

        Elite Cafe is a Disneylandesque tour of Cajun, Creole, general comfort food American, with a bit of Southern techniques randomly thrown in here and there. It's unfocused. Also, the execution there hasn't been legit. since Donald Link left for New Orleans.

        1. re: mikeh
          Kim Cooper RE: mikeh Dec 22, 2011 10:48 PM

          Was that when they discontinued our favorite dish, Grandpa's Chicken and dumplings?

    2. a
      alina555 RE: Melanie Wong Mar 16, 2011 05:08 PM

      Gosh, so I wonder how long he will stay at this venture? The guy changes jobs like he's running from the law.

      7 Replies
      1. re: alina555
        Foodnut8 RE: alina555 Apr 22, 2011 01:43 PM

        Shalizaar was full, so we decided to give his new venture a try. He needs to tone down the salt.. Not bad but I'd say this is a work in progress for sure. (Assuming he stays for a while)


        300 El Camino Real, Belmont, CA 94002

        Caprino's Italian Restaurant
        1000 6th Avenue, Belmont, CA 94002

        1. re: alina555
          Windy RE: alina555 Apr 22, 2011 03:03 PM

          In the city, those are not abnormal turnovers (5 or 6 restaurants in as many years). Much less so on the Peninsula and in the East Bay.

          I like Gator, and miss his place in San Francisco.

          1. re: Windy
            Melanie Wong RE: Windy Jun 29, 2011 01:17 AM

            I just looked at the online menu and it includes popcorn crawdads, jambalaya, catfish po'boy, crayfish etoufee, grits . . . if you're missing any of those dishes.

            1. re: Melanie Wong
              Malcolm Ruthven RE: Melanie Wong Jun 29, 2011 09:18 AM

              Those items don't sound much like comfort foods of Italy.

          2. re: alina555
            heart2bake RE: alina555 Jan 4, 2012 02:44 PM

            He left this place late last summer, supposedly to return, but I don't know if he did.

            1. re: heart2bake
              Kim Cooper RE: heart2bake Jan 7, 2012 01:22 PM

              Anyone have an update? We'd try it if he has returned.

              1. re: Kim Cooper
                Melanie Wong RE: Kim Cooper Apr 23, 2014 06:44 PM

                He's executive chef at Fenix at San Rafael,

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