Hilton Hotels Corporation and its owners expect to build or re-concept nearly all existing casual restaurants in company owned and managed North American full service hotels by 2009. The first project to come out of the partnership with Scala will be the Urban Tavern at the landmark Hilton San Francisco. Set to begin construction in August 2007, the Urban Tavern will be a warm and inviting gathering place to meet, drink and dine. The restaurant is expected to open in the first quarter of 2008.
‘As the first project we are working on with Scala, the Urban Tavern builds on a tradition of welcome, comfort and honest fare, adding spice and drama to make it a great venue for a city renowned for great food,’ said Meredith Quarnstrom, vice president, Food & Beverage, Hilton Hotels Corporation. ‘Donna Scala will coach and direct the hotel’s culinary team and also develop specialty menus for catering and in-room dining.’
Unique features of the Urban Tavern will include a charcuterie serving signature cheese, meat and antipasto plates and a large community table that will serve as the focal point of the restaurant. A glowing fireplace will be positioned to be viewed from almost every seat to not only provide warmth, but to set the tone of the environment as welcoming and inviting. Scala and her staff will work with the region’s wine makers, farmers and artisanal cheese purveyors.
Scala’s future projects will include licensed concepts similar in nature to the world-renowned Bistro Don Giovanni, as well as a new concept for pizza – a specialty that Scala has been perfecting since age five. Scala has been recognized on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Newsweek, and in GQ. While her culinary skills cover a variety of the world’s cuisines, Scala’s cooking style is heavily influenced by her Greek heritage. A resident of Napa, she is inspired by the vegetables and herbs she grows at her Bistro Don Giovanni restaurant and makes her own wine called Scalas.