Nathan Toubia accepts sous chef job at Wichita Country Club

cropped-nathan1-191x300Popular local chef Nathan Toubia is making another career move.

He’s left Birds on the Roof Bakery & Cafe, where he has been working since November as head chef, and today accepted a job working under Chef Damian Lehman as the sous chef at Wichita Country Club. He starts on Friday.

Meanwhile, Birds on the Roof, which is at 550 N. Rock Road, is closing its doors for at least two weeks while it hires a new chef, said owner Thao Luu. The restaurant will, however, open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday to test out new menu items.

In other Toubia news, he has sold his Bocco Deli, 3010 E. Central, which he opened on his own in 2010. A longtime employee now will take it over.

Toubia, the son of the late Latour founder Antoine Toubia, closed his Bocconcini Italian Eatery in August.

Toubia the new chef at Birds on the Roof

Chef Nathan Toubia, who closed his popular Bocconcini Italian Eatery in August has a new job — working for someone else.

The interior of Birds on the Roof Cafe and Bakery.

The interior of Birds on the Roof Cafe and Bakery.

Toubia has accepted a job as the head chef at the new Birds on the Roof Bakery & Cafe, a beautifully decorated bakery and restaurant that Thao Luu opened in August at 550 N. Rock Road.

Luu has been rethinking her menu since opening, and Toubia is going to focus right away on breakfast, lunch and brunch. He plans to make some of the items he used to serve for brunch at Bocconcini, such as ricotta pancakes and duck hash. He’ll also have a lunch menu with sandwiches such as Italian roast beef.

Luu also wants him to develop a dinner menu, but they’ve agreed to work on the daytime meals first.



Toubia has been running his original restaurant, Bocco Deli at 3010 E. Central, since closing Bocconcini. He says he plans to leave that restaurant in the hands of his staff — as he did when Bocconcini was open — so that he can focus on his new job. He says he will have to end the weekend dinners he recently started serving at Bocco Deli.

Luu said she is excited about her hire.

“I want something unique and nice,” she said.

Toubia will officially start his new job at Birds on the Roof next week.

Birds on the Roof is closed until Thursday. Regular hours are 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays. For more information, call 316-558-8288.

Bocconcini lives again at Bocco Deli

Nathan Toubia closed his delicious Bocconcini Italian Eatery at 4811 E. Central in August, and it was a sad day for fans of Italian food.

But some of Bocconcini’s recipes are being revived at Toubia’s other surviving restaurant — Bocco Deli at 3010 E. Central.

That restaurant is a lunch-only place, but on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, Toubia is opening it up for dinner, serving many of his Bocconcini favorites.

Each weekend, he plans to set a multi-course menu, with two choices for each course. The courses will be sold a la carte, so diners can pick and choose what they want.  Last week, Toubia included on the menu Bocconcini’s famous frico appetizer, which features fried cheese filled with leeks, potatoes and sausage. Other choices included potato leek ravioli and pork and mushroom ragu. This weekend, he plans to include butternut squash ravioli.

Toubia will skip this Thursday becuase of Halloween but will serve dinner on Friday and Saturday. Each week, the dinner will start at 6:30 p.m., and he’s requiring reservations.

To make one, call 316-558-8412 and leave a message. Watch for the menus on Bocco Deli’s Facebook page.

Nathan Toubia teaching Italian cooking series

Nathan Toubia

He closed his Bocconcini Italian Eatery at 4811 E. Central, but chef Nathan Toubia is still cooking.

In addition to his Bocco Deliwhich is still operating at 3010 E. Central, Toubia is putting on a series of Italian cooking classes this month at Cooking at Bonnie’s Place, 9747 E. 21st St.

The first one is on Oct. 17 and is a hands-on class during which Toubia will teach participants to make fresh pasta and ravioli. The second class is on Oct. 24 also is hands-on. It will cover pasta and cannelloni making.

And on Oct. 30, Toubia will put on a demonstration class in which he prepares an Italian dinner featuring spinach and shrimp scampi flan, braised beef risotto and red wine poached pears with pistachio Mascarpone.

All three classes start at 6:30 p.m. and are $60 a person. To make reservations and get more information, call 316-425-5224 or visit Bonnie’s website.

Nathan Toubia closes Bocconcini Italian Eatery

It’s a sad day for fans of pillowy ravioli and pork saltimbocca.

Nathan Toubia has closed is Bocconcini Italian Eatery at 4811 E. Central. He plans to keep his Bocco Deli open at 3010 E. Central and focus his energy there.

Toubia, the son of Latour founder Antoine Toubia, opened Bocconcini in August of 2011, and it was instantly popular with foodies. 

On Labor Day weekend of last year, Toubia suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle accident. Since then, he said, he’s struggled personally and financially.

In June, Toubia cut out his weekday lunch hours. Though business had picked back up recently, he still had to make the hard decision, he said.

“I hate to see it go, but also, for me personally, I need to be balanced,” he said. “I think it’s bette r to cut ties and focus more on the deli.”

Bocconcini: New brunch, new hours

Bocconcini is losing lunch but adding brunch.

Nathan Toubia is changing the hours for summer at his Bocconcini Italian Eatery, the delicious Italian spot at 4811 E Central Ave

Fans of his food are losing weekday lunch, but they’re gaining weekday brunch.

The new hours, as of today, are 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. On the weekends, Toubia will be serving a plated brunch that includes options such as steak and eggs, ricotta pancakes and duck hash. The brunch also will feature an antipasti bar, where patrons can help themselves to things such as salads and roasted vegetables. He’ll have a dessert buffet, too.

Those who need a Toubia fix at lunch can still get it his other restaurant, Bocco Deli at 3010 E. Central.

For more information, call Bocconcini at 316-613-2523, but not today because as part of the new hours, the restaurant is now closed on Mondays.

Toubia chooses name: Bocconcini Italian Eatery

Local chef and Bocco Deli owner Nathan Toubia is hard at work on his new Italian restaurant, which he hopes to have open mid-July in the old Sugar Sisters space at 4811 E. Central.

In the meantime, he’s chosen a name: Bocconcini Italian Eatery. “Bocconcini” (bohk-kohn-CHEE-nee) means “small mouthfuls” in Italian (even though the word itself is a big mouthful.) It’s the same name Toubia gave to the catering business he opened in 2009.

Toubia, son of the late Latour founder Antoine Toubia, says the name will make even  more sense when we see his menu, which he says I can take a look at next week. I’ll share what I learn.

Fishy, Lent-y stragglers

As is apt to happen, when my story outlining places to eat fish and avoid meat during Lent was published in this morning’s paper, helpful readers and restaurateurs helped me remember who I’d forgotten.

One restaurant named by a couple of readers was Just Catfish at 3800 S. Seneca, a place I’ve never tried by have heard many good things about. The callers said that Just Catfish serves not-t0-be-missed Southern fried and Cajun fried catfish as well as great sides and sinful desserts.

Also, Bocco Deli let me know about their Lenten special. The cozy restaurant will offer special veggie sandwiches and soups on Wednesdays and Fridays. One of today’s sandwiches, for example, was a grilled portabello sandwich with roasted red peppers and goat cheese on homemade flat bread.

Restaurant review: Bocco Deli

So one person guessed it right. The very pretty sandwich I posted on Monday came from Bocco Deli, Nathan Toubia’s new place at 3010 E. Central, in the former Zoomdweebie’s space.

I visited recently and really liked it. The lunch was good, but I can’t wait to try one of Toubia’s third-Saturday Italian feasts. You can read my review, which comes out in the paper on Friday, right here right now.

Has anybody else tried Bocco Deli? If so, leave your review in the comments section below.

New restaurant roundup

fizzLittle tidbits of restaurant news have surfaced over the past few weeks that I’m not sure I paid adequate attention to. So please allow me this little restaurant roundup.

John Browns is a new bar and restaurant in the former Clifton Wine and Jazz space at 3700 E. Douglas. It serves a menu of appetizers, sandwiches and unique desserts from 4 p.m. until 2 a.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays. One of its coolest features: A bloody Mary bar on Sundays.

Bocco Deli opened recently in the former Zoomdweebie’s Tearoom space at 3010 E. Central. It’s owned by Nathan Toubia, son of the late Antoine Toubia, and features soup, salads, sandwiches and pasta. A colleague of mine ate there today and said it was tasty and inexpensive. Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Fizz Burgers & Bottles opened a couple of weeks ago at 7718 E. 37th St. N. featuring a menu of gourmet burgers, fries, sandwiches and salads. The bottles in the name refers to a list of unique beers, wines and bottled sodas. The number is 316-260-2888.

Wild Thyme Cafe & Bakery opened last week at 5255 N. Maize Rd in Maize featuring a menu that offers gluten-free, sugar-free, raw, vegan and vegetarian dishes plus regular old sandwiches, casseroles and daily specials.

Flying Donuts also opened last week next to Bella Luna Cafe at 4618 E. Central. In addition to donuts, it offers croissants, sandwich croissants and kolaches from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily.

Full Moon Pub, owned by the same people behind Dudley’s Sports Bar and Grill and Mulligan’s, should open in a couple of weeks in the Yogi’s Bar & Grill space at 2804 S. Seneca. It’ll feature burgers, pizza and other bar fare.