Shepos leaving, new bbq

bbq.gifShepos leaving Stark’s Steakhouse
Mark and Terri Stark are preparing for a bittersweet goodbye — longtime chef Tracey Shepos-Cenami announced to the couple that she’ll be leaving in August. “This wasn’t a short-term decision. There was months of thinking about this. They’re like my parents. But it’s been ten years and that’s a long time in the restaurant world,” said Tracey.

And though the rumor mill is swirling about what this may mean for the steakhouse, both Tracey and bossman Mark say the departure is amicable. “If I did my job right with Tracey, she should be doing her own thing. That’s always been the goal,” Mark told BiteClub. “The beauty of this is that its an opportunity for someone else.”

It’s the Pits
Just a quick hit on the Northbay’s newest bbq spot. Longtime caterer Chef Larry Vito, who’s been catering out of Sebastopol for 14 years and once headed a 5-star eatery in SF, is now offering authentic smoked ribs, chicken and pulled pork at his new porch restaurant. Get there quick before the crowds discover this hidden gem. 6811 Laguna Park Way, Sebastopol, 575-3277.

Whoopie! It’s Viola Pastry.
If you’re lucky, you’ve gotten a sneak preview of Jennifer McMurry’s pastries at Santa Rosa’s Wednesday farmer’s market — most notably her strawberry shortcake and chocolate whoopie pies. She’ll be opening full time in Montgomery Village sometime in September.