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Chef's choice 

Where they eat on their day off.

click to enlarge DONNIE FERNEAU: Likes the 'Fish.'
  • DONNIE FERNEAU: Likes the 'Fish.'

Peter Brave
chef, Brave New Restaurant

Brave said he doesn’t go to fancy restaurants much. When he does, people ask him, “What are you doing here?” So he avoids the agro, and eats in what might be called the bottom of Cantrell Hill restaurant district: at the Buffalo Grill, Pizza Cafe, Faded Rose … . He likes Whole Hog and La Hacienda, too.

But Brave said he does have a dream lunch:

It’s at HB’s barbecue. He’s eating barbecued sliced beef and drinking a big Dr. Pepper, all while perusing a new Sports Illustrated. (“The swimsuit issue?” we ask. No, he says. “We’re talking dream lunch.”)



Donnie Ferneau
chef, Ferneau


Ferneau, 30, is the new father of 2-month-old Vada Skye Ferneau and “a jeans and t-shirts kind of guy.” Vada made her first restaurant outing in January with mom (Kellye Neal) and dad to one of his favorite spots: The Flying Fish. Usually, he orders a Mexican shrimp cocktail, oysters and a Pacifico beer. For Vada’s inaugural fishing trip, he had catfish instead of oysters. He likes neighborhood joints, too, like Leo’s Greek Castle. Like Brave, if he’s eating at a white tablecloth place, he likes it so cozy people don’t drop by the table and bug him. He cooks at home a lot, too. “The best restaurant in town is my house on Sundays.”



Eric Isaac
chef, Ristorante Capeo



Isaac, known for his osso bucco and fresh mozzarella, has an addiction: Sushi. “I eat sushi every day for lunch at Hana Roo’s,” he said. Really. Every day. The chef of the late, great Cassanelli’s, Isaac likes silk-stocking downtown joints like Nu, Sonny Williams and Lulav. But he’ll also wander west to Ferneau, which he says “has the best escargot in the state.” He thinks so much of Nu’s Paul Novicky that he’s talked to him about being guest chef at Ristorante Capeo soon.






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