Restaurant notes: The return of Tony Clark

Tony Clark, who last year left his 10-year private-chef job and followed up with a short-lived stint as exec chef at Wilmington's Harry's Savoy Grill, is a solo act again.

He just signed to open Tony Clark's Old Grange Restaurant at the 1850s-themed Cold Spring Village in Cape May. (He's been teasing his Facebook followers about the new location, dropping hints that he'd open a place in Westmont, his hometown.)

The Old Grange, taking advantage of the local farms as well as the seafood, will serve breakfast (oyster eggs benedict, average price $7), lunch (soups, salads, sandwiches, pastas, average $9), and dinner, as well as early bird specials ("which are big down here").

He's still debating about the style of dinner service: "family style or Tony Clark style," as he put it. 

Clark trained at the Culinary Institute of America and ran the lunch operation at the Four Seasons before branching out on his own. He opened Tony Clark, which had a brief run (1996-98) before partnership squabbles pushed him out the door. From there, he worked for the Sheraton on Rittenhouse Square, where Parc is now. Then he joined Norman and Suzanne Cohn, creating elaborate feasts. (His last gig was an engagement part for Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky.)

It's a long way to Cold Spring Village, where he'll also have a small pavilion in the park for serving sandwiches, a beehive oven where he'll bake bread, and an organic farm for produce. He'll sell the wines of Hawk Haven, a neighborhood winery.

Staff will be dressed in period costumes.

"It's hard to put 'sexy' in 1850, but I'll find a way," he said.

Soft openings will begin in early April; dinner will be online first.