Bastide closed yesterday after the final service, according to a source at the restaurant. And this time it's for good. The rent was recently increased, rather drastically, and owner Joe Pytka has decided to “let it go.” It's now on the market, so if anybody needs a stunningly beautiful location for their own restaurant project, contact the owners. Although, really, if Pytka thinks it's too pricey, you'd imagine that would rule out pretty much everybody. The staff is currently looking for jobs, although we were told that the closing — unlike the few last times the restaurant closed — did not come as a surprise.

Bastide's closing marks the end of an era. The Melrose Place restaurant had a storied past, earning a whole ramekin commerical-sized copper stock pot full of newspaper stars and accolades over the years as the Michelin inspector's Post-it jigsaw of chefs wandered through its beautiful kitchen: Alain Giraud, Ludo Lefebvre, Walter Manzke, Paul Shoemaker, Joseph Mahon and, most recently, Sydney Hunter III. The restaurant had its share of histrionics, both actual and perceived, but produced usually stunning menus and wine in an equally stunning setting. Its food, its olive trees, and its musical chair game of wonderful chefs will be missed.

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