Chef and jet-setting reality television star Alain Ducasse's global restaurant empire no longer includes an outpost of miX at the swanky W Hotel in Vieques, Puerto Rico. According to Hotel Chatter, Ducasse "pulled out" of the property back in June, and now reps from the hotel write in with news of its more locally-influenced replacement, Sorcé.
It's unclear if Ducasse was booted or if he pulled out, but the press release from the W pitches the new restaurant as part of an evolution "to better suit guest interests." Back in 2010, when the resort and restaurant opened, Ducasse told Eater that each of his miX outposts was different and tailored to their location: "This is a unique model. It is never the same thing twice. It's not the same designer, not the same city." Sorcé is described as "presenting a selection of dishes influenced by Puerto Rican heritage," which signals a shift to more accessible regional cooking.
Ducasse opened the first miX in New York City in 2004 with restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow. Of that project, which shuttered, Ducasse has said, "Maybe it was too contemporary and the address was not the right address and maybe the price was not the right price at the right time." After that, a miX opened in the Mandalay Bay Las Vegas, then at the W Vieques, and then at the W in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Las Vegas and St. Petersburg locations remain open. Here's the press release about Sorcé:
W Retreat & Spa - Vieques Island Announces Arrival of Sorcé
New Restaurant Brings Local Flavors to Guests at Award-Winning Caribbean Retreat
Vieques, Puerto Rico (August 2012) – W Retreat & Spa – Vieques Island today announced the opening of Sorcé, the new dining outpost at the Caribbean destination located just eight miles off the southeast coast of Puerto Rico. Named after one of the island's most significant archaeological sites dating back to 160 AD, Sorcé delivers a culinary experience that is rooted deep in the history of Vieques.
Set in an open air, indoor/outdoor space offering spectacular views of the glistening Caribbean Sea, Sorcé presents a selection of dishes influenced by Puerto Rican heritage. Authentic recipes blend together myriad flavors passed down through generations of Viequense, resulting in a colorful menu that promises to satisfy international jetsetters and island locals. Sorcé's seasoned culinary team utilizes locally-sourced, in-season ingredients and native techniques to craft signature dishes that include fresh-catch fish marinated in a local mojo recipe; Puerto Rican mofongo; stuffed Caribbean lobster; whole coli rubia; churrasco with garlic, brujo oregano herb; and sopa de marisco, a Viequense version of bouillabaisse, or seafood soup.
Sorcé's menu is complimented by an extensive selection of premium wines from around the world, with an accent on vineyards from North and South America. An expert list of signature cocktails and specialty rum flights adds a playful twist to the dining experience.
Prior to the opening of Sorcé, W Vieques was home to miX on the beach, the Retreat's gourmet dining destination that offered guests sophisticated Latin Caribbean and French cuisine.
"When W debuted on Vieques Island, it created a new way to escape, and we would like to thank Chef Alain Ducasse and his culinary team for creating a dynamic, first-rate dining destination that was key to this successful launch," said Greg White, general manager of W Vieques. "As we evolve to meet the needs of our jet set guests, our food and beverage strategies remain critical to enhancing overall guest experience while also drawing in locals."
Since W opened in March 2010, Vieques has been highlighted in a range of national media outlets and earned a series of coveted industry accolades, including a AAA Four Diamond rating. The island was recognized by Travel + Leisure's 2012 World's Best Awards as the Best Island in the Caribbean, as well as on the publication's November 2010 cover as a holiday travel destination; Condé Nast Traveler named Vieques as a top island destination and The New York Times profiled it in a 36 Hours In? feature. Brides magazine declared Vieques as a new honeymoon choice for Caribbean-voyagers. The Retreat has also received a handful of prestigious nods, including a place on the highly-regarded Condé Nast Traveler Hot List in 2011 and Travel + Leisure's 2012 World's Best Awards as one of the Top 25 Resorts in the Caribbean.
Sorcé is located at W Retreat & Spa – Vieques Island, State Road 200, KM 3.2 - HC-1 Box 9368, Vieques in Puerto Rico. It is open daily for breakfast and lunch from 7:30 AM - 5:00 PM and for dinner from 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM.
· "Who Will Replace Alain Ducasse at W Vieques" [Hotel Chatter]
· All Alain Ducasse Coverage on Eater [-E-]