New Times Broward-Palm Beach

By Sara Ventiera
May 30, 2013

"Northern California is fascinating," he said. "You can walk into almost any casual spot with the menu on the bulletin board and find amazing, unpretentious food. I think that's the difference between the East Coast and the West Coast: it's quality of ingredients on the West Coast versus the techniques on the East Coast -- how crafty the chefs are."

"Kovaceski's inspiration came from spending time in San Francisco..."

February 2008

By Emmalee Antill

When most people hear about the opening of an organic restaurant, images of tie-dye-clad customers sitting on the floor sipping wheat grass often come to mind.

While there is nothing wrong with a wheat grass cocktail, Donna Malbrough’s Café Dominique, located at 8013 Main St., will shatter the stereotypical organic view.

Chauvin native Donna Malbrough says she had a love of cooking from a young age. (As a child she asked for an Easy-Bake Oven instead of a baby doll.) She got her start in the food industry when she opened a small catering company; however, that was put on hold while she helped her husband start his engineering firm. When he sold the company, Malbrough turned her sites back to her passion. When a downtown Houma building entered the market, Malbrough seized the chance to create her vision of an exciting fine dining restaurant with healthy choices.

Due to her children’s health problems, Malbrough has always looked for the healthiest foods to feed her family. Seeing the lack of healthy
dining choices in the area, she decided to create a restaurant to fill that need. “[I know] I’m not the only one who wants a healthy choice,”
she explains.

Malbrough says Café Dominique will serve a wide variety of free-range meats and local seafood. The menu will change periodically so customers
can experience the freshest ingredients available.

She also promises a cooking-from-scratch method, stating nothing will be processed. “There will be very few cans opened,” Malbrough says.

Malbrough has employed the services of award-winning Chef Kime Kovaceski to create eclectic dishes ranging from French country to Mediterranean to new American. “We know how to get the fat out,” says Kovaceski. He promises the meals will be comfort foods people know and love, yet with a different and exciting twist. He says his combination of ingredients and culinary techniques will create healthy dishes that are also conversations pieces. “They will beg to be talked about,” Kovaceski laughs. Cafe Dominique hopes to create not simply amazing meals, but a complete dining experience.

Kovaceski also boasts the restaurant will have impeccable service, stating a restaurant can have the best food in the world, but if the service is bad, none of it matters. He ensures each occasion at Café Dominique will be magical.

If the amazing food and quality service is still not enough to shake the stereotype of an organic restaurant, then perhaps the atmosphere will do it. The smell of specialty coffees and pastries greet guests as they walk into the elegant foyer. Inside are three possible dining experiences. The bar area offers some of the best wines and cocktails in the country, owners say, and has an upbeat vibrant feel. A second dining area has a cozy dinner-for-two feel that offers the patrons an intimate dining experience. The back room, which is available for rent, offers a wonderful view of Café Dominique’s patio and Bayou Terrebonne. The French Quarter-style patio is suited for customers to enjoy a glass of wine while watching the bayou laze by. The entire décor offers a high level of elegance and comfort.

With healthy food offerings which are full of flavor and serve as a meal for the eye, the owners hope Café Dominique becomes a restaurant to create wonderful memories for years to come, or at least a place for a relaxing, good time. PoV



January 13. 2008 12:30AM

Health-conscious entrepreneur opens downtown Houma Café

Staff Writer

HOUMA -- What began as a former aerobics instructor’s dream to open a wellness center in Houma has become a premiere four-star café and bistro in downtown Houma.

Donna Malbrough, 53, the owner of Café Dominique, has invested more than $1 million into the café and bistro positioned in downtown Houma on Main Street across the from Government Tower.

Café Dominique, 8013 Main St., promises American-Mediterranean cuisine prepared by chef Klime Kovaceski, and three distinct dining atmospheres -- an energized martini bar, a roomy boquette and a romantic patio dining area at the edge of Bayou Terrebonne.
Café Dominique proprietor Donnalee Chabert-Malbrough (right) and executive chef and general manager Klime Kovaceski pose at Café Dominique in Houma Thursday. The new restaurant is expected to open by the last weekend in January. The food pictured is (from left) Louisiana White Shrimp Cakes, Maple Leaf Duck Two Ways and a Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Pomegranate Sorbet. (EMILY SCHWARZE/STAFF)
Kovaceski, 47, owned and operated the four-star, four-diamond and Golden Spoon-award winning Crystal Café in Miami for 10 years. He specializes in new continental cuisine, which focuses on "elevating" traditional cuisine to new heights. Malbrough said the idea for the café, which takes its name from her fifth child and second daughter, originally came from her visits to different spas around the country. She said she fell in love with the healthy food served at the spas. "So I thought, 'Wow, we don’t have anything like this on our area,’ " she said.

But the venue she initially intended to use for her wellness center was too small to do everything she wanted. So, she put the idea on hold, until four years ago. That’s when the downtown building, which previously housed B.J.’s Coffee Station, went on sale. By then the idea of opening a wellness center had morphed into her desire to open a restaurant. So, she purchased the property, but hurricanes Katrina and Rita delayed the planned renovations and opening day. "I just kept believing it would fall into place, and it really has with a lot of great people," she said.

Troubled with her own desire to slim down, her main drive for opening the restaurant has been to bring healthier food to the people of south Louisiana.
"It’s very personal," she said. "It’s a mission." The café hosted a sneak preview on Dec. 30, serving 120 guests, mostly comprised of Malbrough’s family and friends.

"We had all of our eggs in a row and it was really a success," she said.
She expects the restaurant to officially open and begin serving dinner in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, Klime, who is the café’s executive chef and general manager, has been training his wait staff by hosting private parties in the café.

Once the staff is ready, the restaurant will begin serving lunch and eventually breakfast. Klime said the menu will change often, based upon the ingredients available to the restaurant, which will strive to serve the freshest, purest local ingredients possible. The restaurant will feature a large wine list, stocked by boutique wineries.
Menu prices vary. Most entrees are in the mid-$20 range and appetizers range from $5 to $15. Some of the dishes include venison loin chops and filet mignon. "It has its own life force and it has evolved into something so wonderful," Malbrough said.

Staff Writer Brian Fontenot can be reached at 857-2204 or

Restaurant Consultant, Las Vegas, NV - 2006/07

Loomis News Logo.

Four-star chef brings culinary talents to Loomis

"Worldwide cook now executive chef at Horseshoe Bar Grill Restaurant"

By Susan Belknap -- Loomis News Editor
Wednesday, November 23, 2005 11:28 AM PST

After traveling and cooking all over the world, Klime Kovaceski is settling in Loomis.

Kovaceski, former owner of the award-winning Crystal Café in Miami Beach was recently named the new executive chef and general manager for the Horseshoe Bar Grill Restaurant.


Executive chef Klime Kovaceski puts the finishing touches on a dish of maple leaf duck roasted and seared and steamed black mussels in a fresh tomato, saffron broth.

Photo by Karina Williams/Loomis News

"When I saw there was an opening in Loomis, it appealed to me to be in a small town," Kovaceski said. "After spending 20 years in Miami, a big city, this is something new."

Kovaceski said he's always enjoyed the Bay Area and he is especially fond of being near Lake Tahoe, which reminds him of the lake near Ohrid, Macedonia where he was born. "Before I came here, I spent some time in Seattle but it was too cold," Kovaceski said. "As I traveled south of Seattle into Northern California I decided this was where I wanted to be."

Kovaceski began his culinary career at the age of 14 at the Ohrid Macedonia Hotel where he served for three years. At the age of 21 - the youngest graduate ever from the culinary college - he accepted his first position as executive chef for the Skopje Hotel on Ohrid Lake.
At the age of 24, Kovaceski moved to Amsterdam, Holland, where he was employed at yet another prestigious restaurant.

After hearing about a new restaurant about to open in Miami, Kovaceski moved in 1984 to Miami Beach, where he served as executive chef for the restaurant, Jama, for 10 years. In 1994, Kovaceski and his wife, Huguette, who is the new floor manager at the Loomis restaurant, began Crystal Café, also in Miami. Kovaceski's specialty dishes have earned him four-star honors from the Miami Herald, Miami Sun-Sentinel and Mobil and AAA. Since selling the Crystal Café last year Kovaceski has been consulting a variety of restaurants throughout the country.

Kovaceski is looking forward to the unveiling of his menu at the Horseshoe Bar Grill, which he said will change on monthly basis depending on the season. It will feature many of his specialties such as Venison Osso Bucco Provencal. In his cooking for Horseshoe Bar Grill, Kovaseski uses only fresh herbs, and does not utilize a fryer of any sorts. He loves to experiment and is always reading the New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle to see what's cooking.

Even though Kovaceski is adding his own touch and will add a few pasta dishes and more extensive seafood offerings, regulars to the Bar will still be able to order favorites like Caesar salad and beef Wellington.
In addition, a four-course dinner for two for $99 including a bottle of wine is now available. The special dining experience begins with a choice of tomato and mozzarella, Caesar or mixed salad; broiled Macadamia crusted grouper, shrimp or portabella with julienne vegetables and passion fruit-balsamic reduction. For the entrée, diners will have their choice of lamb chops, beef filet or Ahi tuna with spicy peppercorn sauce, garlic-mashed potatoes and pan-seared mushrooms. An apple tart, chocolate bomb or tiramisu make the evening complete.

"This is a simple concept. People will know how much they are going to spend and if they are not familiar with wine, we have four to five to chose from for this dinner," he said.

Familiarity with wines is not a problem for sommeliere Harry Fisher, who has been with the Loomis establishment for four years. He feels Kovaceski brings a fresh perspective and great passion to the restaurant.
"Klime is high energy, and he also has great skills," Fisher said.
Karen Fox, marketing director for the restaurant, agrees and is delighted to have someone such as Kovaceski come to the Sacramento region.
"We're just thrilled that we were able to find someone on his level to join our team," Fox said. "We're ready for him to take this to the next level. And his wife, Huguette is so meticulous and gracious. We're pleased to have her greet our guests."


By Kathy Martin -- Food Editor
Posted on Thu, Dec. 01, 2005

Klime Kovaceski, who won a devoted following as chef-owner of Miami Beach's Crystal Café before vanishing from our midst a little over a year ago, has surfaced in Loomis, Calif., as executive chef and general manager at the Horseshoe Bar Grill Restaurant. ''It appealed to me to be in a small town,'' he told the local newspaper. Wife Huguette is managing the front of the house.



New toque in town

By Mike Dunne -- Bee Food Editor
Published 2:15 AM PST Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2005

Klime Kovaceski, a Macedonian native whose culinary style developed an avid following in Miami Beach over the past two decades, is the new executive chef and general manager of Horseshoe Bar Grill in Loomis. But that doesn't mean stroganoffs, goulashes, schnitzels and the like are about to replace the traditionally rich French and game dishes that long have been the mainstays of the restaurant's menu. Kovaceski, however, expects to add to the menu several examples of his "new continental cuisine." That would include such staples from Miami Beach as a "seafood osso buco" and pistachio-crusted goat cheese with a reduction of balsamico and raspberries.

Kovaceski sold his Miami Beach restaurant, Crystal Cafe, a little more than a year ago and had been traveling about the United States and Canada as a consultant when he was contacted by David Rosenaur and Karen Fox of Horseshoe Bar Grill. Loomis appealed to him because of its proximity to San Francisco and Lake Tahoe and its attractive real-estate prices. He also appreciates that Rosenaur and Fox are giving him a largely free hand to bring stability to the restaurant, which has weathered a series of personnel changes in the kitchen over the past two years.

He's currently tweaking the menu, with his changes to include a four-course meal with a bottle of wine for two people for a flat $99. His wife, Huguette, who also was involved in operating Crystal Cafe, will oversee the front of Horseshoe Bar Grill, which remains open for dinner only Wednesdays through Mondays.


Kovaceski Sells Crystal Café

"Renowned chef-owner Klime Kovaceski sold his name-making Crystal Café and moved to San Francisco. The new owners have retained much of Kovaceski’s “New Continental” cuisine and are continually adding Italian and Mediterranean specialties as well."

Crystal Café, 726 Arthur Godfrey Rd., Miami Beach.

Crystal Closes Logo

Crystal Closes

The local media has been mourning the demise of Fu Manchu Chinese restaurant on 71st Street in Miami Beach, which shut its doors after a near record-setting 71 year run (only Joe’s Stone Crab has been going longer). Longevity aside, however, Fu Manchu was a pretty lousy restaurant over the last decade at least.

More significant is the closing of Crystal Cafe, concluding a two-part, twelve year run on 41st Street in Miami Beach. Klime Kovaceski and his wife Huguette started the Cafe in August of 1994, and over the next decade built it into one of the most critically acclaimed restaurants in town. When Sal Dicembrino purchased the romantic dining establishment in 2004 he kept much of the New Continental menu intact, but eventually shifted the emphasis more towards Italian food. Kovaceski loyalists weren’t happy, but the business still brought in a steady stream of clientele — enough, in fact, that the optimistic Dicembrino had recently retooled Crystal’s kitchen with new equipment. Sadly, a difficulty in paying the bills led to an abrupt departure at the end of August. Some disgruntled employees are still owed money.

Meanwhile, landlords Norman and Gail Divecht are currently busy meeting with potential new suitors for the restaurant space. Let’s just hope Fu Manchu doesn’t move in.

-Lee Klein

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