In The Hague at the CITES Conference:
Julia Roberson [email protected]

In the United States:
Shannon Crownover [email protected]


(November 7, 2003) -- Some of the nation's top restaurants are once again teaming up with the Caviar Emptor campaign this holiday season to celebrate Caviar Nouveau, great-tasting caviars from sturgeon, paddlefish and trout farmed in the United States as well as wild Alaska salmon. The promotion will highlight these delicious caviars for connoisseurs who are concerned about critically imperiled Caspian Sea sturgeon.

From Thanksgiving to the New Year, more than 15 restaurants across the nation will serve a daily special featuring these excellent new caviars. The event will launch with an American caviar tasting hosted by Chef Rick Moonen at Restaurant rm in New York City on November 20. Other participating restaurants include: Restaurant Nora in Washington, DC, Lumière Restaurant in Boston, The Rattlesnake Club in Detroit and more.

By January 31, 2004, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be making a decision on whether to list beluga sturgeon - whose numbers have plummeted by 90 percent in the past 20 years - under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. If the fish is protected under the Act, all imports of beluga caviar would be banned.

Concerns about the overfishing and illegal trade that plagues Caspian caviars have prompted many American chefs to turn to high quality homegrown products. The chefs participating in Caviar Nouveau have taken beluga caviar off their menus and are leading the latest trend of the culinary world by exploring the fascinating diversity of farmed American caviars.

"By choosing new, sustainable caviars, chefs and connoisseurs are sending a powerful message that they will not contribute to the extinction of the ancient beluga sturgeon,” said Vikki Spruill, president of SeaWeb, one of three conservation groups of the Caviar Emptor campaign. “Together, we urge the U.S. government to make the right decision by granting beluga sturgeon the protection of an endangered species listing.”

Caviar Emptor launched in December 2000 as a partnership of SeaWeb, Natural Resources Defense Council and the Wildlife Conservation Society. In addition to petitioning the U.S. government to list beluga sturgeon as an endangered species, the campaign seeks a halt to international trade in beluga caviar and calls for greater international aid to protect and restore Caspian Sea sturgeon.

Overwhelming support for listing beluga sturgeon as an endangered species was submitted by nearly 200 renowned U.S. chefs and seafood purveyors when the Fish and Wildlife Service opened public comments periods last fall.

"There are many new choices available now, why would anyone eat something that is so endangered?” asks Chef Rick Moonen, who no longer serves Caspian caviar in his restaurant. “It is truly exciting to offer my customers Caviar Nouveau, which is incredibly delicious.”

Following is a list of restaurants and chefs participating in Caviar Nouveau promotion. Participating restaurants may change the date of their promotion. For updated information, call the restaurant or Sunny Wu of Caviar Emptor at 202-483-9570.

New York City:

Restaurant RM
33 East 60th Street
New York, NY 10022

227 E. 67th St
New York, NY 10021

Washington, DC:

Restaurant Nora
2132 Florida Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008

Lumière Restaurant
1293 Washington Street
West Newton, MA 02465


East West Bistro
351 East Broad Street
Athens, GA 30601


Cassis Bistro
2359 10th Avenue E.
Seattle, WA 98102

Earth & Ocean at The W Hotel
1112 Fourth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101

The Herbfarm
14590 NE 145th Street
Woodinville, WA 98072

San Francisco:

Hayes Street Grill
320 Hayes Street
San Francisco, CA 94102


Emily's Restaurant
505 North Center Street
Northville, MI 48167

Rattlesnake Club
300 River Place
Detroit, MI 48207

Portland, OR:

Higgins Restaurant
1239 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97205

Charleston, SC:

McCrady's Restaurant
2 Unity Alley
Charleston, SC 29401


The Little Nell
675 East Durant Avenue
Aspen, CO 81611

Asheville, NC:

Richmond Hill Inn
87 Richmond Hill Drive
Asheville, NC 28806

Gladstone, NJ:

The Opah Grille
12 Lackawanna Avenue
Gladstone, NJ 07934

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