Chef Phillip Mariano has left Josephine Estelle (600 Carondelet St., 504-930-3070;, the Southern-leaning Italian restaurant inside the Ace Hotel.

  Mariano previously served as chef de cuisine at Domenica, and James Beard award-nominated chefs Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman tapped him to helm Josephine Estelle when the hotel opened earlier this year.

  A representative for the hotel confirmed Mariano's departure "to pursue other opportunities." In the interim, sous chef Ysaac Ramirez has become the executive chef. Ramirez is a longtime employee of Ticer and Hudman's and moved to New Orleans from Memphis to help open the restaurant.