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Gourmet Gossip: April 2015

Crown_9-11_140-1200x798In this great dining city of ours, barely a day passes without news of an exciting new restaurant opening, a devastating closing, a shocking chef shuffle, or a groundbreaking, must-try dish.  That’s why we’re keeping you apprised of the industry’s most noteworthy bits and bites — from Crown‘s sudden shutter to Betony‘s big price hike.

Fixe-r Upper: Betony’s Bryce Shuman has been flying high, especially after being named one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs of 2015.  And in response to the inevitable increased interest in the Michelin-starred, Midtown restaurant, Shuman and partner Eamon Rockey have refigured the format of the menu, abandoning a la carte options in favor of prix fixes running from $95 for four-courses, to a whopping $195 per person for an extravagant, 10-course tasting.

contraContra-temps: Betony isn’t the only restaurant upping the ante — the quirky Lower East Side Contra (originally known for its surprisingly affordable tasting menus) is undertaking its own price hike; asking $67 as opposed to $55.  The good news is, there’s also more bang for your increased buck; expect a six to eight-course progression (featuring unique dishes, like Carrots with uni and almond, Pork with citrus and seaweed, and Veal with squid and eggplant), instead of the original five.

Khe-Yo_fish.0.0New Year’s Cheer: Wait a second, didn’t we just celebrate Passover and Easter?  Well, it just so happens to be the New Year in the Southeast Asian country of Laos, which Soulayphet Schwader is commemorating with a special feast at his Tribeca restaurant, Khe-Yo.  From April 13th-19th, the chef and his mother will serve a highly personal menu of family favorites, such as Porgy stuffed with lemongrass and galangal, Crispy Fish Jerky, and ceremonial Grilled Goat.

Mu News: Well, it was nice while it lasted — the perennially mobbed Long Island City noodle shop, Mu Ramen, is no longer accepting reservations.  Owner Joshua Smookler began taking same-day requests for tables back in early December, but it became increasingly impossible for walk-ins to score one of the coveted 22 seats.  So now, the restaurant has reverted to a “first come, first serve” policy… cross your fingers that warmer weather will thin the crowds clamoring for soup noodles.

betony14-300x200Crown Down: It’s been a rough few months for top New York restaurateur, John DeLucie.  Not only is he experiencing business troubles with longtime partner, Sean Largotta (who stole $100,000 of company funds), but the building that housed Crown, his posh Upper East Side stunner, has been sold, leading to the sale of the restaurant.  This also follows controversy surrounding another DeLucie property, The Windsor in the West Village, which was recently “closed for reservations” in order to prevent Largotta from accessing the eatery’s accounts.

fwsp05_pommes_frites_lgFunding for Frites: One of the unfortunate victims of the recent East Village explosion was Pommes Frites; the Belgian french fry haven that’s been satiating poor, drunk college students since 1997.  Hopefully, those selfsame NYU and Cooper Union undergrads will be among those to contribute to the fast food counter’s donation fund, which will help the shattered spot relocate and rebuild.

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