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Gourmet Gossip: January 2014

Anthony Bourdain is bringing a Singapore-style Hawker Center to New York.

Anthony Bourdain is bringing a Singapore-style Hawker Center to New York.

In 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 John Fraser’s vegetable-focused debut in the East Village to the implosion of the DuMont dynasty in Brooklyn, and Anthony Bourdain’s plans for a fantastic, New York food hall.

Bourdain’s Big Venture: If you thought the new Gotham West Market was exciting, nothing has quite as much potential to change the face of New York’s fast food scene as this upcoming project from Anthony Bourdain.  The celebrity chef will gather a dream team of street food legends from all over the world into one Manhattan space, like an international version of Barcelona’s Boqueria in Spain, the bustling hawker centers in Singapore, or the Dai Pai Dong in Hong Kong.  Bourdain has suggested that the opening date will depend on their building’s completion (leading to speculation that the market will take shape at the World Trade Center or Hudson Yards), but there will still be plenty to look forward to until then, including a series of pop-ups that will showcase the goods of participating vendors.

a_560x375Setting the Standard: Dovetail’s John Fraser is bringing a bit of his Upper West Side finesse to the once gritty East Village at his sprawling new eatery, Narcissa, nestled inside of Andre Balazs’ Standard hotel.  And although the 100-seat, light-dappled restaurant is named after a cow on Balazs’ upstate farm, Fraser is concentrating more on fresh-from-the-garden vegetables, transformed into Carrot Fries with Jalapeno-Tofu Dip, Rotisserie-Crisped Beets with Creamed Horseradish, and Toasted Fennel Cheesecake with Grapefruit and Chartreuse.

The Cleveland Rocks: Perhaps the third time will be the charm for The Cleveland in SoHo, which has gone through a string of chefs (Tal Aboav took over for Kenneth Corrow) since opening last year.  But the new executive chef is undoubtedly their biggest name yet; Max Sussman, former chef de cuisine of Roberta’s (major score!) and well known cookbook writer, who has already entirely revamped the restaurant’s Mediterranean offerings. Look for a Fried Finocchiona and Gruyere “Snackwich,” Duck Soup with Buckwheat Matzo Balls, and Whole Dorade with Green Chickpeas and Sumac Aioli.

herbs-from-wonggaweiEagle-Eyed Andrew: New York’s hottest properties don’t generally stay vacant for too long.  And we’ve just learned that prolific restaurateur Andrew Carmellini has already inked a deal on Taavo Somer’s Peels space, which unexpectedly folded last week.  He’s planning another Italian restaurant similar to Locanda Verde.   While we love Locanda’s homemade Ricotta Crostini, we’d be lying if we didn’t say we’re going to miss Peels’ Buttermilk Biscuits.

Pastis Gets Prettified: The Meatpacking District’s seminal brunch spot, Pastis, will close for renovations at the end of March.  The landlord is giving the building a complete overhaul, which means the restaurant could be out of operation for over a year.  But all is not lost for locals looking to fulfill a craving for Croque-Monsieur and Moules Frites au Pernod; owner Keith McNally will transform his embattled pizza spot, Pulino’s, into a new French restaurant called Cherchi Midi this spring, so head to the corner of Bowery & Houston for your French fix.

30_08burgerdressler_zDuMont Divorce: The division of power at Williamsburg’s DuMont and DuMont Burger has unsurprisingly shifted since owner Colin Devlin died last summer.  Devlin’s widow, Kristina Greene, was voted out of the burger spot during their first shareholder’s meeting on December 30th, but will remain on board at the temporarily shuttered DuMont, which — when it reopens sometime in the spring — will operate as an entirely separate entity from the more casual DuMont Burger.

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