Gourmet Gossip: June 2017
In this great dining city of ours, barely a day passes without news of an exciting 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 an enterprising new “grocerant” in FiDi, to an actual, sit-down restaurant from the Smorgasburg team.
Green Acres: FiDi’s City Acres isn’t your average food hall. In addition to hosting vendors (such as Vanessa’s Dumplings, Artichoke Pizza and Cinnamon Snail) in their 13,000-square foot, subterranean space, it will also function as a “grocerant;” offering a full array of gourmet supermarket items, as well as — in all likelihood — a full-service restaurant from former Nomad chef, James Kent.
Brick and Mortar Smorg: It looks like Smorgasburg’s Eric Demby and Jonathan Butler are settling down, as the al fresco food fair founders have set their sites on an actual brick-and-mortar in DUMBO. But instead of highly conceptual eats, expect the largely traditional Harborcoat to serve seasonal gastropub fare, like burgers, oysters, and vegetable-forward dishes.
A Bounty of Benno: Chef’s chef Jonathan Benno has left his longtime post at Lincoln, to take on the entire food and beverage program for Nomad’s upcoming The Evelyn Hotel. Along with a hallmark, refined Italian restaurant called Benno, he reportedly has both casual and fast-casual concepts for the space in the works, with the intention of reaching out to a younger crowd (and tapping into the creative resources of a fresh-faced team of sous).
Cool as Ice: What’s with New York’s most established chefs shifting their focus to frozen dairy desserts? Brooks Headley parted ways with Del Posto, for his critically acclaimed Superiority Burger (as known for its ice cream as its all-vegetable patties), and per an instagram post reading “Burns Gelato coming soon,” it seems that Daniel Burns of Luksus — not to mention Noma and Momofuku — is getting into the scoop game too.
Sake it To Me: A teeny new Japanese whiskey destination, called Bar at Uchu, comes with impeccable credentials. The LES eight-seater features a kaiseki tasting menu (featuring produce from a roof garden) from Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare’s Samuel Klonts, and mixology guru, Frank Cisneros (formerly of Prime Meats) oversees the beverage program.
Ichimura Ilness: The owner of one of New York’s newest, spendiest omakase options (Eiji Ichimura, of the eponymous Ichimura) has been sidelined due to illness. A rotating roster of sushi chefs will take his place for the unforeseeable future, but in absence of an actual master, the asking price has dropped to $200 — a full $100 discount.