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Gourmet Gossip: April 2014

0u7g8942.revisedIn this great dining city of ours, barely a day passes without news of a thrilling 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 Floyd Cardoz’s surprising departure from North End Grill in Battery Park to Charlie Palmer’s casual addition to Aureole in Midtown and an exciting Parisian import currently setting up shop in Tribeca.

North End News: Floyd Cardoz has been a faithful foot soldier in Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group for the last 16 years.  But the talented toque recently announced that he’ll be departing from North End Grill at the end of the month (Calliope’s Eric Korsh will take over the executive chef spot) with plans to rededicate himself to Indian cuisine.  And while that will very likely involve new projects in, well, India, we hope it doesn’t take Cardoz away from New York for too long. (He’s one of our all-time favorites.)

Racines_lead_image_interior_636_400_85_s_c1French Connection: It goes without saying that the French know their food.  So we’re tickled pink that David Lahner is opening an outpost of his popular Parisian eatery, Racines, in Tribeca this week.  He’s partnered with David Lillie of Chambers Street Wines, who will be focusing on natural and biodynamic selections, as well as Marseilles-born chef Frédéric Duca, whose Squid a la Plancha, Sea Bass Ceviche and Lamb Shoulder Confit will be made with “quality ingredients that go with wines that express the soil.”  C’est magnifique!

Taking Liberties: Although Charlie Palmer’s flagship restaurant, Aureole, has been in business for over 25 years, it’s just undergone a big transformation since changing locations in 2009.  The bar dining room has been redesigned and re-conceptualized as a casual, attached eatery called The Liberty Room, which will serve its own menu of beef sirloin sliders, duck casserole and foie gras mousse.  You’ll also be able to order the new, downscaled dishes in the adjoining outside area dubbed The Patio… just in time for the spring and summer season!

Montreal-BagelsGone to Seed: Bagels are a big deal in New York, and we have great hopes that Black Seed will prove a worthy addition to our estimable breakfast scene.  Mile End’s Noah Bernamoff and The Smile’s Matt Kliegman will debut their highly anticipated collaboration this week, featuring a new cross between classic New York and Montreal-style bagels.  There will be a number of cut-above toppings for the hand-rolled, hand-boiled, wood-fired dough discs as well, like housemade cream cheese, beet-cured lox and Tobiko caviar spread.  But the best part is, Black Seed will eventually remain open 24-hours a day — because in the city that never sleeps, it’s never too early (or late) for a bagel with a schmear.

Something’s Cooking: The farm-to-table enthusiasts behind Cookshop, Hundred Acres, and Five Points have recently signed a lease on the cursed, East Village space that formerly housed Boukiés, and the ill-fated German eatery, Heartbreak, before it.  They plan to open a Mexican restaurant there sometime this fall, but don’t expect your standard chips and salsa spot.  Unsurprisingly, the team plans to apply their local and sustainable mantra to Latin American fare, with a fresh, modern, and produce-focused menu.  We have a feeling this one will stick around for awhile.

Exchange_AlleyV1_460x285Alley Out: A number of restaurants have tried (and failed) to make a go of it on Avenue A and East 9th Street, including Olivia, Sintir, Zi’Pep and now, evidently, Exchange Alley.  The windows at this New Orleans-styled speakeasy have been papered over and the phone disconnected, although no official statements have been made about the closure.  We’re interested to see where chef Paul Gerard ends up; the Brooklyn native previously impressed at places, like Soho House and Soho Grand Hotel, and has worked alongside Big Easy luminaries like Donald Link and Susan Spicer.


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