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Gourmet Gossip NY: December 2013

IMG_5928-1024x764In 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.

So what’s the gourmet gossip this week?  Well, New York’s two most food-obsessed boroughs appear to have staged a serious switcheroo, with Brooklyn favorites, like Dough and Red Hook Lobster Pound making moves towards Manhattan, and big name Manhattan chefs like Seamus Mullen, Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi crossing the bridge into Brooklyn!

Grand Hotel: The high-end hotel restaurant is a fact of life all over Manhattan, but it was news when Paul Liebrandt’s The Elm launched in Brooklyn’s King & Grove earlier this year.  And now it seems that the borough is getting a second, big-name opening, fronted by Tertulia’s Seamus Mullen.  The respected Spanish tapas chef is expected to run a farm-to-table restaurant on the site of a giant hotel/condo development, currently being constructed alongside Brooklyn Bridge Park.  Although, it’s not actually slated to be up and running until at least 2015, which should give Mullen plenty of time to concentrate on his newest project; El Colmado in the Gotham West Market.

parm_eggplantWilliamsburg’s in the Red (Sauce): We can’t say that we’re surprised to discover that the power team of Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi and Jeff Zalaznick have included Brooklyn (hotter-than-hot Williamsburg, specifically), in their expansion plans.  The Major Food Group crew will open an outpost of their popular sandwich spot, Parm, on the well-trafficked intersection of Bedford Avenue and West 4th Street.  And while kitschy red sauce Italian seems like a perfect fit for the neighborhood, we’re not betting on a Brooklyn version of ZZ’s Clam Bar (known for its $56 plates of Carpaccio) any time soon.

Lower East Side Lobster: Brooklyn’s Red Hook Lobster Pound is no stranger to Manhattanites, as their many food trucks roam the streets on a regular basis.  But owner Susan Povich is opening an actual brick-and-mortar in the Bowery, in a spot recently vacated by Oaxaca Taqueria on Extra Place (the dead-end alley that used to abut CBGB’s).  The quick-service restaurant will still turn out excellent Lobster Rolls, but also goodies that can’t be as easily executed from the inside of a truck, like Lobster Mac and Cheese, Lobster BLT’s, and full Lobster Dinners.

imagesRolling in Dough: Here’s some truly sweet news for Chelsea; dessert guru Fany Gerson is planning a dedicated outpost of her incredible yeast-raised donut spot, Dough (she currently just wholesales to shops throughout Manhattan).  The bakery should be open by spring or summer, which coincides nicely with the reappearance of some of her most popular seasonal flavors, like Passion Fruit Curd with Cocoa Nibs, Mojito with Candied Mint Leaf and Tropical Spice.

Alison Axed: After just two years, Alison Price-Becker has decided to close down Alison Eighteen, a French-American brasserie that marked her heralded return to Manhattan, after Alison on Dominick Street folded in 2002 (she spent the next 10 years running beachside pop-ups in the Hamptons).  No word yet on whether Price-Becker has immediate plans for yet another New York restaurant, but there’s already a new tenant for Alison Eighteen’s landmarked Flatiron loft; Jesse Schenker of Recette, who’s expected open a new eatery there by this time next year.

thumb_600Rickshaw Packs It In: And here’s yet another notable Flatiron shutter; the 10-year-old Rickshaw Dumpling Bar, along with its Midtown offshoot, have both closed for good (co-founder Anita Lo, of Anissa, parted ways with the mini-chain four years ago).  While there’s certainly no shortage of places to get tasty (not to mention less xpensive) potstickers in the city, we’re definitely going to miss Rickshaw’s signature Chocolate Shanghai Soup Dumpling, molten Callebaut chocolate enclosed in a Black Sesame Mochi wrapper.

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