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Gourmet Gossip – October 2013

1390781_493240624106416_1516713184_nIn 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 the legendary Michel Richard’s first New York venture to ABC Kitchen’s super luxe Veggie Burger and Danny Bowien’s upcoming taqueria on the Lower East Side!

French Connection: The landmarked space that formerly housed Gilt and Le Cirque 2000 is finally open and buzzing again, as Villard Michel Richard.  The first New York venture of the legendary French chef Michel Richard, the glitzy brasserie open for breakfast, lunch (perfect for a power lunch), and dinner serves expected classics, like Frisee with Lardons, Onion Soup and Boeuf au Poivre, along with a few globetrotting dishes, like Deviled Eggs Boquerones, Pasta Bolognese, and Michel’s Fried Chicken. There’s even three kinds of burgers on the menu, including a Lobster Burger.

At Your Service: The growing obsession with down home, Texas-style barbecue has led to a glut of fast-casual smokehouses in Brooklyn, but BrisketTown is about to add a dose of New York-style hospitality. Instead of continuing to make his customers wait at the counter for a taste of his beloved brisket and bus their own tables afterwards, Daniel Delaney is renovating his Williamsburg eatery to accommodate full table service, family-style meals and made-to-order-dishes.  “This is not about making a mimeograph of what’s in Texas,” Delaney said to Eater. “And ordering their food by the pound is completely foreign to New Yorkers.”

RedFarm_ESP9312Seeing Red: The first stage of Ed Schoenfeld and Joe Ng’s RedFarm overhaul is complete now that the anticipated Upper West Side branch of the restaurant is finally open for business.  They’re currently just serving lunch, but there are a handful of dishes that you won’t find in the original eatery on Hudson Street.  No Hello Kitty Dumplings as of yet (we have our eyes peeled!) although the assortment of dim sum is undeniably impressive, like Pork and Shrimp Dumpling Skewers, Pear-Shaped Beef-Stuffed Shrimp Balls and Shrimp and Mango Fried Wontons.

ABC Veg’s Out: ABC Kitchen has already ably demonstrated its affinity for — and dexterity with — vegetables.  But this is the first time they’ve taken on that meat-free warhorse, the Veggie Burger.  Currently being offered during lunch only, the minted yogurt-topped patty is stuffed into a housemade whole wheat pita and served with a small grated carrot salad (fries will cost you extra).  At $20, it clocks in as one of the most expensive renditions in the city… although if anyone could elevate the Veggie Burger, so often a mushy, tasteless mess, it’s Jean-Georges Vongerichten and his protegé, Dan Kluger.

dannyUndercover Mission: Mission Chinese’s Danny Bowien has remained mysteriously mum on his Mexican offshoot, Mission Cantina, even though the official SLA permits were long ago leaked to the press.  But the project is definitely full steam ahead, as recent help wanted adds on Craigslist can attest to.  The kooky restaurateur may be keeping his cards close to the chest, but the East Village taqueria is bound to be a hit, with a better beverage program than Mission Chinese (Frank Falcinelli of Frankie’s Spuntino and Prime Meats is listed on the wine license!)

burgerJersey Boys: It was an inevitability that Dale Talde and Co. would expand on their majorly popular, Pan-Asian Park Slope restaurant, Talde. But we kind of always assumed they’d move into Manhattan.  Well, it turns out the newest beneficiary of Talde’s prized Pork and Pretzel Pot Stickers will be none other than Jersey City, where the team plans to take over a former police station on Erie Street.  The last opening to attract buzz in the area was Thirty Acres, from Momofuku vet, Kevin Pemoulie, but is this just the beginning of a larger culinary migration?  All eyes on the Garden State!

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