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Gourmet Gossip NYC: June 2013

What's hotter than the Cronut? Our gourmet gossip below!

What’s hotter than the Cronut? Our gourmet gossip below!

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 in the case of Dominique Ansel Bakery’s seriously buzzed about Cronut (a donut/croissant hybrid)  a groundbreaking, must-try dish.

So in this new segment, we’ll keep you apprised of the industry’s most noteworthy bits and bites, from celeb chef Elizabeth Falkner’s reappearance on the Upper East Side to the hopeful return of al fresco brunch in Brooklyn!

Blue Ribbon Beer Garden Opens for Business: Ever since debuting their first Soho restaurant in 1992, brothers Bruce and Eric Bromberg have steadily grown their Blue Ribbon empire.  And now they have a beer garden to add to their esteemed collection of New American eateries, sleek sushi bars, and cozy bakeries. Located on the second floor terrace of the Thompson Hotel on the Lower East Side, Blue Ribbon Beer Garden serves both local and large format beers, a selection of bar snacks like boiled peanuts, smoked almonds and pork rinds, and affordable plates of barbecue (a protein, beans, coleslaw and cornbread for $15).  The only thing more exciting?  The Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken restaurant opening in the East Village later this year!

Pit Master Aaron Franklin is bringing the beef to Hill Country.

Pit Master Aaron Franklin is bringing the beef to Hill Country.

Brooklyn Brunch Ban Revisited: Sitting at a sidewalk table during Sunday brunch while leisurely sipping Bloody Mary’s is practically a part of the Brooklyn fabric.  Which is why it came as a shock when a bill passed last April, banning outside seating before noon on weekends (it was argued that brunch prevented worshippers from safely getting to church. Yes, really!).  Thankfully, the hotly contested bill is going back before the city council on June 13th, and expected to be repealed.  Hopefully, it will end Brooklyn’s “War on Brunch” once and for all, and (now that temps are hovering in the upper 70’s), not a moment too soon!

Barbecue Bash at Hill Country: In other ‘cue news, Aaron Franklin (owner of the seriously popular Franklin Barbecue in Austin),  plans to make a pit stop at Hill Country in Flatiron.  $50 tickets to the June 6th pop-up include all-you-can eat brisket, sausage and ribs, and all-you-can drink Lone Star and Shiner beer.  And just in time for grill season, Texas Monthly’s barbecue editor, Daniel Vaughn, will be on hand to answer any and all questions related to slow-smoked meat.

Falkner left Krescendo, and she's taking her tasty pies with her.

Falkner left Krescendo, and she’s taking her tasty pies with her.

Elizabeth Falkner to Helm Corvo Bianco: Just weeks after announcing her departure from Krescendo in Brooklyn, Elizabeth Falkner has signed on as executive chef at the upcoming Corvo Bianco on the Upper East Side.  The San Francisco based-celebrity (formerly of Orson and Citizen Cake, as well as food competition shows like The Next Iron Chef) will expand well beyond pizza and pasta at the new coastal Italian spot.  Look for seasonal dishes, like Fava Bean and Strawberry Salad with watercress and ricotta salata.  Sounds delicious, but lets hope she continues to offer her award-winning Finocchio Flower Power pie.

Chris Consentino Pens Offal Cookbook: It’s a good week for high-profile San Francisco chefs.  Chris Consentino, chef at Incanto and a vocal supporter of the nose-to-tail movement, recently inked a cookbook deal with Clarkson Potter.  And considering his penchant for off-cuts, it comes as no surprise that it will feature 150 all-offal recipes.  Look for the book to drop in spring of 2015, artfully illustrating the culinary joys of tripe, liver, intestine, kidney, tongue and spleen.  Sounds like the ultimate future Father’s Day present!

The rent is too damn high for Lure Fishbar.

The rent is too damn high for Lure Fishbar.

Lure Fishbar Shutterwatch: While much buzz has surrounded their newest restaurant, El Toro Blanco, a recent spate of press has centered on Josh Capon and John McDonald’s original and beloved Soho hotspot, Lure Fishbar.  It seems an exorbitant rent-hike has threatened to put the seafood eatery out of business, and McDonald recently released this statement: “We want the opportunity to pay market rent based on comps/deals. If we cannot match it, that is the way the market works.  And while losing Lure would be a very undesirable outcome, we would have to accept it, having been given a fair shot.”  Say it ain’t so!  We’ll follow this one closely. Stay tuned…

Chuko Expands in Prospect Heights: In happier news, Brooklyn’s top ramen spot Chuko, overseen by Morimoto alums Jamison Blankenship and David Koon, is branching out this fall.  The new BarChuko (located only steps away from their original Vanderbilt Avenue eatery) is being styled as a “neighborhood izakaya,” featuring drink-friendly bites like Steamed Buns, Spicy Pickles, Chicken Wings, and Yakitori.  We are so there.

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