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Gourmet Gossip: March 2014

world-financial-center-rendering.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 a groundbreaking, must-try dish.  That’s why we’re keeping you apprised of the industry’s most noteworthy bits and bites, from the massive new food hub taking shape in FiDi to Ryan Skeen’s unexpected reappearance in Tribeca and Aska’s surprising space switcheroo in Brooklyn!

Brookfield Place’s Big Deal Eats: In addition to the possibility of Anthony Bourdain opening his game-changing hawker market in 3 World Trade Center, comes this confirmed dining development in the formerly food-deprived Financial District.  Brookfield Place is undergoing a major renovation projected to be completed in 2015, which will include a new campus for the Institute of Culinary Education, a 25,000 square foot French grocery, six standalone restaurants, and a 35,000 square foot complex called Hudson Eats, featuring 14 top-notch vendors like Blue Ribbon Sushi, Mighty Quinn’s Barbecue, Num Pang, Sprinkles Cupcakes and Umami Burger.  It sure is a delicious time to be a day trader.

1394465172734.cachedSmart Cookie: What would an edition of Gourmet Gossip be without an item about Cronut King Dominique Ansel?  The wildly inventive pastry chef debuted his latest sugarcoated creation at SXSW last week, and now it’s finally available (to those willing to wait a few hours on line at least), at his SoHo bakery.  We present to you the Cookie Shot; extra-aerated chocolate chip cookie dough baked into a cylinder and filled with organic milk from Swede Farm upstate, which has been cold-infused with vanilla beans for 24-hours.  Ansel may be touting it as an “updated after-school special,” but your mama’s milk and cookies this ain’t.

ryanskeenSkeen Sighting: Notorious “bad boy” chef Ryan Skeen is known for his abrupt departures from restaurants, bouncing from Jean-George’s short-lived V, to Resto, Irving Mill, Allen & Delancey, Fish Tag and Pera Soho in the course of only six years.  But after flying under the radar for a while, he’s suddenly resurfaced in Tribeca, at Patrick Fahey’s creative Latin American spot, Los Americanos. Fahey had also recently partnered with Masaharu Morimoto on the ill-fated Bisoturo (itself a relaunch of Tribeca Canvas), so we hope the two beleaguered industry vets can finally make a go of it this time around.

Aska Afloat: Shortly after being nominated in the “Best New Restaurant” category for the James Beard Awards, Aska’s Frederik Berselius has decided to look for a new home for his modern Scandinavian eatery (he’s vacating the pop-up space at Kinfolk Studios that formerly housed Frej, his New Nordic collaboration with Pearl & Ash’s Richard Kuo).  But Brooklynites needn’t worry; although he hasn’t settled on a spot, Berselius promises that he’s staying in Williamsburg, and the only difference between Aska 2.0 and the original will be the number of people they can seat.  Oats with Onion and Rapeseed for everyone!

ramentRamen Report: There’s certainly no shortage of places in New York to grab a top-notch bowl of ramen, from the famed Ippudo, the traditional Hide-Chan, and recently opened outpost of Ivan Ramen in the Gotham West Market, to the popular Chuko, mazemen-making Yuji, and low-key Ganso in Brooklyn.  But the company that actually supplies the goods to many of them is getting into the slurp shop game as well; Sun Noodle will launch its very own Ramen Lab in Nolita this spring.  In addition to providing a full menu featuring styles of ramen “not as well known in New York,” the restaurant and education center will offer ramen flights, tasting sessions and seminars.  Our cup o’ noodles runneth over.

Taco Talk: The recent bouts of warmer weather have left us with serious, ongoing cravings for tacos and margaritas, so the April debut of Café El Presidente can’t come fast enough.  The new taqueria from the Tacombi team is opening in the Flatiron District, and will be way more than just your average chips and salsa stop (Tacombi operates out of a converted Volkswagen parked in a garage after all).  Expect an onsite Tortilleria preparing organic flour and corn tortillas, a Veracruz style coffee shop and a separate Lupita juice bar.  Intriguingly, the chef will be Jason DeBriere, from the recently shuttered Peels.  We know where we’ll be spending our lazy summer Fridays.

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