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Gourmet Gossip: September 2014

fbda-david-vincent-maxppp-valence-le-25-11-2002-anne-sophie-pic-restauratrice-valence-2In 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 France’s top female chef making her way to New York, to Five Points’ surprising Italian reincarnation, and an all-Matcha tea parlor in Brooklyn.

French Connection: The arguable center of the food universe, France, only has one female, three Michelin-starred chef, Ann-Sophie Pic, and she currently has plans to open not just one, but two restaurants in New York City.  (How stoked are we?!) Both will be located in a new office tower on Madison Avenue, including the relatively casual MetCafe (an outpost of her elegant bistro in Monaco), and the fine-dining establishment, Le Dame de Pic, named for her Parisian palace, situated steps away from the Louvre, which boasts high-concept menus inspired by perfumes and fragrances.  Je suis extatique!

Five Alive: One of New York’s premier farm-to-table spots (Five Points, from the owners of Cookshop and Hundred Acres), closed down for a revamp in August.  But when it opens again in October, it will be largely different from the New American-styled brunch haven that everyone’s come to know and love.  Now named Vic’s, and with chef Hillary Sterling at the helm (an alum of A Voce, Lupa, and The Beatrice Inn), the new menu will be largely Italian, with an emphasis on pizzas and pasta.  Not to worry; we’re sure Sterling will also offer an appealing, Mediterranean spin on the eatery’s famed brunch.

oWhtLpLOBveMmPGetting Piggy Wit It: Upper East Side stalwart, Pig Heaven, got displaced from its home of 30 years by a developer this summer. But owner Nancy Lee just found new digs for her Taiwanese eatery — a cult favorite amongst visiting celebrities — and it’s only a block away from the original. So as soon as Lee is able to transport her kitschy collection of porcine figurines down the street, faithful regulars will again be able to satiate themselves with Spicy Tangy Shredded Pigs Ears, BBQ Pork Butt with brown rice, and crispy-skinned, Cantonese Roast Duck.

Kutshers-PotatoLatkesKutsher’s Kaput: It should be the most profitable time of the year for Kutsher’s Tribeca — smack in the middle of the Jewish High Holidays, with Hanukkah on the horizon, and increasingly nippy nights calling out for Chopped Liver, Latkes and Matzoh Ball Soup.  But after taking a break over the summer (supposedly for renovations), it recently came to light that Almond is taking over Kutsher’s Franklin Street space, opening the second NYC location of their French-inspired bistro.  We should have known something was up with Kutsher’s, when their website recommended getting Rosh Hashanah dinner at the Italian restaurant, All’Onda!

Ain’t That a Kick: Originally, Kickstarter was used to crowd fund decidedly indie, entirely under-the-radar projects, like EP albums for unknown artists, or shoestring budget documentaries from student filmmakers.  The intimate Brooklyn Heights bistro, Colonie, became the very first restaurant to receive financing from the site, and many more eateries quickly followed suit.  But does Carla Hall, who rose to fame through “Top Chef,” and went on to snag a coveted co-host spot on the popular morning show, The Chew, really need us to fund an NYC branch of her Nashville hot chicken restaurant?  We say, no way José, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be first on line to chow down on her spicy Southern poultry once the spot (inevitably) opens.

MatchaBar-6-520x346Make Me A Matcha: If you thought the pervasive trend of opening single-concept eateries (Empire Biscuit, Taquitoria) was dying down, think again.  Brooklyn now has a café focused solely on Matcha. Imported directly from farms in Nishio, Japan, the powdered green tea will be incorporated into all manner of beverages, such as creamy, emerald-colored Iced Lattes, desserts, including a green tea cream-filled Chocolate Cake, or served straight, as a lightly caffeinated, antioxidant-packed alternative to coffee.  Oh, and incidentally, MatchaBar is owned by two young, carefully coiffed, bowtie-wearing brothers.  How very, very Williamsburg.

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