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Gourmet Gossip: September 2015

Restaurant-Noma-Photographer--Mads-Damgaad_54_990x660_201406020118In 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 Noma’s unexpected, upcoming revamp to a new sheriff in town at White Street, and a sad adieu to Danny Brown’s in Queens.

Noma No More: Noma may be one of the most revered and influential restaurants in the world (literally), but chef-owner Rene Redzepi recently announced that, right after New Years Eve, he’s shuttering his original, Copenhagen destination & re-imagining it into a new restaurant, featuring an urban farm (modeled after Blue Hill’s), a greenhouse and a fertile field floating on a raft above water.  Redzepi is also going to allow the seasons to dictate how he cooks, rather than work within the constraints of a traditional 11041259_1627579170833458_811651649576605968_ntasting menu, offering dishes made with foraged ingredients and wild game in the fall, going seafood-centric in the winter, and turning entirely vegetarian in the spring, in order to take full advantage of the bounty of his own harvest.

Cardoz Flies the Coop: Chef Jason Lawless (formerly of Toqueville) has just taken over for the esteemed Floyd Cardoz, at the year-old Tribeca stunner, White Street.  And he’s already fully revamped the menu, so in lieu of Cardoz’ signature Indian-tinged fare, expect straightforward New American dishes, such as Foie Gras and Honeycomb on grilled bread, Beet Salad with marcona almonds, and Gnudi with corn, squash, cherries and basil.

Kurtzman Out at Otto: After 12 years of working at Mario Batali’s rustic pizza restaurant, Otto, acclaimed pastry chef, Meredith Kurtzman, is starting a new chapter in her career.  And while there’s no news yet on what that new chapter actually entails, we can’t imagine a restauranter or investor that wouldn’t want her on their team, considering she created Otto’s dessert program from the bottom up, frequently featuring gorgeously constructed sundaes, made from savory gelato, sorbet and ice cream.

oFuku on the Move: What would a gossip column be without a weekly dose of Fuku?  David Chang has attempted to thin the crowds (somewhat) at his East Village location, by opening a Midtown outpost inside the Chambers Hotel, which also features an significantly expanded menu.  In addition to the heralded Chicken Sandwich, patrons can snack on mini “Fuku Bites,” as well as cheese-stuffed Juicy Lucy Burgers, Salt & Pepper Shrimp, hefty Sichuan Pork Flatbreads, and a selection of sugary sweets from Momofuku Milk Bar.  Additionally, the West 56th Street adjunct is offering party packages priced at $25 per person, showcasing fun extras like buttery Biscuits and Sichuan Pork Bread Balls.

Brown Down: After not having its lease renewed, the critically acclaimed Danny Brown Wine Bar (the very first restaurant in Queens to receive a Michelin star) will sadly close at the end of the year.  Although oddly, chef-owner Danny Brown has decided to initially shutter the restaurant from September 28-30th, in order to make some changes to the space and menu, so perhaps he’s trying out a few things first, in hopes of reopening somewhere else soon.  We certainly hope so!

ryanskeen1-300x226A Trump Bump: Industry folk like have made a point of cutting ties with Donald Trump, but not so the inimitable Ryan Skeen — it was recently revealed that the bad boy chef is working on an upcoming seafood restaurant called Theo’s, inside the Trump Building at 167 East 61st Street.  We’re not entirely sure whose ego is bigger of the two, but one thing’s for certain; Theo’s will undoubtedly serve The Best Shrimp Cocktail in the World.

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