Will Cru’s Shea Gallante Be Doing His Own Thing in the East Village?

Photo: Patrick McMullan

It looks like Bastianich and Bouley protégé Shea Gallante might be opening his own place in the East Village. Gallante is still the chef at Cru, where he won praise as a Food & Wine Best New Chef in 2005, but a Community Board 3 agenda has him going for a full liquor license at 99 Second Avenue, the long-vacant Sea Salt space. Orhan Yegen had trouble clinching a full liquor license before he ejected from the space earlier this year, and the CB has been no-nonsense about the Sin Sin zone (think Mercury Dime), but if anyone can charm them at the November 12 meeting, it’s a Michelin-starred chef (“Gallante molds his ingredients in delicate, aggressively precious ways,” Platt said of him in his 2004 review of Cru, “building flavors on the plate with a kind of painterly precision”). Gallante wasn’t at Cru when we called over; we’ll let you know what he says.