While parties are slow to confirm Monday’s rumor that the Sant Ambroeus team is taking over the lease at Lever House restaurant, Grub Street can reliably say that said deal is a go, according to sources very familiar with negotiations. John MacDonald’s operation, which closed on April 9, was never able to generate enough high-priced turns to make the number crunch on the "huge deal" lease, as it was described to us. But it stands to reason that the operators of Sant Ambroeus, one of the highest-priced restaurant groups in the city, might have just the clientele to make the room work. Our source also said Sant Ambroeus is negotiating with chef Fabio Trabocchi to helm the kitchen, but that deal is not yet signed. Trabocchi didn’t deny the notion, but wouldn’t confirm it, either. “Those are rumors,” he said via e-mail. “I’m looking at different options.” Timing and restaurant branding isn't yet clear, but as Lever isn't in need of anything close to a full reno, it shouldn't sit closed for much longer.
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