So who took over at 5 Ninth after Kevin Pomplun left a few weeks ago to start Picnick Smoked? The restaurant is under new management, and one of the new managers tells us that Justin Toth, a sous-chef who followed Pomplun from Thor to 5 Ninth back in September, has been promoted to chef de cuisine. Toth is adding a couple of dishes at a time to the menu (he’s already added fried chicken, as well as a skate dish and a rib-eye), and when his full menu is in effect in a couple of weeks, 5 Ninth will have a more all-American slant, with “no fancy French sauces” to be found — “just basic, good American food.” (This despite the fact that before Thor, Toth was a chef de partie at Lespinasse and then Café Gray.) In fact, even the beer and wine programs will be American. Owner Joel Michel, who also owns 10 Downing, tells us it’s part of a transition, or “growing up,” that will take place over the next two months and will also include a physical remodeling. Stay tuned for more as the menu evolves.
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