Yesterday, Grub Street discovered that chef Ross Florance had left his position as chef at “upscale clam shack” Extra Fancy in Williamsburg. Now we hear that former Macao Trading Co. and El Almacén chef Josh Blakely is leading the kitchen. In an e-mail, co-owner Mark Rancourt describes the decision to let Florance go as “difficult and measured,” emphasizing that both he and his business partner “love [Florance] like family” but that “his vision was ultimately more in the fine dining stratosphere than we were hoping” and the split was amicable.
Rancourt tells us that Extra Fancy’s next menu will debut next week. The restaurant will retain some of the refined clam bar elements the restaurant is now known for, but will add more more nightly specials and a more diverse range of sustainable fish. Rancourt teases “bolder flavors” and says that Blakely’s menu will “play with conventions and update traditional boardwalk and seaside favorites with a cheerful sense of humor.” And, contrary to yesterday’s report implying that Extra Fancy will dramatically scale down its culinary ambition, Rancourt adds, “you will not see a burger on this menu.”