David Bouley has been a busy man in recent months, first opening David Bouley Evolution in Miami’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel, and then taking over the Delphi restaurant in order to convert it to Brushstrokes, his tribute to Japanese gastronomy. But the Bouley empire has taken a step backward with the current chaos at Evolution, which has resulted in the restaurant’s supposedly temporary closure. Grub Street hears that Laurent Tourondel is in talks with the Ritz-Carlton to either operate the restaurant or take over the property entirely. (No word back yet from Bouley; Tourondel’s rep denies anything is in the works.)
This is all just informed speculation on our part, but such a move makes sense for the hotel. The BLT brand is sky-high right now, in part because the BLT group has shown rare acumen in running several restaurants simultaneously. Bouley, undoubtedly a kitchen virtuoso, is not as good at expansion outside of New York. His Bouley morphed into Bouley Bakery and back again, and then he opened Bouley Upstairs, Danube, Brushstrokes, and Bouley Market — all a stone’s throw from his flagship. But in Miami’s warm waters, Bouley Evolution succumbed to commercial Darwinism. The lesson here? BLTs travel and Bouleys don’t.