What We Learned From the ‘Times’ Fall Preview

In the Times’ fall preview, out today, we found a lot to look forward to. Jim Lahey’s pizza restaurant Co. (pronounced “company”) is backed by Jean-Georges Vongerichten and is envisioned as a hybrid of Pizza Hut and Blue Hill. Shaun Hergatt of Australia will open the French-Asian Sho Shaun Hergatt in the financial district’s new Setai New York condos. Florence Fabricant, who compiled the preview, can’t wait for the revival of a “dazzler of a Latino restaurant in Rockefeller Center,” La Fonda del Sol, on Park Avenue this winter. But we’re most pleased that many of this season’s openings were already mentioned on Grub Street. Below, our early buzz and Fabricant’s latest intel:

Buzz: Chodorow partnered with the owners of Hamptons bistro Almond to turn the stubbornly unsuccessful Rocco’s/Caviar & Banana/Borough space into a neighborhood bistro.
Latest dish: Almond 2.0 opens in the space this October.

10 Downing
Buzz: Renegade chef Jason Neroni replaced Scott Bryan as the top toque.
Latest dish: Expect a Mediterranean-Greenmarket-driven menu pairing scallops with summer-vegetable pistou and baked sheep cheese with mint and peppers.

Buzz: Joe Bastianich and Mario Batali were eyeing the former Dani space in Tribeca.
Latest dish: There’s still an Iron Chef pedigree involved, but this month the old Dani space actually goes French-Japanese with a menu from a former Morimoto sous-chef.

Bloomingdale Road
Buzz: Aix gave up the ghost, and the Strong Buzz heard Philip Kirsch’s replacement would be seasonal American.
Latest dish: Chef Ed Witt, last seen braising pork belly in tobacco at now-shuttered Varietal, tones down his experimental tricks and finds some southern flair at née Aix Brasserie, and will start turning out bourbon ribs next Wednesday.

Pies N’ Thighs
Buzz: Pies N’ Thighs to move, and Eater set a possible summer reopening.
Latest dish: Pies N’ Thighs will return with a garden in November.

Buzz: When we interviewed Franklin Becker about taking over Sheridan Square, he didn’t mention anything about the wine bar next door.
Latest dish: What used to be a tapas bar called Tasca will reopen as a Sheridan Square annex with a menu by Becker on September 15.

Inside Park at St. Barts
Buzz: Former Savoy chef Matt Weingarten told us about his new 2,000-square-foot kitchen and wood-burning oven last May.
Latest dish: The kitchen will be ready on September 23. Look for “pappardelle with rabbit ragù and braised lamb breast with black walnut chutney and bronze fennel.” Plus, there’s room for new pastry chef Miran Shim to make hand-stretched apple strudel.

Even Chefs Have to Wait for a Table [NYT]
Related: Fall Preview 2008: Food [NYM]

What We Learned From the ‘Times’ Fall Preview