It looks like Bastianich and Bouley protégé Shea Gallante might be opening his own place in the East Village. Gallante is still the chef at Cru, where he won praise as a Food & Wine Best New Chef in 2005, but a Community Board 3 agenda has him going for a full liquor license at 99 Second Avenue, the long-vacant Sea Salt space. Orhan Yegen had trouble clinching a full liquor license before he ejected from the space earlier this year, and the CB has been no-nonsense about the Sin Sin zone (think Mercury Dime), but if anyone can charm them at the November 12 meeting, it’s a Michelin-starred chef (“Gallante molds his ingredients in delicate, aggressively precious ways,” Platt said of him in his 2004 review of Cru, “building flavors on the plate with a kind of painterly precision”). Gallante wasn’t at Cru when we called over; we’ll let you know what he says.
Photo: Patrick McMullan