How serious is Jean-Georges Vongerichten about this whole kooky locavore thing that all the kids are into these days? Well, if it’s any indication, a Greenmarket spy spotted a cook from J.-G.’s soon-to-open ABC Kitchen purchasing a wheel of cheese from the Consider Bardwell Farm stand the other day, and overheard him say that it might just end up on a pizza. The fromage in question is called Pawlet and made from the raw milk of contented Jersey cows in the style of an Italian toma, and thus an unusual choice (compared, say, to the Fontina, Parmesan, and mozzarella designated for Vongerichten’s pies uptown at the Mark). Perhaps we shouldn’t be so surprised by the Alsatian Über chef’s current pizza obsession — he is a partner in Jim Lahey’s Company, after all.
More intriguingly, this loose-lipped, cheese-procuring minion was overheard predicting that the restaurant might make its debut in the beginning of March (which kind of contradicts what his boss told Grub Street about his preference to postpone until ramp season). If that happens, both ABC and the Mark could conceivably open within the span of a week or two. (Michael Bao Huynh, apparently, has nothing on Jean-Georges Vongerichten.) His reps won’t comment on a precise opening date, but anyone anxious for details about the flatiron spot can check out ABC’s website, which teases the “locally sourced and globally artistic” menu, the “elixirs … organically cultivated on fair trade cooperatives,” and, especially, the Carpet & Home tie-ins like Jan Burtz’s dishware, Patagonian bread baskets, and Jim Denney’s salvaged wood tables. There’s also mention of a rooftop garden, which should prove even more convenient than the Union Square Greenmarket, if not quite practical for dairy farming and cheese making.