Five Chef FamiliesHow alums of Le Cirque, Daniel, Per Se, Craft, 71 Clinton Fresh Food, and Pegu have fared throughout the city.
Wylie Dufresne’s Stomping Grounds Can Now Be Yours71 Clinton Street, the former home of 71 Clinton Fresh Food and one of the New York dining world’s most hallowed addresses, will be back on the market next week after a previous deal collapsed. A Craigslist ad that put the rent at $11,500 for 1,200 square feet plus basement has now been removed, presumably because Tower Brokerage is adding the option of an adjacent corner space. Tower honcho Bob Perl says the previous lessee couldn’t handle the high rent and abandoned the space a week and a half ago. “It was an unknown-name type of entity,” Perl told us, speculating that they were inexperienced first-time operators. Want to make their same mistake? Call Bob now!
Retail Listings [Tower Brokerage]
Jason Neroni: I Love Wylie, But …A friend of Porchetta chef Jason Neroni has alerted us to the fact that, despite having taken over for Wylie Dufresne at 71 Clinton Fresh Foods before starting his new gig, Neroni does not consider Dufresne his mentor. “Because Wylie made such a name for 71 Clinton Fresh Food, I think people tend to compare our styles a lot,” Neroni tells us. “But Smith Street isn’t the Lower East Side, and I’m in this business to do what I love, and to be myself.” The chef credits Alice Waters and Dan Hill for teaching him about ingredients, Floyd Cardoz for teaching him about “multidimensionality,” and Alain Ducasse for teaching him to “slow down, combine all the elements, and create a cuisine that I could, for the first time, truly consider to be mine.”
A Restaurant Revolution on Smith Street? [Grub Street]
Back of the House
Envelope-Pushing Chef Resurfaces in Carroll GardensJason Neroni is the talented young chef who succeeded Wylie Dufresne at 71 Clinton Fresh Food when the latter started wd-50. 71 Clinton Fresh Food was a huge success critically, but Neroni seemingly disappeared when the restaurant went under in March. After a spell doing the chef-spokesman thing for Glaceau water and then surfing in his home state of California, he recently returned to New York and got a job. Last week, he began presenting his very imaginative take on Italian cuisine at Porchetta, a new restaurant in Carroll Gardens. On the menu: nutmeg gnocchi with a straight pomodoro sauce, chicken-liver terrine with fig marmalade and a pistachio crumble, and deep-fried pork belly with a dried-fruit mostarda and melted cauliflower. Smith Street hasn’t seen anything quite like this.
241 Smith St., nr. Douglass St., Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn; 718-237-9100