Brothers Bromberg Bringing Japanese Barbecue to Columbus CircleAstoria: Bistro 33 on Ditmars at 21st Street has opened its outdoor seating and launched a weekend brunch featuring apple-Brie omelettes and blueberry pancakes. [Joey in Astoria]
Battery Park City: Former Thor chef Kevin Pomplun is the director of operations for Will Goldfarb’s kiosk, Picnick, and there are more details about what will be on offer. [Gothamist]
Columbus Circle: The Blue Ribbon coming to new hotel Six Columbus will transcend sushi by offering both a raw bar and Japanese barbecue. [Down by the Hipster]
Harlem: Legendary soul-food destination Copeland’s Restaurant will close on Monday after 50 years and one last Sunday brunch. [NYT]
Lower East Side: The herring at Russ & Daughters builds “manly strength.” [Eat for Victory/VV]
Red Hook: DeFonte’s owner can’t go on vacation without spurring concern that the mom-and-pop sandwich shop has closed for good. [Lost City]
Sagaponack: Townline BBQ is up and running as of Monday, hoping to succeed where four other restaurants have failed. [NYT]
Will Goldfarb Is Changing the World, One Kiosk at a Time
The last time we checked in, Will Goldfarb, the Room 4 Dessert chef, had just begun convincing restaurants around town to outsource their dessert program to him. Now the ultracaffeinated cake whiz has colonized Battery Park, beating out some major rivals to develop and operate two lunch kiosks there. The stands won’t be open until late summer, but Goldfarb has typically high-concept plans for both. Former Thor chef Kevin Pomplun will run the kitchen, producing high-end sandwiches (a sous-vide chicken club; an oil-packed Sardinian tuna with tarragon mayo on ciabatta) and Goldfarbian desserts (pistachio panna cotta, hot chocolate mousse).
Kevin Pomplun, New Chef at Thor, Now the Old Chef at Thor
Thor’s hammer has come down on Kevin Pomplun, the young chef who was hired last fall to replace Kurt Guttenbrunner at the swanky restaurant at the Hotel on Rivington. Thor’s GM, Herve Rossano, tells us that Pomplun packed his knives and left and that the restaurant is currently looking for a new chef. We suspect the unexplained departure has something to do with the absolute lack of buzz or interest in Pomplun’s modern American menu. Given that the eyes of the restaurant world will be on Thor when the James Beard Awards after-party is again thrown there, the pressure is on to find someone to mind the store.
Earlier: Thor’s New Chef: I Just Want to Fit In!
Back of the House
Casual Is the New Snooty — But Chefs Are Still Better Than YouChefs are imperious demigods who impose endless indignities on diners, Bruni says; also admits the possibility that critics may be partially to blame. [NYT]
What’s life like for big-shot chefs, anyway? How much money do they make, and where does it come from? Flay, Batali, and a number of lesser beings spill the beans. [NYT]
According to annonymous sources, Rachel Ray apparently had a few racially insensitive words to say about her new patron Oprah Winfrey two years ago. [TMZ]
Thor’s New Chef: I Just Want to Fit In!
Thor, the posh Germanic restaurant in the Rivington Hotel, was never really true to the spirit of the Lower Eastpacking District. But now that Kevin Pomplun is replacing Kurt Gutenbrunner and reimagining the place as an American bistro, that’s all about to change.
“We’re totally revamping,” the young chef tells us. “I don’t want Thor to be this huge steel and glass structure that’s too intimidating to come to. I’m not trying to be more than the neighborhood. I want to fit in.” It goes without saying that this means that between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. and Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, there will be a late-night menu, bottle service, and — you guessed it — D.J.’s. The food will be lighter and more fun than under Herr Gutenbrunner; think fish sticks served with malt-vinegar foam, and a steamed black bass over sautéed pea shoots with lemon-marinated chanterelles. “We’re trying to get the word out there that there’s a switch at Thor,” Pomplun said. We’ll be sure tell all our friends who would otherwise be at 205.