Breaking: Jason Denton’s New Restaurant RevealedJason Denton’s new restaurant, the one for which he poached Steve Connaughton (from himself) at Lupa, is called Bar Milano and will open at the end of March, Denton says. He promises an Italian restaurant specializing in the regions of Northern Italy: Veneto, Piedmont, and Emilia-Romagna. The wine list will also draw from those areas and includes some “really affordable wines,” he claims. But wait: It will also be “really fun, in the vein of ‘inoteca and Lupa, but with elevated service and price point.” What’s fun about that? We’ll go anyway — those restaurants are good.
Related: Jason Denton Pulls Lupa Chef for New Gramercy Venture
Del Posto’s Cruz Goler to Take Over LupaTo everything, turn, turn, turn. And so we turn to Lupa! First, a recap: As we reported last month, owner Jason Denton’s mighty sword tapped the shoulders of Lupa chef Steve Connaughton, who will head Denton’s as-yet unnamed new venture in Gramercy Park. But Lupa’s loyal (er, cultlike) customers can rest easy in the knowledge that though the maestro is leaving in December, he’ll be replaced by a damn safe bet: Cruz Goler. A ten-year Batali veteran, Goler was the right-hand man of Lupa’s original chef, Mark Ladner, and followed the latter to
Does the Name Chef Really Work in the Kitchen Anymore?Dear Grub Street,
I’m in New York on business for a little while and will have the opportunity to try a handful of restaurants while I’m here. What are some of the top spots in the city where the chef whose name is on the door is still in the kitchen? I’ve eaten at both Lupa and Otto, but I imagine Mr. Batali’s clogs haven’t graced either kitchen in some time (though the food and service at both were excellent, especially Frank behind the bar at Otto). It’s not that I need to see a celebrity chef in person … I just want to try good food from good chefs who are still plying their trade. For example, my understanding is that Wylie Dufresne actually still works at wd-50 every day, and, as you recently mentioned in one post, Eric Ripert is always in the kitchen at Le Bernardin. Anywhere else?
Meet the Chef
Jason Denton Pulls Lupa Chef for New Gramercy Venture Lupa, Mario Batali’s Roman osteria on Thompson Street, has a loyal following, so Steve Connaughton’s imminent departure likely won’t affect volume. (The customers barely twitched when former chef Mark Ladner left for Del Posto.) Co-owner Jason Denton says he has moved Connaughton to a new venture at 323 Third Avenue to open in March, but he’s quiet about other details. We hear from an industry source that Connaughton’s replacement will likely come from within the Batali-Bastianich family, if not from within Lupa itself. Who will be the lucky chef?
No Rest for the Red Hook Vendors; Bourdain Considers ‘Top Chef’ Episode a WasteCan the Red Hook Vendors never rest? Now Cesar Fuentes is causing concern for resigning and threatening to sue the same people he represented. [NYT]
Bourdain considers Wednesday’s Top Chef a waste, as the producers snagged Eric Ripert only to “shoehorn him into a Scout jamboree” when “it would have been nice, given the all-too-rare presence of a distinguished specialist, to see what the kids could REALLY do with fish.” And why won’t Hung cook Vietnamese? [Bourdain’s Blog/Bravo]
Discrimination lawyer Marc Rapaport is surprised by his own defense of O’Reilly in a Times op-ed about the Sylvia’s incident, saying “it is apparent from [his comments’] context that O’Reilly was actually attempting to dispel racial stereotypes regarding African-Americans.” [PR Web]
Boulud Settles Discrimination Suit; Ramsay Has His Day in CourtDaniel Boulud gives in and settles his discrimination suit, agreeing to pay off the plaintiffs, give his busboys and runners a raise, make his managers take sensitivity training, and set up standards and procedures for promotion. [NYT]
Related: Daniel Under Attack! (Again)
A court hearing later today will rule whether Gordon Ramsay faked scenes during his infamous “rescue” of Dillons restaurant. [Fox News]
Blue Hill’s Dan Barber loves Lupa, Noodletown, and the “secret gem” greenmarket on West 97th Street. [Gothamist]
Easter Meals, Six Ways (and Five Days) From Sunday
There’s more to Easter than binging on Peeps and throwing up in church — 2,000 years of beautiful history, for one, and special Sunday dinners for another. Last week, we told you where to have unusual Seders; this week, Rob and Robin tell us where to get the best Easter meals. Because our Borg-like database must continually grow — it will someday consume us all — we’ve nabbed you the menus. They run the gamut from old-school Easter antipasti and spaghetti with lamb ragù (at Lupa) to whole-roasted lambs (pictured above), rotated on the sidewalk in front of Estiatorio Milos. And none of them, we’re glad to report, include Peeps.
Easter Feasts: Uptown
Easter Feasts: Downtown [NYM]
What to Eat This Week
Heritage Pigs: So Much Tasty History
After our recent pilgrimage to upstate New York for a first look at the next stage in pig evolution, courtesy of Cesare Casella, we started thinking about the places serving breeds that have been around for centuries — the so-called “heritage” pigs whose noble lineage makes them extra-tasty.