First we had the breaking news, followed by the details, then the recap, and today the press release. This is just the beginning of the media ride for The Inn at Little West 12th, which as soon as doors open should become the answer to "what's hot now?"
Whilewe wait, patiently, for monsieur Michelin (that would be Jean Luc Naret, le directeur) to announce the Chicago guide for 2008, the Michelin stars are getting ready to congregate in the windy city. Word on the street says that chef-of-the-century Joël Robuchon may be planning an Atelier, trumped only by Alain Ducasse, and well...Trump. It's worth noting that the second city's quite egalitarian, while they're taking in some star power, they're also putting out.
UPDATE 1.31.07: Chicago Magazine says Robuchon rumors are true with a 2008 opening.
UPDATE: 2.5.07: Chicago Sun Times says is really true.
UPDATE 2.6.07: United Press International (UPI) says is really really true.
UPDATE 2.19.07: Chicago Sun Times says Ducasse rumor may be true. But then, maybe not.
UPDATE 3.14.07: Sources say, finally, Ducasse not going to Chicago.
Word on the street is thatTop Chef finalist Ilan Hall has left Casa Mono, where until yesterday he was employed as a line cook. Tonight's episode (you'llrecall it was filmed back in November) features the first of the two-part finale, with Roy Yamaguchi as the guest judge (with all 25 of Roy's restaurants airing the episode tonight in their dining rooms). Did Hall quit because he's the winner? And will be making a move to open his own restaurant with the $100,000 prize? Though last season's winner Harold D. is still sans restaurant, he does have a well-trafficked blog.
For many a month I've been hearing bits and pieces of a story about Daniel Boulud doing downtown. It's a tantalizing rumor of Daniel joining with Jeffrey Jah (the pied piper of downtown gold standards like Lotus and Double Seven) for late night noshing in the meatpacking. Enfin!Game on. As usual - the rumor mill is both right and wrong. Daniel is in the details.
Sources say the Jah spot - heretofore known as The Inn- will have a Euro-centric gastro-bistro-pub-type menu. Said menu will be produced by the young British toque Andy Bennett - heretofore known as The Chef of The Inn. Sources say The Chef is working on the menu (as I write) with Daniel - heretofore known as The Consultant. Follow me? Sources say all will be revealed when The Inn opens, eta end of February.
The most interesting thing in today's newspapers dining sections is not editorial. And it's not available online. It's an advertisement, a full column, running down the right-side of the restaurant review page in the New York Times. Presumably purchased by Alan and Michael Stillman of the Smith & Wolensky Restaurant Group, it congratulates Danny Meyer on his unprecedented six-stars last week. It's pretty breathtaking. I've never seen anything like before. I asked Danny what he thought about it? To which he replied
"I was blown away when I saw the ad this morning. I called Alan and Michael as soon as I got in to work and told them that! The Stillmans' magnanimous gesture is at least as unprecedented as were the twin NYT three-star reviews for Eleven Madison Park and The Modern. It's a rare industry where competitors are so gracious to one another, and it's one more reason I can't imagine working anywhere other than the hospitality business in New York."
There was a rumbling at the end of 06 that perhaps Alain Ducasse was not moving into the Lespinasse space at the St. Regis, but simply moving on. Sources say non! The opening may be delayed to summer, but there is already a roster of media events slated for the fall season.
How many visas does one restaurant need? Reportedly, the opening of Alan Yau's Park Chinois has been delayed over difficulties securing visas for the staff. That news promted rumor that Ian Schrager was shoping the space in his Gramercy Park Hotel to other operators. One Gotham operator said, "Yea, Ian talked to me about the space, but he didn't shop me the space. Gordon Ramsey got 72 visas for his staff. I don't understand." Sources say Park Chinois will materialize sometime this spring.
Remember chain letters? The adolescent postal pastime that was ultimately ruined by aging and those ponzi-scheme chain letters by scam artists? I recently got a chain-email, where you send a recipe to ten people, then get 36 in return. So I did it. Am curious to see what comes back.
If you want to start your own, I cut-n-pasted the letter after the jump, along with my recipe. I actually just made for New Year's. Turns out a 9x13 pan is the perfect size á deux.