Pop! Goes the Restaurant Scene

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Laurent Tourondel, the man who brought us one of New York’s trendiest steakhouses, BLT, has decided to go healthy at his Sag Harbor shop, LT Burger. “I’ve added avocado toast and a healthy burrito, and there are a lot of salads!” exclaims the toque. As yummy as the kale and wheatberry salad with quinoa and avocado is, it might be a bit of a hard sell to some of the younger family members at a place known for a variety of beef patties and carnivalesque sundaes topped with hot fudge, marshmallow and Oreos.

Tourondel will also take over Sag Harbor’s Conca D’Oro, with plans to convert it to a casual Italian place in time for next season. “It will be a pizzeria with a wood-burning oven,” confirms Tourondel. “I’m very excited. I’m headed to Sicily and Calabria to do research and visit a bunch of small restaurants there.’’ Tourondel also tells us he is planning to add a gelato bar.

“It will be the same old place as before,” promises restaurateur Jean Denoyer of the soon to reopen La Goulue. Since the legendary bistro and social mecca shuttered back in 2009 after 36 years, there have been rumors of its reincarnation.

Dapper maître d’ Craig Pogson will be back at the front and Antoine Camin, who earned a Michelin star for the restaurant in 2007, will return to the kitchen along with his famous cheese souffle.

Pop-ups are a focus in the Hamptons this summer.

Of course there is EMP Summer House, Will Guidara and Daniel Humm’s venture with Amex in the former Moby’s space.

At press time, Chris Barish and Joe Isidori are planning a short stint of their burger juggernaut Black Tap in Bridgehampton. Stay tuned for more details on avenuemagazine.com.

Michael Chernow has brought a pop-up of Seamore’s to Montauk’s updated oceanfront hotel, the Breakers (not to be confused with the iconic Palm Beach property). Among the team bringing pizzazz to the 1950s place is Leyla Marchetto, daughter of Silvano, who we hear has moved home to Florence now that his famed downtown restaurant Da Silvano is history.

The duties of a chef at one of the Hamptons’ trendiest restaurants may surprise you. Apart from preparing feasts under pressure for multiple demanding diners at Baron’s Cove, Matty Boudreau recently had to pull an all-night babysitting stint. The chef has been holding pig roasts, and the module that regulates heat in the smoking pit had a malfunction. “The whole hog may not be as Hamptons as rosé, but it still sold out in three hours,” says Boudreau. “I had a 142-pound hog, and if the temperature goes up or down by even 10 degrees it can be completely ruined, so I had to stand guard all night.” His next roast: September 23.

Jerry Joseph who reigned over the SoHo restaurant scene for years with his American bistro Jerry’s, which Chuck Close referred to as “cafeteria for the art world,” has found a new home at Kellari in Midtown. “I had met the owner, Stavros Aktipis, and he was looking for an operator to run the restaurant because he is opening other places,” explained Joseph, whose own place closed in 2007. “I liked his large wine list,concept of sustainability and the challenge of a large restaurant. I come from the Middle East and really appreciate this cuisine.” Among the standouts are Greek classics like charred octopus, lavraki and grilled lamb chops. Adds Joseph, “I always used to wear a T-shirt and jeans to work, and I’m slowly getting used to a suit and tie.”

In an attempt to one up restaurants like Kellari and Avra, which impressively display fresh fish on ice and allow guests to select their dinner, Zaou, due to open by the end of this year at 152 West 24th Street, will have waist-high tanks stocked with live seafood. Diners will be given rods and can only eat what they catch, but for the less sporty, waitstaff can be enlisted to help reel in any coveted catch. The 200-seat restaurant will offer it up grilled, sautéed or tempura fried.

Chinese celebrity Chef Dong Zhenxiang is opening his long-awaited restaurant DaDong this fall. “New Yorkers will be having Chinese food as they’ve never had before,” vows director of operations Celso Moreira. “We believe that people will be completely blown away by the entire experience.” In addition to the chef’s famed Peking duck, diners will feast on dishes such as Shaoxing wine-steamed king crab on a bed of egg custard, slow-cooked lobster with saffron rice and black vinegar pearls, seared Wagyu cubes with lime and sea salt, and braised abalone with Chinese mountain yam and rosemary. It’s a good thing we don’t have to catch any of these sea creatures.

Let’s Eat

Baron’s Cove

31 West Water Street

Sag Harbor




3 Bryant Park

New York

EMP Summer House

341 Pantigo Road

East Hampton


Kellari Taverna

19 West 44th Street

New York



La Goulue

29 East 61st Street

New York


LT Burger

62 Main Street

Sag Harbor




769 Old Montauk Hwy





152 West 24th Street

New York


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