Could it be that venerable French eatery Brasserie La Côte Basque has quietly closed its doors for good? If so, it would certainly be the end of an era for the New York dining scene. A panel of Eater experts has been assembled; let's take a look at the evidence:
1) In late March, the restaurant was shut down by the Department of Health for failing an inspection with 80 violations. An embarrassing fall from grace for the legendary eatery.
2) Owner Jean-Jacques Rachou is 71 years old. The man has got to want to retire sometime, no?
3) In an attempt to make the place hipper, it was renamed J.J. Rachou's Brasserie. Then, when that didn't work, LCB Brasserie. Or LCB J.J. Rachou. Or LCB Brasserie Rachou. Whatever. Hard to figure out what, exactly, the name of the restaurant is anymore. Not a good sign.
4) Shilling evident on both Menupages and Citysearch.
5) Weeks after the place was DOH-shuttered, it remains closed under the guise of "minor renovations."
6) It's gone from OpenTable.
7) The website is down.
8 Restaurant Girl notes the place's dark interior; the word Deathwatch is raised.
All in all, this doesn't seem like a case for Deathwatch—we're much further along. Conclusion: the Grim Reaper has already paid Brasserie LCB a visit. Now we're just waiting for the Times obit.
· La Cote Basque [official website, DOA]