There is really quite a bit of fun to be had with the Alain Ducasse empire. First, he closes his Michelin three-stared mausoleum, ADNY, pretty much denying it until they start moving out the furniture. Second, he announces he's relocating the restaurant to the St. Regis, without really admitting to anyone that by relocating he means reconceptualizing and relaxing and, himself, withdrawing into the role of consultant. (Third, of course, his fantastic PR, Susan Magrino, gives us the time of day but once a year, which even without the other stuff is fun.)
Like uncontrollable gluttons circling a juicy lamb shank, chef icons, restauranteur wannabes, groupies and double agents have been hanging out on the sidewalk at Brasserie LCB, the once and only La Cote Basque, looking for Jean Jacques Rachou. Any number of players in various stages of restaurant fantasy and development are hungering for Rachou’s lease with its remarkably sane rent...But it may be too late to inherit the generous space at 60 West 55. The word is that Alain Ducasse has already made the deal. He has denied it, but the men who worked for him at his namesake spot in the Essex House insist it is a fate accompli. An admiring but cynical long-time Ducasse watcher suggested to me that a double header would suit the Robot chef’s ego. “Wouldn’t it be just like him to open Adour at the St. Regis and a Manhattan outpost of Benoit the same week?”Expect a press release from Flo Fab by mid-June. Fun.
· Out of the Mouths of Crocodiles [Bite]