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Sneak Peeks: Opening Night Impressions of Corton

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Sneak cameraphone shots entering the restaurant (left), coming from the around the corner (right)

Tribeca: Last night Eater correspondents dropped in on opening night at Corton, Drew Nieporent's re-do of Montrachet with ex-Gilt chef Paul Liebrandt, and oh, one of the biggest openings of the fall, to have a cocktail, scope the place out, and take in the opening show. Drew was on the scene, as was Gael, and, we're assuming, Paulie out of sight in the back. What wasn't there: much sign of the old Montrachet.

The space itself looks incredibly different than from its predecessor. The red velvet banquettes have been replaced with a soft beige ones, the walls are muted and bare, and tubular glass chandeliers are the new cornerstones of the design. Of course, the place is still carpeted, but in a beige-white in lieu of the bright red. Table cloths: in tact. It's minimalist, it's muted, it's not terribly exciting—but then again neither is the hoity toity crowd here. Also, and take note of this one Frankie Two Stars, it's quiet. The lack of windows, music, and a hard wood or tile floor make the place seem almost silent.

The menu is $76 for the prix fixe, $110 for the tasting, cocktails run about $14 (and are excellent from what we sampled). The room sat about 2/3rds full, standard for a controlled opening, and Nieporent performed his duty well, making the rounds to all of the tables, glad-handing VIPs. Gael Greene, of course, was there, and left her check inside a copy of her book The Insatiable Critic. Whether or not there was money in the book or if the book was meant as payment itself, is still up to question. All in, a quiet graceful evening down on West Broadway. We now await the critics and foodies to file their reports on how Liebrandt is managing in the kitchen.
· CortonWatch: Confirmed to Open to the Public Tomorrow [~E~]
· Nieporent Finally Acknowledges End of Montrachet, Admits He's Working with Liebrandt [~E~]


239 W Broadway, New York, NY 10013 (212) 219-2777 Visit Website