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Bar Blanc Swaps Chef Ramirez for Ex-Bouley'er Zijp

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Kalina, 1/9/08

WEST VILLAGE—The somewhat shocking news lands in our inbox this morning that Bar Blanc chef César Ramirez has left and will be replaced by Sebastiaan Zijp, last of Bouley Upstairs. Ramirez is responsible for winning the West 10th Street restaurant an unlikely deuce from Frank Bruni. More from official Bar Blanc gabber Sam Firer: "The partners decided to go their own ways and [the parting is] quite amicable, believe it or not. Sebastiaan is leaving Bouley Upstairs to come to Bar Blanc (he did help open the restaurant, since Cesar and Sebastiaan know each other from Bouley, of course). He was previously at Gilt and Gramercy Tavern. Sebastiaan is Dutch by birth; trained in Canada. The big plan is to expand and grow the menu, offer a wider price point, and grow the bar menu!" Which is to say that the initial Bar Blanc plan of a high price point, stuffy self-important staff, and pretentious food doesn't exactly have legs in a down economy. We should also note that a report we received this morning puts the parting at less than 'amicable', that it was more of a firing, but re that we'll defer to the official version. [EaterWire]

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