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Wrap Ups: Some Final Tidbits from the 2010 Eater Lounge

Joe Campanale, chat with Talia.
Joe Campanale, chat with Talia.

And thus concludes Eater's nonstop blogging extravaganza from the Eater Lounge at the Standard Hotel. The last chefs have come and gone, the interns have been unchained from their laptops, and we've closed the tab. Expect interviews with Jason Denton and Team Riverpark tomorrow, but for now it's time to present some final tidbits that didn't make into the coverage today. A big thanks to the staff at the Standard, Lee Schrager, and his crack team of organizers at the NYCWFF.

Porterhouse's Michael Lomanaco got excited about his new fall menu, "Something that we're gonna start doing is wild Scottish game - grouse, wood pigeon, pheasant. It’s the perfect sort of food. We’ve had a great response. It creates a great balance in the menu too. It's fun for us - people want to stretch, to try different things." And he mentioned he's talking about doing something new in New York on the West Side.

Bill Telepan explained his just-launched Wellness in Schools program: "We started in 19 schools this year, and we started our menu last week, with a couple of little glitches. We hired nineteen culinary graduates to do a couple of things: to work alongside all the cooks in the schools, and train them, and get them excited about cooking from scratch. They’re going to go into the classroom, and do basic cooking classes — this is an apple, this is a red delicious apple. It’s a way of reconnecting with the kids, and encouraging them to not be so resistant to trying new things. We’re also going to be doing a parent class with some of the schools too. I’m sort of managing that and working in the mornings and at the restaurant."

And he shares his thoughts on expansion, "We’ve looked and we were close. We were about to do this wine bar around the corner, but it needed so much work. For the amount of money to put this restaurant together, I could have put another three times the size in another location in the neighborhood. I think after January when the Wellness Program is on its feet, we’ll revisit that. Basically it would be a casual Telepan, I think."

Frank Bruni on the post critic life: "As a critic, it was always very hard for me to write about nothing but food, but now I toggle back and forth between a lot of different subject matters. It got very hard for me over time, to write about a restaurant for the umpteenth time...At heart I’m a real dilettante, and, this sounds really hokey, but when I got into journalism, I knew that this is not a career that you get into to make yourself affluent. But if you’re lucky enough to write about any number of things, you can use journalism to make life like this non-ending classroom."

Aldea's George Mendes is pretty damn psyched about his Michelin star: "I got the call at 8:39 AM exactly. It was good morning. He said, 'Is this George Mendes? This is Jean-Luc Naret, the director of the Michelin guide. I am happy to tell you that Aldea has earned a Michelin star.' I just stared calling my team, we had champagne before lunch service. It was a celebratory day but now it’s back to work." And he tells us he is planning a test kitchen of sorts in Aldea where he and his chefs will workshop items three times a week.

Marc Murphy of Landmarc and Ditch Plains talks about the new Ditch Plains on the UWS: "We’re in construction on 82nd and Columbus, in the space that was Bar Bao. We gutted it, building it now. 180 seats. Downtown is only 42. It’s going to be basically the same menu, the same style kitchen. The space is going to be pretty much the same feeling as downtown too — banquettes, booths, but it’s going to have surfboards in the entryway. I hired a bunch of new sous chefs, getting them to know what we do. We’re training them at Landmarc, showing them how to do things."

Stay tuned for our two final interviews tomorrow!
· All NYCWFF Coverage [~ENY~]

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