Currently in promotion mode for his upcoming fall restaurant Ciano, Chef Shea Gallante chats it up with Zagat about his projects past and present. Most interesting is what he has to say about his former employers. He explains his departure from Cru, which took place a year before the restaurant's ultimate shutter/'closing for renovations':
They wanted to keep it upscale, but they didn’t want to invest the money needed for the change in this economy. We added a prix fixe, lowered the price of entrees, streamlined food and downsized the menu – but you can’t start selling Gap clothes in Barneys. There wasn’t a cohesive plan. I was just dumbing down the menu, but I wanted a fresh start.As for Bouley, he joined that organization during a massive reshuffling:
"The first time I worked there it was amazing and difficult. This time it was just difficult...he was downscaling as opposed to expanding." As far as Ciano goes, expect great bread ("We are using bread to elevate and personalize the diner’s experience"), a vegetable-inspired menu that will change daily, farm specials, and a big emphasis on atmosphere.
· Shea Gallante Talks: The Former Cru Chef Loosens Up With Ciano [Zagat]