What better way to launch into 2012 than with some fantastically juicy and unconfirmed rumors from the restaurant world. Here, now, our favorite new rumors, but please, readers, tipsters, restaurant folks, do send your own in to the tipline. As always, anonymity is 100% guaranteed.
· The Blue Ribbon team isn't only planning a brasserie in the old Shang space. We hear they're hoping to open a fried chicken concept on the lower end of 2nd Avenue, around East 1st St. in the early part of 2012.
· We have two fun rumors involving 2011's Golden Boy, Andrew Carmellini. Tipsters are saying that the chef is eying a few places in Midtown for a new French concept. For the record, AC says he's not looking at anything seriously just yet.
· Meanwhile, we hear the owners of newly revamped and reopened Joe's Pub in the East Village are planning on adding a David Rockwell-designed restaurant to the second floor of the venue called The Library. Chances are Carmellini will consult on the menu.
· Remember when the guys from defunct Long Island City restaurant M. Wells said they wanted to serve dinners on catamarans? Now tipsters spread the (pretty far-fetched) rumor that they are planning on opening a steakhouse within a Long Island City factory (this one?) that will be part restaurant, part boat building facility. When the catamarans are built, they will sail around New York and offer dinner.
· Word on the street is the very talented, but perhaps unheralded chef Michael Toscano is not long for his supermarket restaurant Manzo and may depart for one of the big anticipated openings of 2012 down in Greenwich Village.
· Inside sources reported late last year that nearby restaurant Barbounia was close to inking the deal to take over the Union Square Pavilion space, now that the deal with the previous restaurateur has fallen through.
· A tipster reports that Michael 'Bao' Huynh, who kind of took it easy in 2012, is taking over the Tahiti Falafel space on 3rd Avenue to open a cheesesteak sandwich spot with "one of the best meat suppliers in NYC."
· There's a 98.8 percent chance that this will be Carroll Gardens' first Momofuku Milk Bar.
· Take it or leave it but Midtown's Jamaican Dutchy cart might soon spawn a San Francisco spinoff.
· And finally, Greenpoint Pizzaman Paulie Gee was entertaining the possibility of a West Coast expansion in the Reno, Nevada area, but the deal fell through. Who knows if he'll give it a shot again.