Francis Gabarrus, the Michelin-starred chef who ran La Ville Stings in the South of France and worked with Alain Ducasse, Joel Robuchon and Thomas Keller, has quietly slipped out of Happy Ending, the former Broome Street club turned serious dining establishment, after just four months at the helm. It's unclear why, and few critics had weighed in on his cooking, but for what it's worth, Amelia Lester recently described the menu as "uninspired" and overpriced when reviewing it for the New Yorker.
He's been replaced by Jasmine Shimoda, a 35-year-old New York native, who served as chef at Degustation after stints at John Dory,, Chanterelle and . She tells Eater: "I inherited the old chef's menu, which was very French, and I have written a Frenchie menu but with much more of my flavors, which have a lot of Spanish and Asian. Happy Ending is posh with punk attitude and I wanted to bring that fun interpretation to elegant food.''
To that end, she's serving seafood mousseline as sliders, adding garden pea pesto and pea shoot salad to local burrata, and using hand cut angus, harissa, shallots, cornichons, truffled capers and quail eggs in her tartare. She has kept Gabarrus' popular salmon a la vapeur with green curry and yams, but added vichyssoise, yuzu marinated salmon roe, and Meyer lemon puree to it. Says Shimoda: "I've done fine dining, and I don't see myself at a gastropub. I wanted somewhere in between where I could express myself.''