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Four Seasons Menu-Tests at New Orleans Pop-Up

Longtime Four Seasons chef joins Niccolini for his first trip to The Big Easy

Four Seasons chef, Pecko Zantilaveevan in New Orleans for the restaurant’s pop-up at Brennan’s.
Four Seasons
Melissa McCart is the editor for Eater New York.

This week through Saturday night, The Four Seasons is testing new dishes at a pop-up in New Orleans at Brennan’s, with executive chef Slade Rushing working in collaboration with Four Seasons’ Pecko Zantilaveevan, who helmed the kitchen at the iconic restaurant for 20-plus years.

“We wanted to join with another restaurant that understands the history of the Four Seasons,” said Julian Niccolini in a phone call before the event. He said it was his first trip to New Orleans.

Co-owned by Niccolini and Alex von Bidder, the Four Seasons is slated to reopen at 280 Park Ave. at the end of 2017. After over 50 years of service, it closed in July.

Brennan’s has been an iconic New Orleans restaurant since 1946 — it’s the home of bananas foster— with Rushing taking the helm in 2014. Before he returned to the South, Rushing had been in New York at Jack’s Luxury Oyster Bar with his wife, Allison Vines-Rushing in the mid-2000s.

Major Food Group has since taken over the original Four Seasons space in the Seagram Building, with The Grill at the Landmark Rooms slated to open in March or April.

Over on, they’re taking video in the kitchen, as chefs collaborate on the a la carte menu that’s half Brennan’s, half Four Seasons. “The Four Seasons offerings include Dover sole ($49), tournedos of bison with wild mushrooms, Maryland crab cakes with Pommery mustard sauce and Asian chicken essence soup,” reported as a refined take on a Thai soup from Zantilaveevan’s homeland. Here’s the full menu.

A little over a year ago, Niccolini and Von Bidder announced plans for the new Four Seasons, designed by Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld. The 280 Park space with 18-foot ceilings will have seating for 150 diners, with one private dining room for 100 and another for 20 to 30. The decor will feature 50s-style furniture, marble accents, and crystal and gold curtains — a $20 million dollar job.

"Even though it is designed by a man, it has a femininity to it that I think women will like even more than men,” Niccolini told the Post. “The only thing we are carrying over is the name — and the sign."