Under the Toque--Nick Anderer to Head Up New Danny Meyer Italian; Shea Gallante of Cru Takes His Leave

After rumors circulated of his departure, Eater confirmed that Adam Longworth, the chef de cuisine at Gotham Bar & Grill has left the restaurant to head up a kitchen in D.C. An unnamed replacement has already been hired at Gotham. [Eater]

Nick Anderer, the second in command under Michael Anthony at Gramercy Tavern, has been awarded the keys to the kitchen at Danny Meyer's latest venture to be located in the Gramercy Park Hotel, and set to open in the fall. The restaurant will be a "local" joint, and the Union Square Hospitality Group's first full-fledged Italian. [Grub Street and The Feedbag]

Merkato 55 has rechristened itself Le 55 with a new chef, Philip Guardione, who hails from The Four Seasons Hotel in Milan. The restaurant severed ties with Marcus Samuelssen and his African-themed cuisine after Bruni awarded it just one star, and has since reinvented itself as a (groan) party brunch spot. [The Observer]

Speaking of Bruni, the critic came across as wistful in his writeup about Shea Gallante leaving Cru at the end of the month for a job as David Bouley's corporate chef: "We critics have lavished many words on Dave Pasternack's crudo at Esca, and more recently on Michael White's pasta at Alto and Convivio. Mr. Gallante works both of those genres with equal skill--and his work, on its best nights, matches up against the work of those chefs." [NY Times]

Stefan Richter of Top Chef season five cooked at a dinner sponsored by Le Tourment Vert absinthe, pairing absinthe-laced dishes with absinthe-fortified cocktails. Anisy combos included cured Alaskan salmon with mustard, fennel and fingerling potato salad, with a cocktail of absinthe, reposado tequila, lime and orange juices, simple syrup and rosewater. [The Feed]

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