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Restaurant Openings & Buzz

Week of Nov. 14, 2005: DuMont Burger, Chocolat Michel Cluizel, The Plant, and Anthony's.


DuMont Burger
Like most successful enterprises, Williamsburg’s DuMont has evolved from its humble roots, supplementing its basic comfort-food menu with ambitious specials. There are those customers, though, who can’t see past the joint’s justly famous burger and “DuMac & Cheese,” to the occasional vexation of its co-chefs. It’s for those throwbacks—and the hordes of Bedford Avenue barhoppers—that owner Colin Devlin has opened DuMont Burger, a 30-seat spinoff with a full bar and simple menu of burgers, sandwiches, salads, and desserts—plus delivery and takeout.
314 Bedford Ave., nr. S. 1st St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-384-6127

Chocolat Michel Cluizel
Following in the cocoa-stained footsteps of European arrivistes like La Maison du Chocolat, Debauve & Gallais, and Pierre Marcolini, Normandy-based chocolatier Michel Cluizel has opened a Manhattan outpost, enriching the life of the New York chocoholic exponentially. Cluizel is a bean-to-bar producer known for its single-origin varietals, its Nuancier discs in ascending cacao percentages, and its bonbons, all of which are available at the shop, a joint venture between Cluizel and Richard Perl, a New York lawyer, connoisseur, and self-appointed chocolate sommelier. Hot chocolate is served by the cup, pitcher, or thermos, and a full liquor license enables the pairing of chocolates with the appropriate spirit, from pear brandy to tequila.
At ABC Carpet & Home, 888 Broadway, at 19th St; 212-473-3000

The Plant
After making raw food respectable at Pure Food and Wine—and a very public split with his partner—Matthew Kenney has embarked on the second chapter in his life as a vegan chef and raw-foodist. It’s headquartered in a loftlike space in Dumbo, where he’s opened the Plant, a retail shop, classroom, and commissary kitchen for the fleet of Blue/Green juice-bar/cafés he plans to infiltrate the tri-state region with, starting this week on the Upper East Side (203 E. 74th St., nr. Third Ave.; 212-744-0940), and on the premises of the Plant itself. Unlike most industrial kitchens, this one is equipped with a coconut station (with a backsplash for errant splinters), a dehydrator room, and a staff proficient at transforming nuts and fruits into macadamia hummus, nori hand rolls, and an utterly credible chocolate pudding. Next on Kenney’s agenda is Heirloom, a vegetarian restaurant opening later this month at 191 Orchard Street.
25 Jay St., at John St., Dumbo, Brooklyn; 718-722-7541

Anthony’s has been Sal Buglione’s dream for years: a restaurant named for and dedicated to his father, a mason from outside Naples. But when Anthony Buglione passed away unexpectedly, his restaurateur son nearly abandoned the plan, focusing instead on his involvement in the burgeoning Nick’s Pizza chainlet. Buglione’s friends encouraged him to persevere, and together they built the sort of homey southern-Italian restaurant and pizzeria he’d always imagined surprising his dad with. “We’d pull up, I’d say, ‘Hey, look, Anthony’s, let’s get a pizza,’ then I’d say, ‘This is for you.’ ” The family spirit is indeed pervasive. Buglione’s brother makes the mozzarella. His mother will step in on Sundays to make “the real ragù” (a.k.a. Sunday sauce). Pizza (whole pies only) is the province of pizzaiolo Bart Agozzino, a veteran of Naples’ legendary Trianon, whose father, Alfredo, built Anthony’s gas-fired brick oven (he’s had a hand in the ones at Lil’ Frankie’s and Blue Ribbon Bakery, too). “Our mothers are gonna be in the kitchen,” says Buglione, who’ll incorporate their specials into a menu of pastas, chicken and veal, and his father’s beloved baked clams.
426A Seventh Ave., nr. 14th St., Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-369-8315


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