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Catching Up With Franklin Becker

The chef talks about the failure of Sheridan Square, his audition for Le Cirque, and his future plans.

By Daniel Maurer

Franklin Becker Leaving Brasserie to Start Bedford Falls

Franklin Becker, the chef at Brasserie, is leaving the restaurant to pursue his own projects. One is a New American restaurant called Bedford Falls, opening this fall or winter. Bedford Falls, of course, is the name of the town in It’s a Wonderful Life, and Becker says he chose it to convey the “classic, traditional” American theme of the restaurant. “It won’t be comfort food, but rather modern reworkings of classic American tastes in a comfortable atmosphere. Bacon always goes with scallops, so my pork belly and scallops will naturally fit right in.” Becker is now in negotiations with two landlords and will release the new address once the lease is signed. Becker is also in talks about a TV project, but he was reticent to disclose any information prematurely. “It’s almost done,” he says. “It could happen in the next few days.”

Exhaustion Sets In at ‘Gotham’ Gala

Gotham Magazine Gala. Capitale, 130 Broadway, nr. Grand St., 7 p.m. Truly an overflowing cornucopia of party fruits and sponsorship vegetables, this event is billed as Gotham’s “Seventh Annual Gala” and a retirement party for Tiki Barber; it’s sponsored by Cadillac, the luxury Swiss watchmaker Audemars Piguet, and a London hotel called the Rushmore; entertainment will be provided by D.J. Cassidy, the “Chez-Zam Entertainment Group,” and the “Fifty-Person Rhythm & Rhyme Marching Band.” Scheduled to be exhausted by all of the above are Spike Lee, Ice T, Jon Bon Jovi, Nina Sky, and Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

Mario Batali Ripe for the Roasting

On November 7, Mario Batali will be "roasted, battered, and fried" at a celebrity roast at Capitale for charity (the Food Bank of New York). Will it be affectionate and reserved, with only a few broadsides about the chef's legendary appetite? Or will they really let him have it? It's hard to tell from the lineup, which mixes Batali buddies like Tony Bourdain and Stanley Tucci with celebrity roast specialists like Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, Sarah Silverman, and Artie Lange. But given some of the roastee's recent antics, he could be in for a rough time. The big man can take it, we hope. For tickets, call 212-249-6188.