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Lupa Osteria Romana

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Dream Match: Dentons vs. Martignettis

Jason Denton of Bar Milano charts his career from his humble beginnings as a Union Square Café waiter to his work at the helm of Lupa, ’ino, and ’inoteca.

Breaking: Jason Denton’s New Restaurant Revealed

Jason Denton’s new restaurant, the one for which he poached Steve Connaughton (from himself) at Lupa, is called Bar Milano and will open at the end of March, Denton says. He promises an Italian restaurant specializing in the regions of Northern Italy: Veneto, Piedmont, and Emilia-Romagna. The wine list will also draw from those areas and includes some “really affordable wines,” he claims. But wait: It will also be “really fun, in the vein of 'inoteca and Lupa, but with elevated service and price point.” What's fun about that? We'll go anyway — those restaurants are good. Related: Jason Denton Pulls Lupa Chef for New Gramercy Venture

Del Posto's Cruz Goler to Take Over Lupa

To everything, turn, turn, turn. And so we turn to Lupa! First, a recap: As we reported last month, owner Jason Denton's mighty sword tapped the shoulders of Lupa chef Steve Connaughton, who will head Denton's as-yet unnamed new venture in Gramercy Park. But Lupa's loyal (er, cultlike) customers can rest easy in the knowledge that though the maestro is leaving in December, he'll be replaced by a damn safe bet: Cruz Goler. A ten-year Batali veteran, Goler was the right-hand man of Lupa’s original chef, Mark Ladner, and followed the latter to Del Posto, where Goler was his “go-to guy” in the kitchen. They like to keep it in the family, you see.

Does the Name Chef Really Work in the Kitchen Anymore?

April Bloomfield
Dear Grub Street, I'm in New York on business for a little while and will have the opportunity to try a handful of restaurants while I'm here. What are some of the top spots in the city where the chef whose name is on the door is still in the kitchen? I've eaten at both Lupa and Otto, but I imagine Mr. Batali's clogs haven't graced either kitchen in some time (though the food and service at both were excellent, especially Frank behind the bar at Otto). It's not that I need to see a celebrity chef in person … I just want to try good food from good chefs who are still plying their trade. For example, my understanding is that Wylie Dufresne actually still works at wd-50 every day, and, as you recently mentioned in one post, Eric Ripert is always in the kitchen at Le Bernardin. Anywhere else? Thanks, Meet the Chef

Jason Denton Pulls Lupa Chef for New Gramercy Venture

Lupa, Mario Batali’s Roman osteria on Thompson Street, has a loyal following, so Steve Connaughton’s imminent departure likely won’t affect volume. (The customers barely twitched when former chef Mark Ladner left for Del Posto.) Co-owner Jason Denton says he has moved Connaughton to a new venture at 323 Third Avenue to open in March, but he's quiet about other details. We hear from an industry source that Connaughton’s replacement will likely come from within the Batali-Bastianich family, if not from within Lupa itself. Who will be the lucky chef?

No Rest for the Red Hook Vendors; Bourdain Considers 'Top Chef' Episode a Waste

Can the Red Hook Vendors never rest? Now Cesar Fuentes is causing concern for resigning and threatening to sue the same people he represented. [NYT] Bourdain considers Wednesday’s Top Chef a waste, as the producers snagged Eric Ripert only to “shoehorn him into a Scout jamboree” when “it would have been nice, given the all-too-rare presence of a distinguished specialist, to see what the kids could REALLY do with fish.” And why won't Hung cook Vietnamese? [Bourdain’s Blog/Bravo] Discrimination lawyer Marc Rapaport is surprised by his own defense of O’Reilly in a Times op-ed about the Sylvia’s incident, saying “it is apparent from [his comments’] context that O’Reilly was actually attempting to dispel racial stereotypes regarding African-Americans.” [PR Web]

Boulud Settles Discrimination Suit; Ramsay Has His Day in Court

Daniel Boulud gives in and settles his discrimination suit, agreeing to pay off the plaintiffs, give his busboys and runners a raise, make his managers take sensitivity training, and set up standards and procedures for promotion. [NYT] Related: Daniel Under Attack! (Again) A court hearing later today will rule whether Gordon Ramsay faked scenes during his infamous “rescue” of Dillons restaurant. [Fox News] Blue Hill’s Dan Barber loves Lupa, Noodletown, and the “secret gem” greenmarket on West 97th Street. [Gothamist]