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Mark Barrett

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Alias’ New Chef Finally Arrives — From Uzbekistan

More than a few people thought Alias might give up the ghost when chef Shane Coffey left last year. But the place has a way of staying in business, and new chef Mark Barrett seems to have stabilized it. (Barrett was hired in April but has only been cooking in the place for three weeks.) The menu at Alias has a split personality: On the one side is the pub grub that has helped keep the place in business these many months, all burgers, nachos, and the like; on the other is Barrett’s upscale, seasonal Italian food, reflective of the work he did at Babbo. (Readers of Bill Buford’s Heat will remember him from the book, in which he made a memorable clam sauce for the staff.) Why the long delay? Barrett was away in Uzbekistan, of all places, where he ate “tons of plov [pilaf] and sashlik [kebabs], some horse meat, and even dog.”

Alias Finds Its New Man

Alias Restaurant was left in a state of confusion last month when its respected chef Shane Coffey turned in his apron, but all is now well. The place has hired Mark Barrett, previously of Bread Tribeca, to helm the kitchen. Barrett’s most recent job was a consulting gig with the newly hatched American Diner on Mulberry Street; once installed in Alias, he will add his own twist to the sort of contemporary American bistro food for which his predecessor was known. The new menu should emerge at the end of May or beginning of June.