Depending on whom you ask, “local and seasonal” are either the culinary buzzwords of the moment or an incontrovertible way of life. For Bill Telepan, they’re the latter—even though he doesn’t like to dwell on it. That might be perceived as trendy, yet Telepan—who’s cooked this way his whole career, most recently at JUdson Grill—is anything but. Like his cookbook, Inspired by Ingredients, Telepan’s modus operandi puts the spotlight squarely on the farmers and producers who supply him—agri-cult heroes like Guy Jones and Rick Bishop, Tim Stark and Ted Blew. They’ll be just as integral at his new restaurant, Telepan, opening this fall on the Upper West Side, a 110-seat showcase for the mild-mannered chef’s elegant American cooking (no bells and whistles, no Asian accents, no fusion). This will be Telepan’s second shot in that hood—a vastly different place, thanks to culinary pioneers like Tom Valenti and Didier Virot, than it was when he opened Ansonia almost a decade ago. He’ll reprise JUdson signatures like house-smoked trout and foie gras terrine, but he also plans to add middle courses to the menu—seasonal pastas, vegetables, and egg dishes—to give diners more leeway in planning their meals. His ultimate goal, as corny as it sounds, is to create a neighborhood restaurant that’s also a destination—a place, he says, “where you have a great time, great wine, and walk out happy.”
72 W. 69th St., nr. Columbus Ave. (212-580-4300); November.