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“71 Clinton Fresh Food-- Closed”


  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out New American Lower East Side Moderate Off the Charts

There are certain people in this world that are quite difficult to replace. Think Nathan Lane in the Producers, Janet Jackson at the Super Bowl, Manolo Blahnik on the feet, and Wylie Dufresne in the kitchen. Attempts can be made, but comparisons are unavoidable and the replacement usually comes up short. Indeed, when Wylie left 71 Clinton to venture out with his dad Dewey and open WD50, the task of replacing him was not an enviable one. And yet the able owners (Tony, Janet, and Dennis) found a talented chef with Matt Renguin, who he did a terrific job of maintaining 71 Clinton’s place in the warm sun. Last month though, Matt moved up to Connecticut with his wife, to try on a simpler life, and the owners along with Alex Miranda, the general manager and sommelier (ex-Washington Park, Blue Hill) started their search once again, aiming to find a unique character for their spare little outpost on Clinton Street. Their search landed them a brilliant new voice, a young chef who expresses various levels of genius in his startlingly inventive cooking.

Remember this name: Jason Neroni. You will be reading lots about him in the near future. At 27, Neroni, who has the scruffy good looks of a surfer after a killer wave, has worked at some of the best kitchens in the country, including Chez Panisse, Postrio, Ducasse, Blue Hill, and most recently, at the Tasting Room as chef de cuisine. Neroni is a brilliant and rare talent with a beautiful mind for innovation and spark on the plate. He directs his culinary passion with a forceful yet thoughtful amount of creative muscle and in so doing, he has secured a place among the rising stars of a new generation of chefs under 30: Allison Vines Rushing (Jack’s Luxury Oyster Bar), Galen Zamarra (Mas, opening April 5th), and Zak Pellacio (5 Ninth, opening April 12th, and who, in candor, just turned 30).

I am happy to report that with Neroni in the kitchen, dinner at 71 Clinton is still a joyful and miraculous experience. We started with chicken liver angioletti ($11), fat rectangular envelopes, filled with dense, creamy and meaty liver, plated in an almost syrupy sauce of reduced 25 year old balsamic. Rich, yes (as rich as Dick Cheney and pals at Halliburton), but Neroni knows about balance and restraint (Cheney does not). He cuts the sweetness with tart, fleshy segments of blood orange, and adds a sharp creaminess of tallegio cheese to bring it all together. The overall effect was not unlike a very enjoyab ... [more, click below]

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Other restaurants in Lower East Side :
+ Mojo   + WD-50   + Schiller's Liquor Bar   + Azul Bistro   + Barrio Chino   + 71 Clinton Fresh Food-- Closed   + Little Giant   + Kuma Inn   + Falai   + The Stanton Social   + The Tides   + Thor   + The Orchard   + El Bocadito-- CLOSED   + Bondi Road   + Rayuela   + Suba   + Bun (boone)   + Sorella   + The Fat Hippo   + Pulino's   


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