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News to Know in the World of Fine Dining This February

top news in fine dining for February 2020

What are the top new restaurants, chef moves and other news from the world of fine dining, food and drink heading into February 2020? Our Food Editor Nicole Douillet has the top 5 headlines in fine dining this month.

news to know in the world of fine dining this February 2020

Every month our Food Editor Nicole Douillet gives us her inside take on the top news headlines to know from the world of food and fine dining.

There’s a hot new restaurant you have to go to in New York.

top news in fine dining for February 2020

The top new restaurants and other fine dining restaurant news in February 2020.

Curious about the big events in the world of fine food, beer, wine and spirits this month? Click here.

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February headlines you need to know from the world of food and drink

1. grab a table at the hottest new restaurant in Manhattan – Veronika

Maybe you made a New Year’s resolution to eat healthy this 2020, and stopped following food-related posts in order to avoid being led astray. Otherwise, you’ve probably read about Stephen Starr’s newest  New York mega-restaurant, Verōnika.

The top new restaurants and other restaurant news in February 2020

The top new restaurants and other fine dining restaurant news in February 2020: Veronika, New York City. Photo Credit: Adrian Gaut.

While this is Starr’s tenth New York City outpost, it is his first collaboration with Fotografiska, a global photography museum founded in Stockholm. The lush room was decorated by the high end firm, Roman and Williams, to evoke a grand European cafe.

The top new restaurants and other fine dining restaurant news in February 2020

The top new restaurants and other fine dining restaurant news in February 2020. the exterior facade of Veronika, New York.

Chef Robert Aikens from the Rainbow Room has created a brasserie-style menu. It includes classics like Beef Stroganoff, veal schnitzel, potato pierogies with caviar, and lamb goulash. This restaurant is already a place to see and be seen, even if the early reviews of the museum have been mixed.

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2. Cheddargate redeux

Do you remember the “Cheddargate” story we previously reported? It was about French chef, Marc Veyrat, who sued the Michelin guide last year when his restaurant lost a star because the inspector claimed he had used English Cheddar cheese in a souffle instead of French Reblochon?

The top new restaurants and other restaurant news in February 2020

The top new restaurants and other restaurant news in February 2020: Chef Marc Veyrat.

And do you also remember the story about French actor Gerard Depardieu selling his Paris restaurant and then auctioning off its entire contents?

The top new restaurants and other fine dining restaurant news in February 2020:

The top new restaurants and other fine dining restaurant news in February 2020.

Well, in an interesting update to both stories, Chef Veyrat is opening his new Parisian restaurant, La Fontaine Gaillon, in the same former 17th-century mansion that formerly housed Depardieu’s restaurant. Veyrat lost his court case against Michelin, but is appealing the decision. And he has put the guide book inspectors on notice, saying that he never wants them in his restaurant. We’ll see if they respect his wishes.

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3. Chef Daniel Humm parts with the NoMad franchise

Shortly after opening his debut London restaurant, Davies and Brook, chef and restaurateur Daniel Humm announced that he is parting ways with the NoMad hotels and restaurants.

The top new restaurants and other fine dining restaurant news in February 2020

The top new restaurants and other fine dining restaurant news in February 2020: Davies and Brook at Claridge’s, London. Courtesy Photo.

Humm and former business partner, Will Guidara, opened the NoMad restaurants and bars in 2012. The pair grew the brand from its original New York property to locations in LA, Las Vegas, and London (coming soon). It’s not clear what caused the split between the Sydell Group – which owns the NoMad hotels – and Humm’s company, Make It Nice. But it doesn’t seem that it was Humm’s desired outcome, based on statements he made on social media platforms.

The top new restaurants and other fine dining restaurant news in February 2020

The top new restaurants and other fine dining restaurant news in February 2020: the dining room of the NoMad Los Angeles. Courtesy Photo.

This leaves Humm (who has reportedly been dating Steve’s Jobs’ widow, Laurene Powell Jobs) with his flagship Eleven Madison Park; Davies and Brook; fast casual restaurant Made Nice; and a forthcoming restaurant at 425 Park Avenue.

Leo Robitschek at The-NoMad Bar in New York. Courtesy Photo.

Notably, Head of Bar Operations Leo Robitschek, one of the biggest names at Make It Nice, and the person responsible for making the company’s bars standalone destinations has already moved to the Sydell Group. His new title is VP of Food and Beverage for all properties. A new chef for the NoMad restaurants has not yet been named.

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4. Chef Clare Smyth is heading to Sydney

London chef Clare Smyth, who was named as the world’s best female chef in 2018 by the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, will be taking her culinary skills to the opposite side of the world. The Northern Irish chef will be opening a new restaurant in Sydney in 2021.

The top new restaurants and other fine dining restaurant news in February 2020: Chef Clare Smyth. Photo courtesy of Core by Clare Smyth.

Smyth cooked alongside Gordon Ramsey at his 3-Michelin-starred London restaurant for 11 years before striking out on her own. She opened Core by Clare Smyth in 2017 and earned 2 Michelin stars.

The top new restaurants and other fine dining restaurant news in February 2020: Core by Clare Smyth in London.

Her new restaurant will be located in the Crown Sydney, a hotel complex that is currently under construction. The complex will house Sydney’s second casino and when completed, it will be the second-tallest building in Sydney, after the Sydney Tower. Smyth plans to use local ingredients and flavors to create a menu that will be in tune with the island nation’s culinary culture.

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5. The ghosts are coming

A new trend in the restaurant world is the rise of the ghost restaurant, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. With the rise of online food delivery companies, it’s even easier for restaurateurs to set up delivery-only restaurant operations.

The top new restaurants and other fine dining restaurant news in February 2020: the rise of the “ghost kitchen.”

The economic benefits to opening these delivery-only spots make it a very attractive option, especially as Americans are opting to order delivery from their couches at an increasing rate. Real estate companies have caught on and have begun transforming now-deserted former mall spaces into fully-outfitted offsite restaurant kitchens.

CloudKitchen and other “ghost kitchens” that are delivery-only are on the rise. Photo Credit: Wall Street Journal.

Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s new start-up, CloudKitchen, can build out a 230 square foot kitchen for just $30,000. Those are certainly lower start-up costs than the typical $1 million restaurant build-out. Time will tell if these ghost restaurants can breathe life into the country’s deserted ghost malls.

the news to know in February 2020 in the world of fine dining

That’s it. The top news to know in the world of fine dining this February. Enjoy!

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For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier newsletter here. And see luxury in a new light.

Nicole Douillet is a Wall Street executive and lifelong lover of food and drink. She is currently the Food Editor of Dandelion Chandelier, and a senior advisor to several fintech companies. Nicole serves on the Advisory Council for Action Against Hunger | ACF International. She is a former junior Olympic skier, serial restaurant regular, and two-time chili cook-off champion. She lives with her wife and two little ones in Williamsburg, Brooklyn where her kids’ favorite neighborhood restaurant is Lilia. Nicole is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame.

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