Former Le Bernardin Pastry Chef Michael Laiskonis announced he will become the creative director of the Institute of Culinary Education in March. Robert Aita is leaving Fiore to start his own restaurant – possibly called Aita – which should open in three to four months in the old Speakeasy space. Ricky King is now the executive chef of both Hundred Acres and Five Points. A second location of Roberto Santibañez’s Fonda opened, as did Buddha Beer Bar, Brabant Belgian Brasserie, the Spanish-Chinese El Paraiso, Yunnan-focused Chinese restaurant Lotus Blue Restaurant Bar, pasta palace Vucciria, grilled cheese shop Say Cheese and California-based Wahoo’s Fish Taco.
Blue Bottle gourmet coffee is set to open its latest location this weekend. Michael Toscano (Manzo) is on board as a chef-partner at Gabriel Stulman’s Perla, which is currently slated for a mid-March opening. Vegetarian virtuoso Candle Café will open a sister spot – Candle Café West – which has its sights set on April for a debut. San Francisco’s Mission Chinese Food will open a New York location this spring. This summer, Sag Harbor’s Sen will open a local location with Wayne Nish (Nish) in the kitchen.
Photo of Roberto Santibañez, Fonda