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New York magazine blog Grub Street might have spoiled some of the fun when it revealed Friday that superbly talented Scott Bryan (an F&W Best New Chef 1996) will be leaving Veritas to head the kitchen at 10 Downing. In keeping with our own news mission, we dug a little deeper and talked to the man himself. Here's what Scott has to say about his new restaurant, opening in November:
How will the menu at 10 Downing be different from Veritas's? It'll be a lot more casual and market driven. When it opens, I'll probably have super simple dishes like slow poached farm eggs with chanterelles and a truffle vinaigrette, a roasted beet tart with goat cheese and some spicy green like rocket, and porcini-crusted codfish.
Will you be taking "market driven" to a new level? I'll still be working with the farmers at the Greenmarket. Guy Jones's farm upstate (Blooming Hill Farm) has a lot of good stuff. So you won't be seeing any corn or tomatoes in November. But restricting yourself to buying from within 100 miles? That's too radical. What are you going to cook with in the dead of winter? Apples? No fresh herbs? That's asinine.
Will you still serve your famous sweetbreads? Probably, but in a very straightforward way, like with just artichokes, capers and lemon. A sweetbread piccata, in a way.
Is there any restaurant you'd compare 10 Downing to? The space really reminds me of Zuni Café in San Francisco. I used to cook out in San Francisco and went to Zuni about once a month. Their roast chicken is great. And our food will also be Mediterranean/California influenced.
What do you think of your soon-to-be neighbors Da Silvano and Bar Pitti? They're both great. I've been to Da Silvano once, and Bar Pitti a few times. But I don't have a favorite.