Two years ago, when Dan Kluger stepped away from the secure confines of the Jean-Georges Vongerichten empire—Kluger had spent four years as the executive chef at ABC Kitchen and ABC Cocina, picking up a James Beard Award nomination for best chef along the way in 2014—he had no idea it would be so long before plans to set out on his own materialized. But after years of delays, this October, Kluger will open his eponymous restaurant in New York City's Greenwich Village—on Eighth Street, just off Fifth Avenue. It's a stone's throw—OK, 11 blocks—from his old stomping ground at ABC, and the pressure is on. "Every screw, nut and bolt at this place I helped choose, in one way or another," he told the New York Times. "If you don't like it, it's essentially my fault."
With a solid track record cooking in some of Manhattan's most acclaimed kitchens, we doubt Kluger has anything to worry about. He started his career at the legendary Union Square Cafe before moving on to Tabla, where he became the restaurant's first Chef de Cuisine. From Tabla, he worked for Chef Tom Colicchio at The Core Club. In 2010, he opened ABC Kitchen as executive chef, and later came to oversee both ABC Kitchen and ABC Cocina, which opened in 2013.
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His signature work? Seasonal dishes with farm-to-table consciousness.