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NYT off the menu, entire piece

 

TELEPAN Bill Telepan, who earned three stars from The New York Times while he was the executive chef of Judson Grill, which closed last year, is opening his own restaurant in an Upper West Side town house on Friday. The design, by Larry Bogdanow, suggests the 1960's and 70's, with avocado walls and simple modern furnishings. There are four stone fireplaces. Mr. Telepan will feature locally produced ingredients in dishes like house-smoked brook trout, roasted cauliflower with winter greens and heritage-pork cassoulet. The restaurant will be open every day for dinner and plans to serve lunch beginning in late January: 72 West 69th Street, (212) 580-4300.

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The crushed shell beans are dusky brown, with bits of darker brown throughout. Which beans, do you think? I cannot express how much flavor they had: soul-warming.   Tana, you'd like this place a

Good. Time Out this week had a short piece on the various factors which can delay restaurant openings, and they interviewed Telepan as one restaurateur who'd had to put back his opening date.

 

I liked much of his food at JUdson Grill, so this will be interesting.

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The dishes I sampled:

 

Nantucket Bay Scallops - excellent. The sweetness of the scallops played nicely against the earthy mushrooms, and the spinach added a bright note.

 

Marinated Beet Salad - nice mix of textures and flavors. The pig's foot was better than the guanciale, but overall a well-conceived and executed dish.

 

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Slow Cooked Pork Ravioli - tasty in a home-style way but a bit stodgy. I would have liked a bit of sharpness (splash of vinegar, maybe) to cut the rich pork.

 

Roasted Cauliflower - fabulous! Several large florets in various colors, deeply flavored beans (yours, rancho? wow), slightly bitter greens.

 

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Organic Lamb - delicious, intensely lamb-y lamb (a medium-rare chop and a chunk of braised shoulder) on a bed of cavolo nero so yummy I could have eaten a bowlful.

 

Roasted Organic Chicken - the bird was moist and flavorful but I didn't care for the egg pasta, which resembled spaetzle but seemed undercooked.

 

We couldn't really handle dessert, but there are two composed cheese courses: a generous cut of Cato Corner Hooligan with tart poached cranberries and a tasty but heavy poppyseed cake; and a domestic Tomme with honeyed walnuts (lovely) and a walnut financier (also a bit heavy).

 

I'm afraid I don't know the price point, and I'm not sure whether dinner is prix fixe or à la carte. I hope the latter because I'm not sure my neighborhood can support the latter.

 

The space is attractive and comfortable, servers are sweet and enthusiastic, and I will gladly return to try more of the menu. I want this place to succeed!

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the menu is on menupages already. a la carte, apps run $9.50-19 (foie gras), mid-courses $14.50-26 (lobster bolognese), most seem to be $15-16 (hate those .50, just make it a round number), entrees $23 (chicken) - 36 (dry-aged sirloin). out of 9 entrees, 3 are $30+. desserts $9-10.

 

lots of yummy looking dishes, esp. mid courses: shirred eggs with tuscan kale, the cauliflower ans scallops Cathy mentions, hen of the woods app with poached egg, frisee & mustard (yes, i love eggs for dinner), black truffle pierogi - this sounds familiar, did he make it at JUdson Grill?

 

omnivorette, the monkfish 'paprikas' with kielbasa-barley stuffed cabbage, kohlrabi & paprika oil seems to have your name on it... lots of other dishes too!

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Roasted Cauliflower - fabulous! Several large florets in various colors, deeply flavored beans (yours, rancho? wow), slightly bitter greens.

It says they ere shelling beans so they wouldn't be mine. Seems kind of late for fresh beans, but who knows? I know they've been having a series of parties and the large order from me is still on its way.

 

i hope they make it, too! The menu looks v. good!

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Noticed the listing in New York this week. Coddled eggs with scrapple and collards, indeed; heritage pork cassoulet (looks like he may still be sourcing from High Hope Hogs); and black truffle pierogi.

 

Damn, why's it on the UWS? :rolleyes:

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Steve Cuozzo notes that Telepan is taking a page from Aix's playbook. Offer "neighborhood friendly" meals at prices local people will like. When the foodies leave you for the next hot trend, you'll have a local clientele to help you keep the lights on. :wub:

 

But current goings-on not far away at once-hot Aix prove that after the opening buzz wears off, people don't come from crosstown or downtown to eat on the Upper West Side, no matter who's cooking.

 

Aix chef Didier Virot just dumped his highly focused, Provencal-inspired menu in favor of a something-for-everyone lineup including simple grilled dishes and even hamburgers.

 

There are more ambitious choices, too, like wild striped bass with black trumpet mushrooms, basmati risotto and littleneck clams. But Aix also redid the bar to "flow" into the dining room, part of "softening their approach for the residents of the Upper West Side," say Aix's reps.

 

Forget, for the moment, why Aix did not try earlier to be local-friendly. Telepan, at least, seems to know the risk of an Upper West Side spot too full of itself for casual dining.

 

In addition to appetizers and entrees, his menu offers "midcourse" selections, such as braised short ribs ($18.50) that are less pricey than its $23-$33 entrees.

 

"We set it up that way for people who just want to come in and have an appetizer and midcourse if they want," Telepan said.

 

"At one table, we might have someone having a salad and a pasta, while at the next table, people might be having a five-course tasting dinner with expensive wine.

 

"Yes, we'll be somewhat of a destination, but we did consider the neighborhood - because I live there." He said Telepan will take care to leave room for regular local customers and even allocate some seats for walk-ins.

 

You might think, duh - isn't this a no-brainer? Shouldn't all places show a little common sense?

 

 

Telepan

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