While Brooklyn’s foodie scene is positively pleased as punch since the opening of The Elm earlier this month, diners at restaurant Corton will be drowning their sorrows (with copious amounts of fine-dining forays, no-doubt) at the news that chef Paul Liebrandt is set to be leaving.
Word on the streets of New York is that Liebrandt, who first opened restaurant Corton with business partner Drew Nieporent in October 2008, is resigning from his post as head chef to focus on his new project, The Elm, which opened in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighbourhood on 11 July 2013.
The Elm marks Liebrandt’s first venture outside of Manhattan, where he will continue to serve guests a meld of classical cuisine with a strong contemporary influence in an 80-seat restaurant concept that’s setting – a combination of industrial elements with nature – is said to reflect the precision of Liebrandt’s cooking.
Receiving two Michelin stars in 2008 under chef Liebrandt’s helm, one can only assume that the staff and guests at Corton will be sad to see the award-winning chef resign. But it appears that Liebrandt’s announcement goes further than what seems to have culminated in cordial farewell wishes for the chef; Corton announced earlier this year via its website that it will be closed throughout July for a summer break, with Mr. Nieporent, the man behind restaurants such as Nobu and Tribeca Grill, saying: “We achieved a great deal, at the end of the day, we just couldn’t make it work financially.”
The final decision for Corton hangs in Mr. Nieporent’s latest statement, “I’m not saying it’s going to continue on, or close.”
But, not one to be the breaker of bad news, FOUR magazine is keen to inform its readers that Mr. Nieporent did add these final, promising words: “Keep your eyes open, because something exciting’s going to follow.”