Thursday, April 19, 2007

Nieporent, Liebrandt not working together, unless they are

It’s interesting being a print journalist with a food blog, especially since I have excellent, principled editors who demand journalistic rigor and don’t put up with speculation or other crap. It means that neither in my full-time job at Nation’s Restaurant News nor in my regular freelance gig with The New York Sun can I speculate irresponsibly about restaurateur Drew Nieporent teaming up with chef Paul Liebrandt, perhaps to reopen Montrachet in New York City. Such things have been hinted about in Vogue magazine, the blogs Snack, Eater and no-doubt others, as well as at parties and during phone interviews (I was chatting with one person who expressed hope that, if Liebrandt did team up with Nieporent, he wouldn’t lose him $2 million like he did the owners of Gilt, where he previously was chef; as the kids say these days, “ooh, snap!”).
I have the cell phone numbers of both Drew and Paul (no, I won’t share them with you, not even for $20), so I called them, left a message with Paul that he didn't return and got a polite no-comment-I'll-let-you-know-when-I-do from Drew (plus some off-the-record stuff that was, well, off the record), who then asked me when I was going to eat at Mai House again.
I saw Paul last week and asked what he was up to. His answer was vague. I think he said “stuff.”
I suppose such caginess is smart of them, and kind of par for the course. Drew announced the opening of his latest New York restaurant, Mai House, in early October last year, just a couple of weeks before it opened, creating the buzz he wanted when he needed it. In the meantime, all this speculation causes excitement and anticipation. And it’s free.

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