Sources at eGullet say the brainy creations whipped by under-30, post-postmodern chef Paul Liebrandt are no longer on the menu at Gilt, the breathlessly expensive (and might we say, just a wee bit ill-timed) restaurant cooling down in the old Le Cirque 2000 space at the New York Palace Hotel. Even with the expanding popularity of molecular gastronomy and Ferran Adria-inspired, crazy-genius food that’s foamed, freeze-dried, or turned into a spray like a parmesan Binaca blast, it seems deeply cerebral, multi-part dishes like Liebrandt’s still play better downtown—or on the side of a mountain in Spain. After all, no one ever said “I just don’t get it” about a perfect steak. A less-than-enthusiastic review from The New York Times back in February couldn’t have helped either.
No doubt a bit dizzy after hiring and firing Liebrandt within a space of nine months, Gilt claims to be grooming Christopher Lee, late of Philadelphia’s Striped Bass, as new exec chef. But the deathwatch vultures at restaurant real-estate site Eater are standing by.