HotFlash! Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten to Open in Pound Ridge!

Oh, there were rumblings that Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten would open in Westchester – and, to be honest, I’d been shamelessly pestering anyone I thought might give me the scoop. (Sorry, Andre – you know how it goes.) Turns out, I was right – Waccabuc resident Jean-Georges has taken the long empty Inn at Pound Ridge (for Googlers, it’s at 258 Westchester Ave/Rte. 137) and is planning to convert the 150 seat space into an elegant country restaurant.  The still-shuttered restaurant is located minutes from Caramoor, and includes five fireplaces, a wedding-scaled banqueting space, and two dining rooms – one overlooking a formerly elegant garden. Architect Thomas Juul-Hansen will be redesigning the landmarked structure, which was built in 1833; he’s also responsible for the serene, dove gray and glass modernism of Vongerichten’s Perry Street Restaurant.

While the concept of “landmarked” has very blunt legal teeth in New York State – meaning, that you can pretty much gut the place as long as you leave it standing – Juul-Hansen’s redesign seems to pay homage to the building’s 178 year history. Lois Freedman, President of Jean Georges Management, said to Grub Street of the plan, “The look will be country chic…Lots of stone, wood and brick.” Which, of course, sets the aesthetics of Vongerichten’s new venture apart from Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Bedford Post, Modern Barn, et al. Not.

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The name of Vongerichten’s Westchester restaurant has not yet been announced, but it was reported in Grub Street that its kitchen will focus “on local, mostly organic food, similar to what’s served at ABC Kitchen.” Sounds good to me, but I wouldn’t go tying on that napkin just yet. According to Lois Freedman, and reported in Grub Street, “The whole building has to be restored. And we don’t know how long that will take.”

Photo courtesy of Jean Georges Management

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