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Blue Smoke Rises Over Greenwich

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s the city too hot? Was it 9/11? Or did those big city restaurateurs finally realize that suburbanites make up a large part of their dining public. Why not just serve us closer to home?

First there was Dan Barber, who opened Blue Hill Stone Barns after his Blue Hill in Manhattan.Then there was Rick Laakonen at Antipasti www.antipastiny.com, Joe Bastianich/Andy Nusser and Mario Batali at Tarry Lodge. Finally, there’s the newest Big City branch up north—Blue Smoke Chop House in Greenwich, coming early in 2009 to the former 1960’s-era HoJos on East Putnam Avenue.

This Union Square Hospitality Group venture—that’s Danny Meyer et al., the folks behind Union Square Café, Gramercy Tavern, Tabla, The Modern, Shake Shack, and Blue Smoke Barbecue, etc.—will be a partnership with the group behind the Delamar Hotel on Greenwich Harbor. The hotel aspect of the joint operation will be green and design-forward—the restaurant will be a broader take on Blue Smoke.

We had a long and informative chat with David Swinghamer, USGH’s President of Growth Businesses (and Rye resident), who shared some of the details of the new Blue Smoke venue. Since we are all out of space for this week, we’ll have to leave you with a teaser. Picture this: fabulous green architecture, outdoor firepits for dinner and cocktails, “interactive” cooking, and Executive Chef Kenny Callaghan. ‘Til next week—when we’ll give you all the juicy details.

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