Anyone who has been paying close attention to the culinary trends of right now is very much aware that the next “it” cuisine is that of Peru, a cuisine that has been slowly and quietly trying to break into the American palate for at least a decade. A handful of chefs and food writers had heralded the advent of Peruvian cuisine in this country years ago, but it had been premature, and many food enthusiasts were left waiting for a wave of Peruvian restaurants - both haute and humble - that never seemed to arrive. This country wasn’t ready yet. Not only did we lack the food culture that we have today with all its foodie bloggers and gourmet food trucks, it was almost as if gringos had yet to resolve their issues with Latin American cuisine. Although many Latin Americans were already fans of the varied and sophisticated cuisine of Peru, the general American population still thought that Latino cuisines were either confined inside a tortilla or served with a heap of rice, beans, and plantains. Peruvian cuisine did not fit neatly into any of those compartments. With the rise in Latino chefs and the spread of Nuevo Latino cuisine, Americans began to understand that Latin American cuisines could be elegant and sophisticated and complex. We began enjoying spicier, bolder flavors. We started to become huge fans of ceviche to the point that almost every menu now features it. We were also about to be introduced to a chef who was steadily building momentum in Peru and who would introduce the rest of the world to Peruvian cuisine.
Laurent Tourondel is a classically trained French Chef with an impressive resume. As the Executive Chef of Brasserie Ruhlmann in Rockefeller Center, he is also responsible, along with ex-partner Jimmy Haber, for the BLT and LT restaurant locations all over the world. Hong Kong, Las Vegas, Panama City, Miami and Scottsdale have all had the pleasure of enduring the mark Tourondel leaves and now New York can further experience what Tourondel has to offer.
This fall Tourondel will be opening the Arlington Club on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in conjunction with the Tao Group. The Tao Group is a premier restaurant and nightlife group in control of Tao, Lavo and Asellina both in New York and Las Vegas. The Arlington Club will be located on Lexington avenue between 73rd and 74th street where Payard Patiserrie & Bistro was shut down in 2009 for health code violations. Unable to past inspection and reopen, the space has been vacant ever since.