Citing the high cost of rent in New York, the popular steakhouse which spawned outlets in Miami and the District of Columbia, BLT Prime New York, closed its doors just before Christmas. It had been located at 111 East 22nd Street, between Lexington and Park Avenues, since it opened in 2006.
The “BLT,” of course, stands for “Bistro Laurent Tourondel,” a moniker that titles an empire of restaurants, including BLT Steak and BLT Burger. East End regular, Chef Laurent Tourondel, ended his involvement with BLT Prime in 2010, but the name stayed on through a legal agreement.
“BLT” also puts one in mind of a very pleasant breakfast sandwich of bacon, lettuce and tomato. Can that very sandwich be had at Tourondel’s LT Burger in Sag Harbor? Well, the LT Backyard Burger features grilled hickory smoked bacon, New York cheddar and LT sauce. Include some lettuce and tomato and there’s no looking back. In a further bit of doppelganger-y, Tourondel’s Sag Pizza is located just across the street from LT Burger.
Opened just this last August, replacing the hometown favorite Conca D’oro after a total revamp, Sag Pizza has proven very popular year-round. The work of this French chef interpreting Italian cuisine for an American audience is selling like the proverbial hotcakes.
Popular pies in the off-season include wood-fired 12-inchers like Mushroom & Tartuffo, topped with truffle paste, fontina, taleggio, sage and garlic; Quattro Formaggi topped with, naturally, “the big four” of mozzarella, fontina, gorgonzola and taleggio; Brussels Sprouts, topped with the obvious greenery, pancetta, taleggio, and stracchino; Speck, topped with robiola, mozzarella, smoked prosciutto and caraway; and the Vongole, with its clams, garlic scallion butter, guanciale, oregano and lemon.
Of course, summer will bring back a range of local ingredients to top Tourondel’s pizzas and pastas. As he say, “the fresh stuff is the best.”
If you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere. But why not summer in the Hamptons?