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Who: Andrew Carmellini

Why: He’s tackling French cuisine

Andrew Carmellini’s restaurants are already among the most buzzed-about in town. But for his next project—an as-yet-unnamed French spot at Lafayette and Great Jones streets—Carmellini, of Locanda Verde and The Dutch, isn’t worried about staying on trend.

“The cool kids aren’t opening French restaurants right now,” Carmellini, a veteran of Le Cirque and Café Boulud, says. “And that’s why it’s the perfect time.”

Set to open before the end of the year, Carmellini’s new restaurant will feature a front-of-house bakery as well as full service for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night dining.

“I want to have this culture of people stopping by for a bite, a place I could go at 10:30 at night and sit at the bar,” says the chef.

The new place will be in good company. Earlier this year, Carmellini took over the food and beverage programs at The Public Theater, just up the street. The 41-year-old chef is now responsible for everything from concessions to the fare at a new eatery called The Library. Still, it’s the new French restaurant that fulfills his dream.

“When I moved to New York,” he says, “if you were serious about food, you worked at a French restaurant.”