There’s no doubt that Cotton is gone: his name is now completely banished from the Veritas website. The second half of the story is mere rumor, but believable enough that we’ll run with it. [Update: The Times confirms the story.]
Historically, the food at Veritas has been very good, but low-key and not-at-all showy, which allowed the restaurant’s nonpareil wine collection to take center stage. We thought that Ed Cotton’s menu at Veritas still merited three stars, but as we were never there under founding chef Scott Bryan, we had nothing to compare it to. Some people thought that Veritas had lost a step.
If they’ve hired Pugin, it surely means the owners are ready to serve food that can command as much attention as the wine list does.