The shuttered Carniceria. Note the for sale sign leaving a real mark in the center of this image.
As of last Thursday, Carniceria the Carroll Gardens restaurant that replaced the Neroni-scarred Porchetta, has closed. As far as year-in-the-life stories go, the tale was grim to gruesome for the owner of the space Marco Rivero, who probably thought, rightfully, he was off to a great start bagging chef Jason Neroni for his restaurant. Neroni, after all, had helmed the kitchen at 71 Clinton, a universally recognized culinary pioneer on Clinton Street. But it's a year later and my what a ride it's been. Here now, a look back at a year in the life of a miserably failed restaurant.
2) 1/17/07: After a successful fall, the first sign of significant trouble arrives in January 2007, in the form of a disappointing, one star review from the Bruni. "Its 30-year-old chef, Jason Neroni, is a restless sort, brimming with ideas, bursting with ambition. That quality is at once the engine of his success so far and a threat to its development."
3) 1/18/07: The place clears out.
4) 4/6/07: And then the thing comes off the rails: Jason Neroni leaves the kitchen at Porchetta, cites irreconcilable differences. Means that following a mediocre review, he can't justify the food costs, keep people in the seats. Then, Porchetta owner Marco Rivero chimes in, claims Neroni sole from him and that there is a warrant out for the arrest of Jason Neroni. Someone is going to reconcile these differences. Neroni denies it, but then is apparently arrested and finger printed. Team Neroni: Jason turned himself in, is now out of the clink. Exhale.
5) 4/24/07: Porchetta closes.
6) 5/1//07: With Neroni gone, and Porchetta closed, owner Marco Rivero installs Alex Garcia in the kitchen (who actually has a more extensive criminal history than Neroni) and repoens the restaurant as a steak focused restaurant called Carniceria.
7) 7/10/07: In Jason Neroni news, the kid leaves town, possibly for a stint in Oregon.
8) 8/31/07: While Carniceria was taking what would turn out to be its last breaths, word comes down of the grand return of Jason Neroni. And by grand, we mean he's lined up a consulting gig at a new bar with food aspirations, Cantina, slated to open this fall.
9) 9/21/07: The first report of Carniceria's shuttering arrives: "Called Wednesday night to make a reservation for Thursday. No problem. Showed up last night, and it was a locked-up ghost town."
10) 10/1/07: Officially, Carniceria, and the year-long experiment that was Porchetta is over.