Sir Keith McNally gives a Q&A to the Observer and offers his observations about his projects past and present, the economy, and the industry. Aside from calling the James Beard awards ludicrous, noting that poorer neighborhoods have more interesting restaurants, and admitting that he continued to open restaurants after Morandi (once reported to be his last) because it got such crap reviews, he reveals some interesting tidbits on Minetta Tavern, set to open next month, and 282 Bowery, set to open next year. On Minetta:
"Weekend nights it’s packed with kids from Bensonhurst throwing up on the sidewalk. So, no, it’s not a great location. However, the restaurant itself is so special it more than makes up for it...Most of what was originally quite special about Minetta Tavern has been preserved: the bar, the mural, the tin ceiling, the caricatures. But there was a lot of junk there, too, and that’s been tossed out...one has to be careful about not turning it into a museum piece."
And on his pizza place "without a twist" on Bowery and Houston:
"My intention was never to be on the Bowery. It was to be on that very specific corner of Houston and Bowery, and for the last four years I’ve been trying to get it...I gravitated to that corner because it’s a gritty, ungentrifiable, New York crossroads...I always imagined a big, busy, inexpensive pizzeria there. I can make it big and inexpensive. It’s the busy I’m worried about."More on Minetta as it is revealed in the next few weeks. And we'll be tracking every detail of the pizza spot over the next year. · Do Not Send Back This Man's Soup [NYO]
· All Minetta Tavern Coverage [~E~]
— photo credit: James Hamilton/NYO