New York has experienced some fairly high profile closings in the past couple of weeks, but the problems are by no means endemic to this city. Which is why this SF Chronicle piece penned by Samin Nosrat, a sous chef at the recently shuttered Eccolo, still hits home. She explains after the economy tanked, so did the business. And it was a slow and painful death.
At first they buy cheaper balsamic vinegar, then stop breaking down whole animals. Constant tensions between the chef/owners and the accountants and investors force them to let go of farm raised eggs, and it goes on and on from there until they finally give up. The saddest part of course is the goodbye week, when the regulars come to bid adieu:
Chris and I just looked at each other and wondered, "Where were all of these people before this? How could it be that only now, on the eve of closing, Eccolo had become the restaurant we'd always wanted?" We kept hearing from people, "I wish I had come more." We wished it, too.It's a scenario that's playing itself out in kitchens and dining rooms across the country. And while the recession turned out to be much less bleak than originally predicted, many chefs industry-wide are forced to make similar compromises.
· The price is high when taste comes first [SF Gate]
· All Eccolo Coverage [~ESF~]