Anyone who has seen the touching portrait of the Maccioni family in Table in Heaven, the documentary about the famed restaurant Le Cirque, knows that a behind the scenes look at the building, rebuilding, and growth of a restaurant in flux makes for dynamic viewing. So it's interesting to learn that over the weekend The Restaurateur, a small documentary about Danny Meyer and the construction of Eleven Madison Park, made its debut (and won an award) at the Sonoma Film Festival.
Meyer has appeared in restaurant work docs before, but this hour long piece follows just him and his team over 11 years at EMP, capturing the construction, the division of the space into two restaurants (the other is Tabla), the middling reviews, the chef overhaul, the hiring of Daniel Humm, and the eventual four star vindication. There are no clips online as of yet, but the filmmakers are hoping to screen it in New York soon.
· The Restaurateur [Florentine Films]