In an interview with Kate Krader to push the paperback edition of his memoir, ex Times critic Frank Bruni comments on the troublesome changes in the New York restaurant scene:
So much of what is opening now reflects that moment one-and-a-half years ago when the economy was at an absolute nadir. Except for stealth, feel-good stories like Torrisi, it’s all big openings from well-known names. When you’re mounting a play, it’s hard to get investors if you don’t have a proven star. I think we’re seeing that now. If you can’t put on your marquee David Chang (or let’s say Nathan Lane) or Keith McNally (maybe Hugh Jackman), it lessens the chances that you can open for business.Anyone following the restaurant world is aware that the places opening these days are either very downscale kind of operations or big projects with major players.
Bruni goes on to say we need more restaurants like George Mendes' Aldea, but is concerned that solo operators can't get the funding to open anything mildly ambitious.
· Frank Bruni on Non-Critic Life [MO]