Chef John Fraser has picked an ambitious project as the follow up to his celebrated UWS restaurant Dovetail: a pop-up concept in the old Le Jardin Bistro space in Soho that's a collaboration between the chef, a pair of graphic and interior designers, and a musician, which is being funded in part by contributions from micro-financing site Kickstarter. The idea here is to pare down the operating and staffing costs, to allow a bit more creative freedom.
The 65-seat restaurant, called What Happens When, is slated to open on January 25 for a nine month run. Every month, the menu and the dining room design will be tweaked to reflect a new theme (some picked by Kickstarter contributors). Fraser nabbed a low lease on the space, the chairs were purchased on eBay, the cocktails will be served from a mini-bar on wheels, and diners will reset their own cutlery.
As for the food, expect a looser version of the chef's elegant market-driven cuisine, but Fraser has mentioned the possibility of a three-course prix fixe for $58, with about five options per course. You'll be able to make reservations, but not on OpenTable. Also: Fraser is toying with the idea of having a marching band make guest appearances at dinner. To learn more about the project or how you can contribute (pay $5 and get your name on the wall!), check out this video from their Kickstarter page:
· The Now-You-See-It Restaurant [NYT]
· What Happens When [Kickstarter]
· All John Fraser Coverage [~ENY~]
· All Dovetail Coverage [~ENY~]