Tyson Ho's pork palace Arrogant Swine opens tomorrow in Bushwick and, as he puts it in his latest column for Serious Eats, he's "scared shitless." David Waltuck, one of Ho's first bosses and mentors in the food industry, has been taking a bit of a beating from the critics lately for his new restaurant, and it's shaking Ho's confidence to the core:
Early reviews of Elan have been tepid and hard for me to stomach. Who Dave is, and what he did at Chanterelle, loom large in my imagination, and to hear your hero's food declared mediocre is not only depressing, it's frightening....This is a man whose caliber I couldn't match if I had another lifetime to try. If he can't impress the masses, what hope do I have? ...My single greatest fear is choking on the public stage...Tomorrow is judgment day, and I'm scared shitless.
Ho took a page from Joe Bastianich and opted to not host a friends and family dinner ("In my eyes, it's effectively throwing away money") so tomorrow will be an even bigger test. Here's hoping for the best.