Lower East Side favorite 'inoteca was packed solid during its final nights in business last week. Many people showed up to take advantage of the restaurant's insane wine deals, but the house was also full of restaurant employees paying their last respects to the place that was an industry hangout, and source of inspiration to sommeliers and restaurateurs, for the last decade. In his tribute post, The Nomad's Jeffrey Tascarella notes: "This was the place where chefs and restaurateurs ate and drank after work. This was where people taking their master sommelier exam studied."
Yesterday, the 'Inoteca team sent out a thank-you note to friends and frequent guests, and the message was also posted on the restaurant's website and Facebook page. Here's the final farewell:
From Team 'inoteca:
We can't begin to express the wide range of emotions we felt during the final days of 'inoteca, from deepest sorrow to unbelievable joy. We are tremendously grateful to everyone who came in to eat, to drink, to work, and to share in the closing of the restaurant. You are all truly friends.No word yet on what the members of Team 'inoteca are planning next.
We were overwhelmed to see a long line of guests waiting to share our last evening with us. You waited, patiently, outside in the cold for many hours to sit down at our table, and were kind to each other and to the staff despite it all. It was unexpected, unbelievable, and profoundly moving. Thank you.
Our staff was incredible. You guys rocked it. You smiled through it all, dealt with the menu and wine changes, the incessant 86s, and the longest of hours. Our amazing kitchen crew put out more food in five days than they had in the last month. As everyone in the restaurant business knows, a restaurant is only as good as the team behind it, and we were privileged to work with a remarkable team that really became family. Thank you.
Nor did we do this without some extra help. Friends and former employees, cooks, chefs, servers, hosts, managers, sommeliers, and friends (you know who you are) all "worked" during our last days to help us make it happen. Most of you came in after already working a shift elsewhere, and didn't ask for anything in return. It speaks volumes about you, about our community in the industry, and about just how loved 'inoteca was. Thank you.
These paragraphs of thanks seem entirely insufficient to express our deep, deep gratitude to everyone mentioned above and everyone else who was involved in 'inoteca at any point during the last 11 years. Words alone cannot convey just how much we appreciate your love and support. So we'll say it again: thank you! We won't forget you.
— Eric Kleinman & Ethan Richardson
· All Coverage of 'inoteca [~ENY~]
[Photo: The line snaking down Rivington Street on Saturday afternoon]